“I always read Kerrang! as a teenager,” Bimini grins. Reeling off band names from A Day To Remember to My Chemical Romance, it’s clear the drag queen knows her stuff (and her style). And the unapologetic, unfiltered and unfazed star is ready to take this attitude to Castle Donington for the first time this weekend, as she makes her Download Festival debut.
Hailing from east England, Thomas Bibbits – who goes by the fabulous stage name Bimini Bon Boulash – rose to fame on the raging hit RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Taking their candid humour and upfront attitude to the small screen, fans flocked to their relatable, edgy image – something that will inevitably shine bright from the Dogtooth Stage on Sunday afternoon.
“Ultimately you want to do what you feel is right. We've got to go into everything with good intentions,” she tells K! today on how her principles have helped her navigate her full-throttle career. At the heart of it, Bimini just wanted to be “comfortable”, even if it meant quite literally rejecting traditional labels. “I always remember saying to my mum that I don't want labels and she was like, 'The world is full of labels, you're gonna have to get used to it.’ But I was like, ‘No, I don’t.’ I've always known and I didn't have the right language to kind of navigate it at the time.”
And refusing to subscribe to the norm is exactly what has got Bimini where she is today. Here, we sit down with the star to find out her story so far, and what she’s got planned for Download (spoiler: she’s got Britney and The Prodigy on the brain)…
You’ve achieved a lot in your incredible career as a drag queen, author and activist. For those not familiar with your work, though, who is Bimini?
“Bimini is someone that likes to take a risk and defy expectations. I like to prove people wrong. Bimini is a bit of a daredevil.”
How has drag, fashion and music enabled you to navigate your identity and express yourself?
“Going into the world of drag and using that for expressing yourself has taught me a lot about myself day to day. It's given me a lot more confidence. I feel like I don't give a fuck and I don't care about what people think and that's a great place to be. I hope everyone gets there. Sometimes, obviously, it can be difficult. At the end of the day, you've got to move forward and do the best that you can. People want to talk and they'll talk whether you do bad or good, so let them talk.
“Fashion and music are something I've always looked to. I've always felt like an outsider. When I was in my hometown, I wasn't dressing the same as the people that were there and you don't really know your identity or style when you're younger. We're always learning and that's what life is. So I've started to use fashion for myself and I love it. It allows me to be expressive and creative. As a kid, I was always told that I wasn't artistic which can really get in your head and make you feel a bit like shit. Everyone should be able to flourish and be nurtured creatively.”