RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Tyra Sanchez was arrested on Thursday, August 20 for vandalism. Tyra, whose real name is James William Ross reportedly spray-painted “Don’t Move Here Ever” on the side of an apartment building in Atlanta. The already controversial queen has been subject to erratic behavior in the past that has pretty much canceled him in the drag community.
Tyra Sanchez’s Career Has Been Fueled By Controversy After ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’
Tyra won season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2010. People were completely shocked with RuPaul’s decision this season, as many other contestants were considered frontrunners. Fans also continuously called Tyra out for having a negative attitude on the show. Since winning the show, James lived at the apartment complex that he spray painted and allegedly stopped paying rent months ago. It is unclear what drove him to spray paint the building, but he was seen by a witness. In March 2020, James announced he would be quitting drag and now preferred he/him pronouns instead of being called Tyra, she, ma’am or queen. What led up to his decision to quit drag altogether?
One of the biggest controversies that Tyra was involved in was posting a fake obituary about fellow season two competitor Morgan McMichaels in 2017. Morgan was not actually dead which cause tons of confusion with RuPaul’s Drag Race fans. Back when Tyra was still doing drag, she also posted the phone number of season two contestant Tatianna on Instagram. The pair had an ongoing feud on the show, but leaking personal information was denounced by many fans of the franchise.
Tyra Was Banned From Attending DragCon After Making Threats
Tyra’s biggest feud was with fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Phi Phi O’Hara. Phi Phi posted a video on Twitter of Tyra threatening violence against Phi Phi and Tatianna. In the video, Tyra said, “But when you see Ms. Phi Phi and Ms. Mother F*cking Tati’s a** stretched out on the motherf*cking ground, you will know it was me. Yeah, I may not have physically did it, but it will be my doing. Remember that sh*t, b*tch.” It was unclear what prompted Tyra to make the video at the time. She also told multiple fans to kill themselves when they criticized the video.
The organizers of RuPaul’s DragCon told Tyra to apologize or else the queen would not be allowed into the drag convention in 2018. Instead, Tyra posted screenshots of the emails that organizers sent her and defended her actions. Fans were particularly worried about attending the convention after Tyra posted photos of the LA Convention Center being blown up and warned people not to go. Facebook users reported Tyra to the FBI and the LAPD for suspected terrorism. Tyra later took to social media to say “ME WARNING PEOPLE TO NOT ATTEND AN EVENT BECAUSE OF THE RACISM I’VE EXPERIENCED WITH ITS PRODUCTION COMPANY DOES NOT EQUATE TO ME THREATENING SOMEONE’S LIFE OR THE LIVES OF THE EVENT’S ATTENDEES.”
James Has Moved On From The Franchise
When James was still participating in drag as Tyra, he also explained that his online behavior had a lot to do with being bullied and harassed after appearing on the show. “From day one I have received nothing but hate, racial slurs and death threats because I beat your favorite.”
The former queen went on to say “For years it broke me, damaged my confidence, and forced me back into a shell. For years in silence, I tried to change everything about me, the way I acted, talked, dressed. Even tried to change the color of my skin.” Now, the persona of Tyra Sanchez is no longer and he now lives simply as James. He also started a new Instagram account that is wiped clean of any RuPaul’s Drag Race-related content.