Don’t Fear the F-Word

Gays

So different, yet so the same. Pic courtesy of Paul Tuller 

Get ready for a can of controversy, because we are going to step into the topic of dating “Fem” guys. We still see on profiles the desire for “masc only” or “no fems”. Just like you, we have your views on the dangers of classification and labels, and what our people are saying about it. Since these labels are not wholly vanquished from our community yet, let’s have a little discussion about them…

ME: So I have a friend who makes comments about how he can’t date “fem” guys. He argues that if he wanted to date a feminine guy, he would just date girls.

MO: Yeah that’s what they all say. I understand that you want a “man” man but if that were the case then are some lesbians you can date who are probably more masculine than your friend.

ME: A good point, but the concern here is that we are discriminating against the “fem” gays.

MO: That’s exactly what your friend is doing. Because he is automatically assuming that anyone who does not fit his definition of a “man” is not worth his attention. Instead he could be evaluating each person based on their individuality rather than preconceived notions based on mannerism because underneath all the flamboyance or “femininity” there could be someone he really clicks with.

ME: We all have a preference and we tend to categorize what we want. There are guys who like feminine guys because of the characteristics they have and then there are those guys who like the more rugged, masculine men because what masculinity represents.

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MO: It’s not that I don’t agree with the idea of preferences. However, relationships aren’t built on exterior displays they live and fall by the connections of two individuals. Making decisions based on the masc/fem dichotomy is kind of being one dimensional.

I used to be like your friend. I always said I wanted to date a guy who was masculine or “straight acting”. I didn’t want to go on a date with a guy that was feminine. One day, I went out with a guy who looked masculine. We got together and he opened his mouth and that just shattered my perception of him. He’s what some would call “feminine.” He talked like a valley girl and his favorite phrase was “I am a fucken lady!” My first reaction was to run away. I let my guard down because of my physical attraction to him though. He was gorgeous!!!! Girl, he was hella PHINE! (ME rolls his eyes) This allowed me to get to know him as an individual and learn to appreciate him as a whole.

ME: Yeah, it helps when the guy is PHINE. However, sometimes people can’t get past what they initially see. Gay men tend to judge more based on what they see physically.

MO: Can’t or won’t? I won’t say that you are completely wrong about that but I had my teaching moment which showed me that it is possible to have an initial reaction, let go of it, and then dig a little deeper.

ME: Into his pants???

MO: I think the main issue is that the self-proclaimed “masc only” dude will stick to only what he likes and won’t give the “other” a chance, so he misses out on those teaching moments, even if it is just to break down assumptions or prejudices and build understanding.

Preference

Do we limit ourselves with preferences?

ME:  I don’t think its prejudice. I believe it has more to do with being physically attracted to someone. These guys could be friends but aren’t willing to date each other…

MO: We are not talking about appearance.

ME: Yeah we are because there are guys who dress more feminine. They don’t dress like “Bros”. But in the end our community needs to be more about inclusion and unity. Just stop being shady bitches. In the words of Mother RuPaul: If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else. Can I get an Amen?

MO: Amen.

This is one of those subjects that relates to our whole community, not just a few here and there. So we want to hear from you: Is ME’s friend being too judgmental? Let us know in the comments.

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Q&A with Adore Delano from season 6 RuPaul’s Drag Race

RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Adore Delano

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Adore Delano

No one imagined that a drag queen who did her make up like a chola and whose catchphrase is “Party!” would make it to the end of season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race yet Adore Delano (Danny Noriega) charmed her way through the competition to make it the final three.

“It’s very surreal and liberating,” said Adore Delano. “I went into it thinking I would get half way but as the competition started to get harder, I started to push myself harder and thinking ‘you gotta fucking kick ass. This is season 6, lets fucking play.’”

Not apologetic or afraid to expressing herself, Adore’s star quality appeals to the masses. She was adored by RuPaul and the judges and was one of the funnier queens of the season. In one episode she said, “I’m from the hood. I’m from Asuza. I’ll stab a bitch.” with such seriousness you couldn’t help but laugh.

Being one of the youngest queens competing, Adore, 23, struggled throughout the season landing in the bottom and being criticized for her inexperienced looks on the runway.  But when it mattered the most, she fought to stay there.

“The harder the challenges were getting, the more I knew I was going to stay because I know myself and I know that I don’t give up at all,” said Adore, who also competed on the seventh season of American Idol. “I will not leave without a fight.”

Drag Race concludes on Monday with Bianca Del Rio and Courtney Act as the other two finalist. And Adore is content with her two competitors.

“Courtney is a brilliant person and really talented, and Bianca is a comedic genius,” she added. Although, she wished Ben Delacreme, who was eliminated in an earlier episode, would have made it to the finals. Adore added that Delacreme was one of her closest friends on the show and consistently worked hard to make it to the final three.

