I Gotchu, Girl!
Ross Matthews’ Message for Us All
Whether he’s sitting alongside RuPaul on the judges panel on RuPaul’s Drag Race or revolutionizing daytime talk with Drew Barrymore, Ross Matthews remains—at heart—a fan first. As he hits the road for his one-man tour with his aptly titled show, I Gotchu, Girl!, Matthews is thriving both personally and professionally: He is married to Dr. Wellinthon Garcia (since 2022) and is finding himself on some of the most culturally important television shows today. I sat down with Ross to chat about his brand-new tour, the powerful women who helped frame the person he is, and how at all times, he remains leading with gratitude.
Michael Cook: There is a very simple trait of yours that both I and so many other people who are massive fans of yours notice about you and every project you dive into, including your tour, I Gotchu Girl! Simply, you’re still a fan at heart, and are so inherently thankful for the opportunities that have come your way.
Ross Matthews: Oh, a super fan. And such gratitude. Because you have to remember, when I started on television back in 2001, there were not people like me on television— especially unapologetic people who refused to be the butt of the joke because there was no other choice. I am so grateful that my gratitude comes across on the screen because it is absolutely 100 percent real.
MC: You’ve been touring with your stand-up show, I Gotchu, Girl! How do you narrow down the stories you are going to tell from such a storied career?
RM: That’s a great question. I went on tour with both of my books, and they were their own thing. This tour is specifically about a few things. It is about getting back together with everybody, knowing what I know—and what we all know—after those rough few years of solitude and missing each other. Really, it’s about life through my point of view, my lens, life through Ross-colored glasses; it’s what I wanted to say. Mostly though, it’s about making people laugh.
MC: I think it is so important to see someone like you represented and sitting on the panel of RuPaul’s Drag Race. You seem to truly see the contestants’ hearts and getting to see them flourish year after year seems like a complete joy. What does it feel like for you to be able to be a part of this show and family?
RM: I still don’t know how it happened! I am not a drag queen, but I am a super fan of what they do and I always have been. I hope you notice when I judge, it’s never me telling them how to do it. Ru can give them advice on how to be a drag queen—and does—and no one knows better, and Michelle, too. And Carson can give advice on fashion. I really try to bring the super fan point of view. All I can do is give you my thoughts on how to be the best version of yourself.
MC: There is absolutely nothing like working with drag performers and helping them see their fullest and greatest potential, and seeing the best in themselves, don’t you think?
RM: Completely, that is absolutely it. Let me tell you something: not an episode, not a moment goes by that I take for granted. You know, getting to make RuPaul laugh—it is one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard. I love the sound of my chihuahua eating her food in the corner because that means she is safe and she’s eating. I love certain songs, I love the sound of Judy Garland’s voice, and I love the sound of RuPaul’s laugh.
MC: You and Drew Barrymore have put a 70s-style spin on daytime talk and it’s wonderfully revolutionary. You have definitely put your own special ingredients into the recipe of daytime talk and the result is something beautiful.
RM: When I met Drew in 2020, it felt like I was meeting a sibling, that’s what it felt like. Right away, the trust level that I felt…here she is, one of the most iconic people in the world, but I never thought of her like that once I met her. And I just felt like I could speak the truth to her. Even with our relationship out there, we so support each other, but if she says something that I disagree with, I’ll roll my eyes and be like “girl come on.” The fact that I can do that to someone of her stature and notoriety says so much about her behind the scenes.
MC: Meeting friends like you have met Drew, and I have met friends of my own in adulthood—it’s almost like when you say you’re “done” dating; that is when you end up meeting someone who is truly a game changer.
RM: I think you’re right. I believe my mother made this all happen; she passed away in 2020. That same year I came to New York, got engaged, and met Drew Barrymore. It’s almost like when she passed away, she was like, “Let me carve out some paths for you; you have some weeds in the way.” She did this.
When I talk about my mom, Drew comes and hugs me because, she says, “I feel your mom here.” My mom had only been to New York one time—it’s not like she was based in New York where we do the show—but my mom is there.
MC: For myself, there is no “me” or what I have gotten to accomplish without my partner in my corner. Do you feel the same way?
RM: What’s interesting is that my husband and I met each other when we were 40. I brought with me my level of success and he is very successful in his own right—he has a doctorate in education. We came to the table as fully formed people, or so we thought. Because then when we met each other, it was almost like he lent me his power and I lent him mine and we became stronger individually—and a superpower together. ▼
Michael Cook has been a part-time resident of Rehoboth Beach for over a decade. He is currently a contributor to Instinct Magazine, World of Wonder’s WOW Report, and South Florida Gay News.
Follow Ross Matthews on Instagram: instagram.com/helloross/?hl=en
Ross Matthews is on the road now with his show I Gotchu, Girl! Get tickets here: helloross.com/