NYC DRAG QUEEN OF THE WEEK- CRIMSON KITTY
There is no shortage of drag queens in NYC. You can’t throw a rock without hitting some twink in a dress thinking he’s got what it takes to shantay down the runway just because he’s seen every season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race while practicing YouTube makeup tutorials. There’s a difference, though, between learning how to just paint your face and turning that face into a work of fucking art. This weekly series highlights the queens who stand out from the crowd and rock those heels til they bleed.
Meet Crimson Kitty
How long have you been doing drag?
I was performing and producing burlesque shows over ten years ago and I kind of wanted to experiment with bringing drag into the burlesque. I was doing drag before Drag Race. I’m one of those queens that doesn’t come as a by-product of Drag Race.
Do you think you have an advantage being a biological woman and doing drag?
Absolutely not. I’m at such a disadvantage. I’d say 80% of my drag career is having to defend what I’m actually doing. There’s no advantage whatsoever. I wear hip pads. I’m corseted. I can’t breathe in half the stuff I’m wearing. I’m a drag queen who’s just as uncomfortable and can’t piss the whole night like all the other queens.
What kind of reactions did you get from other queens when you first started?
They completely ignored me. Nobody took me seriously.
How do you feel your peers treat you now that you’ve been doing this for several years?
It’s a mix. There’s some people that absolutely love me and credit for me helping pave the way for many artists and there’s some people who resent me because I have been so vocal about everyone being able to do drag. There were biological women that were performing at Wigstock. This isn’t something that’s new.
Why do you think some have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to female drag queens?
There’s not a lot of acceptance in our community and that’s just the sad fact. We have so many issues within our LGBTQ community. Community members ostracizing other community members because the way they live don’t align with theirs. Masculinity, especially in America, is something people are kind of still experimenting with, struggling with and sometimes it’s a little hard to accept people that are different.
Are female drag queens the next evolution of drag?
I think the next evolution should be more inclusivity in all of drag world. I think that when art forms become so stagnant, because they don’t want to change, that’s when the art form is in most danger.
How would you describe your look?
Oh, I am big. Big. Big. Big. Big. Big hair, giant lashes, colored contacts, big ol’ hips and booty. Crimson Kitty, the drag persona, is literally larger than life. Everything is exaggerated. It’s go big or go home.
What’s been your best night in drag?
I was at the GO Magazine Nightlife Awards. I campaigned hardcore and I ended up winning GO Magazine’s Favorite Drag Queen award and that was so affirming to me. I ended up beating out Sasha Velour. That’s the only thing I’ll ever win over Sasha Velour (laughs). That was one of my best nights in drag because it made me feel like a true, authentic performer.
What makes NYC drag different than anywhere else?
Well, there’s a whole lot of us. I perform in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. I can see the differences and nuances between both scenes. Manhattan drag is very Broadway with professional, polished dance numbers and group numbers which continually impress me every day. Brooklyn tends to be more experimental. I feel like that is what sets us apart from other cities, that it’s more welcomed to be different and you can find your home within these communities. There’s no right or wrong way to do drag. Everyone has their own style.
Tell me about your show Ladyqueen.
Ladyqueen is a drag show that is produced and performed for and by cis, non-binary and trans drag performers. We are in control. It’s all about supporting the other, the underdog, the people that aren’t getting booked and aren’t getting paid other places. We also book our allies as well. I try to make sure that each and every show is as diverse as possible.
Catch Crimson Kitty the 2nd Thursday of the month for Ladyqueen at Bizarre in Brooklyn.
Add Crimson Kitty on Facebook.