Lady Bunny in 13
Lady Bunny is one of the few drag queens who can honestly be considered a legend. She founded Wigstock, the outrageous drag and music festival that delighted New Yorkers for 20 years, and performed with numerous celebrities on stage, in television and movies. Most recently she’s become a sought-after DJ, a writer for Star magazine’s popular "Worst of the Week" column, and she’s now starring in Gay.com’s new Queens of Drag series.
1. When did you start performing?
In Atlanta in the 1980s, when RuPaul was my roommate. I did theater as a kid but didn’t start drag until my early 20s.
2. Who are your inspirations?
I love Charo, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Carol Channing because they are lively and kooky. I wouldn’t call them great actresses, but the one character they created is a winner who could be plugged in anywhere.
With music, I love all of the classic soul divas, especially Patti LaBelle, Aretha, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Stephanie Mills, Deniece Williams, Patrice Rushen, The Emotions, Natalie Cole—you get the idea. Of the newer girls I like Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and house diva Barbara Tucker a lot.
3. How did you come up with the "Lady Bunny" name?
As with many queens, it was a bad college-era joke that stuck. It never occurred to me when I came up with it that this would become my career. But I never learned how to do anything else!
4. What do you love about audiences?
5. What do you hate about some audiences?
Face it, we’re becoming dumber. That translates to less sophisticated taste in music, humor, politics— everything really. And everyone has A.D.D. now, which means shorter attention spans. Not an ideal situation for performers.
I was joking with some young fans last night and asked them if they liked my new Katy Perry parody of "California Gurls" and they said yes. Then I jokingly asked them if they had already tweeted about it and they had. I guess that’s the way people express excitement today and it was a compliment to me, but if you’re enjoying a song, why would you pull out some device and tweet about it during the song so that you miss part of it? That seems very A.D.D. to an old-timer like me.
6. What’s your favorite place to perform?
I’ve always liked to perform in South Florida because the guys are sexy. Guess I’m a slut! I also seem to connect with southern audiences, possibly because I’m originally from Tennessee.
7. Who do you love listening to on your iPod right now?
You mean on my cassette walkman? Chaka Khan, Ashford & Simpson, Jamiroquai.
8. What song do you associate with your coming out?
“Hot Shot” by Karen Young. Disco madness!
9. What hang-ups do you wish people would get over?
America is so prudish. I can’t believe that Usher has a song called O.M.G. (which of course stands for “Oh my God”) and Usher says “Oh my gosh,” presumably to prevent religious types from thinking he’s using the Lord’s name in vain. Puke! The world would be a much better place without organized religion.
10. What’s one of your guilty pleasures?
If it’s pleasurable, why feel guilty?
I’m kidding, but I never understand the "guilty pleasure" question because it’s usually a trigger to name something the interviewee knows sucks, yet they like it anyway. If it sucks I don’t like it. I do waste a lot of time on Facebook, but I could claim that it’s networking and promoting myself.
11. Best bitch slap you ever heard?
On some recent Comedy Central Roast, Lisa Lampanelli just told David Hasselhoff that his liver was so big, black and bloated that it could have starred in the movie Precious. Ha!
12. Favorite curse word?
13. What do you think is the greatest gift drag performers give to the world?
Glamor and lunacy.