Below Adore discusses her soon to be released album, her chola-ness, and her plans to conquer the world.

JM: How did you come up with Adore?

Adore: Adore was my brother’s chola friend’s name, and I loved it so much and kept tagging the name on the walls around the city, and I was like I want that name. My brother was like ‘no that’s her name.’ I was like ‘I’ll fight her for it.’ [Laughs] At my first drag competition, I didn’t even have a drag name and they asked me ‘What’s your name?’ I said Adore. I really connected with it and I just love the name.

JM: How did you decide to make drag a career choice?

Adore: Well School is fucking not for me. [Laughs] I started dressing up in drag when I was 15 and competing in singing competitions. I had to stop for American Idol because my mom told me to, and then I started to perform and dressing up again in local bars around the city. I was like yeah, this is something that I’m good at, this is something that I can incorporate my music in. It’s been like I can fucking take over the world in this. Lady Gaga is a drag queen. The only difference is I have a penis and she doesn’t.

JM: You also do videos as a character named Angel Baby dressed as a chola. Is that influenced from how you grew up?

Adore: My dad is still like a cholo and my mom is like an ex-chola. My family reunions look like Mi Vida Loca. It’s hilarious. It’s definitely inspired by all my cousins and the girls I grew up with. My new single “DTF” is definitely chola-realness. I like merging different genre of people. I have the chola background in the video and I think it’s really cool. It’s almost like a pin-up vibe.

JM: Speaking of the new single, you also have a new album coming out.

Adore: My new album is called “Til Death Do Us Party,” which I co-wrote. It’s a fucking awesome album. I feel like every song should be a single for different reasons. It’s very solid. I want to be taken serious as an artist and it’s about time that a drag queen busts through the main stream circuit again. I really think I can do that. I see myself touring and winning a goddamn Grammy! [Laughs]

JM: You have fans drawing Adore on alleys in Paris and making memes out of your character. Did you ever see that coming?

Adore: No. It’s very surreal and awesome. I’m also noticing people getting tattoos of my name on them and it’s so fucking punk rock of them. I love it! Party!

JM: You did American Idol when you were younger and now Drag Race. Which show has felt more like you?

Adore: American Idol is very watered down. It’s run by Fox, by republicans. It’s very watch what you say. You can’t sing this. You can’t sing that. Don’t act too gay. Don’t come out. On Drag Race, it’s literally balls to the walls. It’s literally documenting who you are as a person.

JM: What do you think about Conchita Wurst winning the singing competition in Europevision?

Adore:I think he’s brilliant and sobering. He has a beautiful aura and amazing voice. It’s such an awesome statement that he’s making.

JM: In Latino culture, masculinity is very prominent and being gay is something that sometimes gets viewed down on. How do you view drag in your culture?

Adore: I don’t give a fuck. I came out of the closet when I was twelve years old and my mom was very accepting and I felt very blessed for that. She basically raised me to really not care and as long as my immediate family is okay with it and if someone isn’t okay with that, it is there issue. I was lucky enough to have a family that has brains and realize that I was gay when I was a kid. My brother’s basically treated me like their little sister but they really roughed me up. I was like literally in piggy-tails playing football with my brothers in family reunions. I’m kinda like the tomboy of drag.

Adore Delano

Adore Delano

JM: You even mentioned to RuPaul that you didn’t want to be seen as the chillona (crier). Will your fans get to see a Llorona (A Mexican folk legend of the weeping woman) inspired drag?

Adore: Probably not. [Laughs] My mom used to tell me that story when I was a kid and it used to scare the shit out of me.

JM: Anything you want to tell your fans?

Adore: I can’t wait to marry America in “Til Death Do Us Party!”

You can catch the season finale on Monday night at 9 p.m. on LogoTV and see if Adore Delano wins the $100,000 prize and the crown.

Q&A with Ben Delacreme from RuPaul’s Drag Race

Ben Delacreme drag star from RuPaul’s Drag Race

Her name is synonymous to the best of the crop, the crème de la crème and so far Ben Delacreme is one of the top contestants to beat on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 6, and she’ll make her first appearance in Sacramento this Saturday at Badlands.

Her unique style is a throwback to the 1950’s pinup girl and her charisma and sweetness has made her one of the favorite queens this season. Delacreme, who has been performing drag for 11 years, attributes her style to burlesque and cabaret shows and old cartoon where women were idolized.

“As a kid, I was really into those older Warner Brothers cartoons where the wolf is whistling at the lady,” Delacreme said. “That kind of image of womanhood was the thing I was most excited about growing up.”

Delacreme has made a career out of this sexy bombshell image performing burlesque shows in Seattle where she lives and around the country. She is part of the “The Atomic Bombshells” burlesque troupe and a producer of the Seattle “Tuck” dance/drag event.

