September 05, 2013


Here's a li'l interview from I read in a previous interview that you never really thought you addressed political issues in your shows or that drag is inherently political. Being a part of the New York gay scene in the 80′s & 90′s, have you noticed any differences in awareness from the 1980’s to today? Is there any advice you can offer to this generation?
I was young in the 80s and was not interested in politics. However, AIDS had just hit big and ACT UP formed as a response to the crisis. Gays were scared to death (literally) and angry as hell that the government was doing little about it. Reagan was refusing to say the word “AIDS” and NYC Mayor Ed Koch shied away from the subject because (it’s believed) he was a closet case. ACT UP’s message was very radical and included die-ins, where people laid out in the streets, protests outside St. Patrick’s cathedral to force the catholic church to admit that condoms do prevent HIV infection and much more. The gay agenda was much more far-reaching than it is today and slogans like “AIDS doesn’t kill straight white men” and gay men fighting for women’s rights to abortions and fighting against big pharmaceutical companies’ corrupt practices were common. Today, we’ve lost that anger and enthusiasm. I see few leaders among gay youth. Maybe they see the battle as having been won now that they can fight in the military and get married in a few states. But new HIV infections among youth are way up and bare-backing is common. This is a slap in the face to the activists from ACT UP who got every AIDS medicine on the market today approved. The medicines are not a cure for AIDS, even though HIV infection may no longer always be a death sentence. That doesn’t mean you should throw your legs up and welcome it because there’s new drugs on the market. If kids have no one to tell them how irresponsible that is, I will gladly do it! MORE: FIREDOWNBELOW