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QUEST10NS: Lady Bunny

QUEST10NS: Lady Bunny

Lady Bunny

In her upcoming show Trans-Jester, the legendary drag queen breaks down everything wrong about political correctness.

You may know Lady Bunny as one of the judges on Logo's Drag U or as co-founder of New York's legendary Wigstock drag festival. However, if you aren't familiar with the comedienne/DJ/actress/larger-than-life personality, here's your chance to be formally introduced: this month, Lady Bunny brings her raucous new comedy show Trans-Jester to New York's The Stonewall Inn for a limited twelve-engagement run. In it, the doyenne of drag lampoons everything from Caitlyn Jenner to her love for black men's genitalia, staring our current culture of political correctness right in the face. Of course, she then bites off its head and spits it out on stage but, hey, any show that would have The New York Times print the term "gutter-glam fierceness" really shouldn't be missed.

Can't wait to see it? Seems you'll have to. In the meantime, however, Lady Bunny answers our QUEST10NS:

1. Where did you go on your last trip? 
I know it doesn’t seem like Gay Destination #1 after the “Bathroom Bill” law just passed there, but I just performed in Raleigh, North Carolina with Bob The Drag Queen from this season of Drag Race. The event, Drag Me To Lunch, was a scream and was broadcast on CNN. Besides the fun, it was wonderful to show solidarity with fellow North Carolinians. I was born in Wilmington, NC and had my parents not hightailed it out, I would be one of those LGBT folks facing legal discrimination there. I do love my southern people—except when they get into a voting booth. I consoled myself over this hate legislation with fried eggplant and homemade blackberry cobbler.

2. What was your favorite memory from it?  
Bonding with fellow New Yorker both Bob The Drag Queen, who I don’t know that well, and with Candis Cox, the trans activist who has been spearheading the fight to overturn the law. I know that sounds corny, but she’s very interesting. She’s an avid student of history and has a Whites Only bathroom sign from way back in the day. It was fascinating to hear her voice her frustrations over older black, democratic legislators who supported the discriminatory legislation when they themselves lived during times when blacks faced similar bathroom discriminations. NC politics are in the toilet! 

I know you are thinking: “Doesn’t Bunny know how to have fun?” I do, but the nature of this gig brings up many emotions for me as a southerner who left the South because of backward notions which exist there to this day. Big city dwellers live in a bubble of acceptance. Leave cosmopolitan areas and being gay or trans is still a risk.

3. You are performing at the Stonewall Inn in the West Village. Describe your perfect night out in that neighborhood? 
NYC has become very corporate and deluxe. So I gravitate towards funky, authentic venues like Nowhere Bar where they have ridiculously hot Latino strippers every Monday night with Tommy G, and The Monster, where I spin disco classic very Sunday at a very popular tea dance. Because of the Bunny connection with my name, Easter was one of the best parties I’ve been to in a while—if I do say so myself!

4. Most overrated thing about NYC?
Clubs! The club scene is really dying out. What was once party city boasting enormous venues now has only one large gay club open mainly on weekends. Yet we have four Disney shows. So NYC is still hopping—if you’re five years old!

5. Most underrated thing about NYC? 
The people. It’s a commonly held view that NYC people are aggressive assholes. Not true. They’re just always in a hurry because most have to hustle in order to live here. New Yorkers are actually friendly and have no problem giving you directions, recommendations, etc. I find them very approachable. Which is a huge help for me since I’m bad with directions and once I get away from the numbered streets, I’m lost. It doesn’t help that I live in the screwy West Village, where 12th Street actually intersects 4th Street. 

6. Best advice for an out-of-towner when navigating Manhattan?
Walk every chance you get. Manhattan’s people watching is some of the best on earth. And screw Uber and take taxis! And always strike up a conversation with the drivers. 

7. Funniest travel story?
Recently, I  joined the Mile High Club. You know, the one where you have sex onboard a plane. The flight attendant looked at me as if she’d never seen anyone masturbate in an aisle seat before. KIDDING!

I was in a rush landing somewhere and grabbed my luggage from the carousel and went to hail a cab. I was almost inside it and a frantic older gal ran up saying, “I think you have my bag!” She was right. They were identical and she explained, “I’m on my way to my daughter’s wedding.” Knowing how shocked she must have been to open “her” suitcase and see an avalanche of wigs, big pumps and gowns, I quipped “Don’t worry! You would have been the best dressed gal at the wedding!” And I would have been struggling to squeeze into a mother of the bride look ten sizes too small at my gig.

8. Bugs Bunny often takes a wrong turn in Albuquerque. Have you ever been to Albuquerque?
Yes! And they have great thrift shops and Mexican food! Though in truth, I’ve spent more time in Santa Fe.

9. Fire Island or the Hamptons?

10. Where will you go on your next adventure?
I go where the music takes me. Luckily, I go to some fun places and can just stay on for extra vacation days after I DJ or perform. I’ll be in L.A. for DragCon and Drag Queens Of Comedy, San Francisco for Drag Queens of Comedy and in May my schedule starts to explode through summer with gigs in Austin, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Augusta, Rhode Island, Chicago, Toronto, Reno, Birmingham and Amsterdam. Besides London, Amsterdam is my favorite city in Europe. The combo of chocolate, diamonds, tulips, hashish and all of those gorgeous men is beyond enticing.

Trans-Jester runs every Wednesday through Saturday from April 13 - 30 at The Stonewall Inn. Visit the website for tickets and more information.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Bryan Van Gorder