On Drag Race she is one queen who stays true to the style that has inspired her look for many years. So far this season, Delacreme has won two challenges and is praised by RuPaul and the rest of the judges for her dazzling style and charm. She’s also spent time at the bottom lip-singing for her life but surviving.

“I think it really shows a realistic range of what it’s like to be a performer and a human,” Delacreme said. “I work really hard; I do my darnest to put my art out there and be true to myself and also give the audience what they want and sometimes you falter and when you do, you gotta get back up and try your harder.”

But on this week’s episode she flew back up with her fly-inspired look on the runway and her personable interview with Chaz Bono and Georgia Holt (Bono’s grandmother).  Delacreme lived to see another week of Drag Race.

Below she discusses what to expect Friday, her inspiration for Delacreme and her current addiction.

Jorge Moreno: You have a unique style of drag, so what can your fans expect Saturday?

Delacreme:  Well I am a queen of many faces, so you can definitely expect comedy, something a little bit out of the regular form of what the other queens do. I’ll be performing live and possibly doing a parody I wrote myself or something a little bit more complicated but bringing you all on a comedic journey. [Laughs]

JM: Where did DelaCreme come from?

Delacreme: I grew up watching old MGM musicals who featured Ann Miller, the tap dancer, and she was one of my first female icons, and she’s always wearing those little showgirl one piece outfits. I also get a lot of drag inspiration from the burlesque and cabaret world since I was around women who were referencing that time period as well so a lot of my style is entrenched in that background.

JM: What is a moment that stands out from being on the show?

Delacreme: Well so far, since I can’t give out the rest, has been winning the Snatch Game. It was really phenomenal because I wasn’t expecting it. I was really nervous coming in to do an impersonation [She impersonated the great Maggie Smith] and of course Snatch Game this year was really hot and heavy because there were really good performances from the other queens. So that win was totally like a high for me.

ME: Which queens did you bond the most on the Drag Race?

I got a really close with Adore [Delano] and you don’t really get to see that on the show except for little moments like when I jump on her back or hold hands but she is someone I talk to pretty frequently. Also, Bianca [Del Rio] and I developed a good friendship as well.

JM: Have you felt any negativity since appearing on the show?

Delacreme: It’s been really positive and I’ve been overwhelmed by how awesome and positive the response has been. I get tons of letters and emails with people telling me how they connect to me and the character and they feel inspired. I’ve been working in this field for 11 years and getting this kind of response really makes it feel like it’s totally worth it. Like I am doing the right thing with my life

JM: You were compared by RuPaul to Michelle Vasage. Do you see the resemblance?

Delacreme: I’ve been hearing that for a couple of years now. At first I was like, no I don’t know what you’re talking about but of course now that I see us on TV I totally see it. [Laughs]

JM: How hectic has your life been since appearing on the show?

Delacreme: I had experience doing shows before but this has been insane. I’ve been going to parts of the country that I’ve never been to and the audiences are different, and you kind of have to be ready for everything. I’m also working on writing new material, and creating new shows that I’ll be collaborating with others in the future.

JM: Will these collaborations be with any of the other Drag Race contestants?

Delacreme: Well, there are some things in the works but nothing that I can really talk about yet, but I can tell people there are things coming they can look forward to.

JM: You are also part of “DeLouRue Presents,” tell me about that?

Delacreme: It’s my production company with my two best friends, Kitten la Rue and Lou Henry Hoover, who are burlesque queen and a drag king, and the three of us have been working together in different ways for the past six years. We do shows that have cabaret and burlesque, and drag, comedy and social commentary and huge dance numbers. I like to think of it as a cross between an old MGM musical, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and a contemporary drag show.

JM: What advice do you have for anyone in Sacramento or anywhere who wants to do drag?

Delacreme: My number one advice is, and what makes the coolest drag, is when you just listen to your own head. If people just focus on the things they love the most that’s when they will come up with the most interesting things in drag.

JM: What drag accessory can you not live without?

Delacreme: It’s hard to just pick one thing but what feels the most like Dela is having the right hair. Like she always has like a big bump in the back no matter what the hairdo is. When I get the hair pined in and I can feel it squishing behind me, then I know I am her.

JM: What’s your addiction right now?

Delacreme: Oh my god, I have a lot of addictions! [Laughs] As I travel around the country I realize that my true Seattlelite comes out because I cannot seem to get enough coffee in my body. I feel like the coffee everywhere else is half the strength like the coffee in Seattle. Caffeine is my drug of choice.

You can catch Delacreme on Monday’s on Logo TV at 9 p.m.  She also has her own products and you can learn more here. Admissions into Badlands for the show starts at 8 p.m., and you can purchase tickets for a meet-and-greet here or at the door.