Meet the Queens In This Exclusive Sneak Peek of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 12

There's a new set of queens competing for the title of America's Next Drag Superstar, and viewers will finally get to meet them when RuPaul's Drag Race returns to VH1 with Season 12 on Friday.

Show creator, judge and executive producer RuPaul has once again hand-selected 13 queens to compete for the coveted title and that hefty cash prize of $100,000, and the contestants may be the most diverse group yet. The queens come from all over the map including cities like Springfield and Kansas City, Missouri; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; Acworth, Georgia; Ramseur, North Carolina and New York City.

Meet the 13 New Queens Competing on 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 12
The 13 new contestants of "RuPaul's Drag Race" where announced on January 23, 2020. The VH1 reality competition returns with Season 12 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

However, there are a few queens bringing a splash of French, Iranian Scandinavian flavor to the show. Drag Race will even see its first Polynesian contestant this season. Their casting on the show not only marks a big moment in their own lives but also in their efforts to represent for the LGBTQ communities of their own homelands. In Newsweek's exclusive Season 12 premiere sneak peek (above), the queens explain why advocating for change and acceptance is just as important as winning the competition.

Newsweek recently spoke with all of the Season 12 queens and discovered what brought all of them to Drag Race. Read on to learn what all of them had to say about joining the show.

RuPaul's Drag Race premieres on VH1 on Friday at 8 p.m.

Nicky Doll

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Nicky Doll appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I wanted to send a message of hope. I know that sounds so cheesy, but I wanted to send a message to the French queens that we are talented, and just because the format of the show isn't in our country yet doesn't mean that we shouldn't be acknowledged. Being on the show was kind of like me trying to be that sense of pride for France. When you are bullied and gay in your everyday life, you can really lose your voice. Being on a platform like this and sharing what I've been through and what I've learned, planting that seed in the younger generation, to me, that's what makes it all worth it."

Sherry Pie

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Sherry Pie appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I've always been a theater person. I've always been performing. On stage is where I feel really at home, and I have always been able to make people laugh. I realized in a wig you can make them laugh even more. I actually fell into drag originally at a younger age from going out with older people and then my life fell apart and was not great. I associated drag with all the negative stuff about nightlife. So I stopped doing drag so I could be a serious performer. But who wants to be a serious performer? Especially nowadays when everything is so serious. So I was in a very depressed state and a friend of mine said I should get back into drag. I said no, but the next day I got into drag and the rest is 'herstory.'"

Widow Von'Do

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Widow Von'Du appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of Netflix

"As a queen of color and seeing Bebe Zahara Benet being the first Drag Race Winner—that's when I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be on this show to represent for queens of color. Knowing that people may be inspired by seeing me, a large African American queen doing whatever she wants, wearing whatever she pleases, is what makes this entire experience rewarding. I'm covered in tattoos and I was told for a very long time I'd never get booked because of my tattoos. Let's just say, I'm working and that b***h isn't."

Rock N. Sakura

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Rock M. Sakura appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I've been doing cosplay since 2004, and in 2009 I did my first crossplay. In the community, we call it crossplay, it's basically just like drag cosplay. That was my introduction to drag. At first, I didn't really think much of it. I would do it once a year maybe at like a convention event, but I didn't think about it for a career or a performance until around Season 6 of Drag Race. I went to a bar and they did a really really stupid drag number. It was a girl dressed as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time, and she did an Alanis Morrissette version of "My Humpz," and she did it really sexy and really weird. That was the type of drag that really attracted me to everything. What pulled me into drag was the ability to really just be your authentic, stupid, playful, idiotic self and have people see it and appreciate it."

Brita Filter

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Brita Filter appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28 , 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I've been a full-time drag queen for a while now in New York City. I love performing so much. I love telling stories and I really just wanted to be on a bigger stage to tell my stories to everyone. I feel like I have such a passion and love for this art, and I want to spread goodness. That's why I wanted to be on the show. I just wanted to spread my love. Plus I'm the first Polynesian queen ever, so I also wanted to represent my culture and be the first Pacific Islander here. I was raised Mormon and being gay it is shunned in the Mormon religion. Growing up I felt like I didn't have anyone that looked like me that was gay to look up to. It's so cool to be that first person for this small little community in the islands. Representation is so important and I'm so proud to represent my community."

