Exclusive: Inside ‘Drag Race’ Legend Raja’s Surprise L.A. Wedding (Photos)
Los Angeles drag legend Raja, who slayed audiences on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 and eventually took home that season’s crown, stunned the world yesterday with a surprise wedding to her year-long boyfriend Ryan Turner. Opting for expediency over an elaborate wedding, the two got hitched in a spur-of-the-moment ceremony featuring family and friends. We spoke to the L.A.-based queen about the Raja wedding this morning over the phone.
Raja (né Sutan Amrull) had hinted that nuptials might be in his future when yesterday afternoon he took to Facebook and posted, “Following my heart with no regrets, qualms, or hesitation. Do you.” So the Raja wedding wasn’t a total surprise to the queen’s friends and fans.
Following my heart with no regrets, qualms, or hesitation. Do you.
“We did the City Hall thing. It all happened very rapidly,” Raja says. “We decided a long time ago that we were gonna do it. We pretty much knew from the get go that we were gonna marry each other. We just decided one day, ‘Let’s just fucking do it.’ So we found out where to go, filled out all the right paperwork, and then decided to do it immediately.”
“It seems rushed, but it was something that had to be done,” he says. “There was just no way around it. We were like ‘Let’s just get married.’”
We asked Raja about how he initially met Ryan.
“We met online, through Facebook, essentially, about three years ago. Like most modern relationships, we stalked each other,” Raja says with a laugh. “We were just friends, and then I was doing a gig in Toronto, which is where he’s from. We messaged each other, but I didn’t really think anything of it. I was going up an elevator — I was performing in the Toronto Library for a Pride event — and the doors opened. He was standing there, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s that guy.’ And so we’ve been friends ever since, and we’ve dated now for about a year.”
The ceremony and reception following the Raja wedding were small and intimate.
“The city gave us several different options of where we could [get married], and there’s limited days where you can go in. We wanted to do it as soon as possible, and the next available opportunity was in Norwalk. I was like, ‘OK, that’s hood as fuck. Let’s go to Norwalk,’” Raja says with a laugh. “It was a good spot, too, because my family lives in Orange County, and I have friends in Long Beach and L.A.”
Present at the Raja wedding were his mom, two sisters, nieces and brothers-in-law.
Also there at the ceremony? “My Heathers were there,” says Raja, referring to Delta Work and Manila Luzon, two queens who appeared on Drag Race Season 3 alongside Raja and have remained best of friends long after the show.
“It was really spur of the moment,” he says. “I basically texted everyone and was like, ‘Show up here if you want to come.’ And it was great. It was really moving.”
The reception took place at a restaurant called Padre’s in Long Beach, which Raja describes as “gorgeous.”
“It’s definitely a destination spot for a wedding,” he says.