We’re excited to bring you, ahead of season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, our exclusive interview with Darienne! Firstly, a massive thank you to Darienne for her time and to Jenna Hudson for all her hard work in setting up the interview! Read the interview below
How has life been since the announcement that you’d be on season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Did you anticipate such a response?
At first it was an absolute whirlwind. It was so hard to keep up with all the comments and friend requests at first. At some point I had to turn off the computer and go to sleep.
What do you remember of your first show in drag?
I wasn’t nervous at all, I was completely excited. I was in a borrowed dress that some other queens altered with curtain fabric to fit. I performed “Otto Titsling” by Bette Midler. I still have the flyer.
Who are some of your drag/pop culture inspirations?
RuPaul for sure: A smart, funny, business oriented individual. Dolly Parton: a glamorous yet overdone diva full of heart and charm. Oprah: a spiritual big girl who struggles with her weight, and acceptance in this world even though she has more money than God. Boy George: he was my first introduction into blurring gender lines.
Your twitter feed is probably one of the funniest, most enjoyable ones on the web. Where do you get your humor from? Who are some of your comedy inspirations?
So much of my humor is auto-biographical. Comedy can come from joy and pain, and I try to benefit from both. I asked my mother where I got my dark and sick sense of humor. I said, “Was I dropped on my head as a child?” She replied, “No. You have to be HELD before you can be DROPPED.”
A lot of people may remember you from your segment on The Ricki Lake Show in which you discussed the prejudice you faced as a “big girl” doing drag. Do you still face the same prejudice? How do you deal with it?
A girl recently came up to me and said that she used to sneak into the bars where I performed when she was 17. Being a big girl herself, she said that watching me perform with a sexy confidence gave her the right to her own body acceptance. I understand that I need to lose weight for my health, and as not to infringe on others, but I’m not going to put myself in a place of depression and a state of hating myself. I need to love myself, more than the comfort of food. And exercise to improve my performance and life quality. It’s tough to overcome fears of being looked at, or laughed at. Many gay kids get picked on in gym class, and so there is a fear of going to a gym. I’ve been going to the gym recently, and realized that everyone is too involved in their own world to give a shit what you’re doing on the elliptical machine.
What do you think the biggest misconception regarding the world of drag is?
There is an association that drag performers are feminine, flamey, or ultra gay acting. Sure, some are, but you’ll notice a lot of queens with facial hair when they have a few nights off. It’s nice to have the balance of masculine and feminine. This is how I live my life mostly. I know many queens who live in a constant state of androgyny. I did for a period as well. I even thought of being a woman full time. I realized that I was unhappy with my appearance as a boy, not that I was born a woman. Thankfully I never did anything drastic that I couldn’t reverse. (Hormones, surgery, etc) I’m sure one day I’ll have surgery, but it will be vanity reasons, most likely.
I know that Pandora Boxx is one of your drag daughters. Can you talk a little about your drag family?
Pandora was friends of friends of mine and wanted to do drag. One of Pandora’s frienemies panted her up, and I came to the rescue. One day we were hanging out, laughing, and the next week she moved in. We bonded as friends and even though I was only doing drag a year more than her, I was helping her. After a while, we were helping each other, and tearing up the town like Lucy and Ethel on crack. We never did crack, btw. I painted a few other queens, and helped mentor them. I think that’s how I can satisfy my maternal instinct.
4 quick questions: Favorite food? Favorite t.v show? Favorite outfit you own? Guilty pleasure?
Pizza or anything bread related. I’m addicted to reality-based competition shows. RuPaul’s Drag Race, Big Brother, Dancing with the stars for the outfits alone. A cobalt blue beaded gown I had made for me. It was the first time I owned such a marvelous gown. I don’t think you should feel guilty for your pleasures. I might feel guilty or embarrassed by some of the music I listen to. For some reason, the song “Calypso” by John Denver brings me back to my childhood. When I would spend hours alone listening to my parents records. Anne Murray brings me back as well. I dare people at karaoke to sing “Calypso.”
What is something people may be surprised to learn about you?
I’m mostly left-handed, but I cut hair with my right. I can take an insult, better than a compliment. I was a boyscout and an alter boy. I’m related to Ulysses S. Grant somehow. Unless my grandmother is full of shit.
If you weren’t doing drag, what do you think you’d be doing?
I get a great deal of creative outlet through doing hair, but drag is also an emotional outlet, so if I wasn’t doing drag, I’d probably be crying.
What are some of your future goals, personal or professional?
To live a full life, meet people from all over the world, and understand who they are, so I can help figure out exactly who I am.
Thank you so much for your time Darienne. I really appreciate it. Would you like to add anything else?
That will be five dollars, please.
If you ever wanted to know a little more about me, read this… If I don’t answer the questions you have, ask me on, and eventually I’ll get around to answering back.