Crystal Methyd

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Crystal Methyd appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I had a monthly show that I did. It was in a grungy rock bar, and we'd have a band open and I'd put them in drag. Being in a straight bar, it made people more comfortable coming because some straight men are like, 'What's a gay bar? I don't want to go in there.' I just love the fact that we're able to share drag on such a huge scale and educate people on what it is. We're just performers that want to spread love. My dream is to just get a little school bus, paint it pink and just drive around the country with all my friends and perform. Like Road Rules, but drag."

Aiden Zhane

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Aiden Zhane appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"My inspiration comes from all of the things I grew up loving. I grew up loving horror movies and dressing up and trick-or-treating. Now I do drag, but I realized I've been doing drag since I was a little kid. Dressing up is what I've always loved to do, and still to this day that's still my inspiration and why I do this. I think that one of the big points of doing drag in the first place is to enact change and have that visibility in the world and to show the world that it's ok to be whoever the hell you want to be. If you want to look like a damn sea-witch or whatever, then do it."

Jan

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Jan appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I love singing and I love what Bianca Del Rio [Season 6] is doing with her career. She's using comedy as a vessel to share her talent and she just happens to be a drag queen. I want to be a singer who just happens to be a drag queen and have music on the radio, do tours, do all of that. That's my personal goal. But I also want to just spread love. I love when people come into a bar or show and they're like, 'Oh I wasn't having the best day'—drag has the power to turn that all around and put a smile on somebody's face and make them feel better than when they walked into the room."

Jackie Cox

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Jackie Cox appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I've been doing drag for nine years. Maybe in the back of my head, I was thinking, 'It would be really cool to be on Drag Race one day.' But a big turning point for me was the election of [President] Donald Trump and seeing how that affected my family in Iran and essentially not being able to see my aunt again, who is well into her 60s and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Four years ago she was still able to visit my family regularly, and now, because of the travel ban, she feels like she may never be able to get a visa again. I realized I have this platform I can talk about these things through my drag in New York City. I started incorporating being Iranian in my drag and I felt the response of that just within my own community. It's 2020, we need to do everything we can to tell the stories of real people and how they're affected by this administration. Drag Race is a huge platform and I want to tell this story, and I also want to share my drag. I want to get on a megaphone as big as I can and tell people that there are real human faces and costs to what Trump has done to this country."

Jaida Essence Hall

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Jaida Essence Hall appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"Most of the things I own in drag, even some of the stuff I wear outside of drag, I create myself. I want to do a lot of fashion stuff. I want to do a lot with makeup. Even though it may sound corny, I also want to inspire people, because where I come from in Milwaukee, things like this do not happen. Sometimes people look at my drag and they'll go, 'Wow she looks so pulled together.' But there is a struggle for me to make myself into something that looks almost untouchable. I have to be in the 99 percent and struggle to make things work for me to have an image almost of something I could never have had from where I'm from. I want to inspire people. No matter where you come from, you can make stuff happen for yourself and you can be who you want to be. You can make it a possibility.

Heidi N Closet

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Heidi N Closet appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"Growing up I was bullied. I was bullied a lot. After Drag Race, I want to go around the country, talk to high schools and colleges and tell students that life does get better. You just have to put in the time and effort and find your own tribe. It takes time. It feels like forever, but it will get better. I'm living proof of it. I literally come from one of the backward, bigoted little towns in North Carolina that there is. I've been bullied because of my race, because of how feminine I am, just because of things that I couldn't change about myself. If I can just help one person realize that life can get better, I win."

Gigi Goode

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Gigi Goode appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"Let me say, RuPaul looks like how she looks in the photos in person. I mean, granted she is a solid 15 feet away from you when she's in drag, but she looks flawless and she is pulled back. She really cares. I know that that's been a thing a lot of queens talk about, but she genuinely cares about the art and she genuinely cares about the betterment about everyone's drag. RuPaul has done something that is so...she's made drag not a taboo thing. Girls had to wash their makeup off in the mop bucket in the back of clubs because they couldn't be seen. Now we can walk out of our apartment like this. I think we oftentimes take it for granted. RuPaul is definitely a pioneer of normalizing drag."

Dahlia Sin

Meet the Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in Season 12
Dahlia Sin appears on "RuPaul's Drag Race." Season 12 premieres on VH1 on February 28, 2020. Courtesy of VH1

"I want to put out content. Whatever it is I'm doing, whether it's modeling, makeup. I want to be in magazines. I want to see my face in other shit, other than drag. I want to branch off. I feel like the show gives you what it gives you, and it's your time to make out of it what you want. You don't want this to go to waste. Whatever you want to do, try to take it and make it what you want. I want to make whatever I'm doing something."