Prizm News / May 30, 2018 / By Bob Vitale

Photo of Nina West by Staley Munroe



She’s been off social media and absent from recent gigs. Columbus fans and drag pundits think she’s competing in Season 11.


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By Bob Vitale

Nina West is off having foot surgery.


Translated into gayspeak, that means: Nina West is off taping Season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

A couple weeks’ absence from social media, cancellations of recent appearances and at least one upcoming gig, and an excuse that seems to have been used before has fueled speculation that Columbus’ favorite drag queen is off doing what many have wanted her to do for years.

“All we can confirm is that she is having foot surgery,” Sam Schisler, chief marketing and promotions officer for Union Café and Axis Night Club, said via email today when Prizm asked about Nina’s recent whereabouts.

Nina was billed as a host for Sunday’s White Party at Axis with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 10 contestant Asia O’Hara. She also missed an event on May 24 where she was honored by Columbus Business First as one of its 40 Under 40 Class of 2018.

And Nina has been replaced as host for the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus’ annual Big Gay Sing, scheduled for June 22-25 at the Northland Performing Arts Center. In announcing that Hellin Bedd will go on with the show, the chorus explained that Nina “had an unexpected conflict.”

“Pleeeease let this be true!” one Facebook posted about the “Drag Race” rumors, not the potential of a bum foot.

“Let’s just all say deep, queer, dragtastic prayers that she doesn’t reappear for a good few weeks in Columbus so she does the city proud (which we know she will),” another commented.

YouTube videos and Reddit threads regularly speculate on “Drag Race” contestants for upcoming seasons. One recently listed Nina as a Season 11 “rumored/likely” participant. “Said to have quit her full-time job. Reportedly has canceled gigs and is inactive on social media,” it said.

One other rumored contestant, Ariel Versace of Philadelphia and South Jersey, posted on May 6 that she was having foot surgery. Other rumored contestants haven’t been active on social media since mid-May.

Nina’s last Facebook post was on May 20. Andrew Levitt, who performs as Nina, last posted on Facebook on May 17. Nina also last tweeted on May 17, and she last posted on Instagram on May 20. The last of her weekly DragCast podcasts was done May 9.]

Although Levitt posted in early May about being miserable with allergies, he hasn’t posted anything about his aching feet.


Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.