Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sleigher Gemini: Twisted Fairytale Princess of Orlando

Taking her inspiration from darkness and fairy tales, Sleigher Gemini is determined to showcase what being a drag artist means to her. Fresh off of Tumblr's Drag Race, she has only been doing drag for under a year, but it won't slow her down. She has already been adopted into a drag family and takes pride in her artistic form of drag.

1.Who is Sleigher Gemini?

The best way for me to describe Sleigher Gemini is as a dark, twisted fantasy. Always expect a gender fucked collaboration of fairytales and darkness. Recently, it has been hard for me to describe what category Sleigher should be placed under, I would say the middle of club kid and drag queen. Or you can just say Sleigher is an entertainer that comes from a different realm. First impression is normally that Sleigher is a cunt, because I am a very shy person in and out of drag, but for those that truly know me would say that I am a creative, loving friend.  

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I began doing drag under a year ago actually. I started in July 2014. As ironic as it is, I was watching RuPaul’s Drag Race one day and my roommate was over with her over night bag full of makeup. I looked at her bag and said “Bitch, I can do this!” So I grabbed it and started playing, next thing I know I am practicing more and more, blowing all my money on make up and developing my face. I think I wanted to do it because I have always had an artistic side and I felt like this was a way to be walking version of my art. Of course there are the basics in drag, but there are no rules, which allows you to go crazy and express who you are or who you are afraid to be. Drag allows me to be a conceptual artist and let you see a glimpse of what is constantly going on in my head. 

3. Where did you get your drag name?

I'm actually on my third drag name, but I think I finally have the right name. First I was Noelle SleighRyder, that didn't last long and I didn't like that it was so "winter" themed. So I changed it to Effie Van Sleigher (which is what TDR knows me as) which comes from my nerdy self and my love for the Hunger Games. Finally I became just Sleigher, it is a play on the word “Slayer,” as in Buffy the vampire slayer. I am a huge nerd and Buffy has always been my idol. She is the chosen one, the warrior, the protector. The slayer is surrounded by darkness, yet always rises above to be the light.  And of course I spelled it differently because I'm difficult. 

4. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Drag wise, I would say my biggest inspiration isn’t a person, it would be a collection of fairytales. I love taking inspirations from old stories and turning it into a modern day witch bitch work of art. I read a lot of fiction, specifically older books, so there is always a wealth of knowledge flowing through my head, sparking new ideas. I guess you could say I draw inspiration from the earth and her hidden mysteries. 

5. What is something that makes you unique?

I think something that makes me unique is that I’m not your typical beauty queen, I prefer to be versatile. One day I will be a glamour princess and the next day I want to be a troll. I want to always be flexable, yet still holding onto my core theme of who Sleigher is. A combination of club kid and drag queen. I have these huge ideas that I can't wait to make come to life, just need to keep working on them and one day you will understand what I mean. 

6. How was your experience competing in the most recent cycle of Tumblr's Drag Race?

TDR (tumblr’s drag race) is a very bittersweet experience. It changed who I am. It helped me grow as a person and in my drag, however this cycle has mainly been a show for the “fans.” Judging was all over the place and I honestly didn’t learn from the judges, I learned from myself and friends I made along the way from the TDR community. I don't like to speak poorly of TDR because I believe it has so many positive things to offer any young, new queens. However, I left TDR with a bad taste in my mouth. To say that I felt defeated is an understatement. 

7. Do you have a most favorite look that you have put together?

I think that my favorite look that I have put together was my “Him” gown. It was the very first outfit I ever created entirely by myself, and it turned out fabulously in my opinion. It touched everything that sleigher is. Dark, twisted, fairtylate, glamour, troll. It was also the very first outfit I ever hand made all by myself. I am so proud of that look and how I stayed true to who I am as well as who the character is. 

8. Where did you learn to do your makeup?

I have gotten pointers from other queens locally in Orlando here and there, but mainly I taught myself. I walked into Sephora and said “Hello, I am a drag baby, help?!” and they loaded me up with products, then I just played with different products and techniques from youtube until I figured out what worked for me. 

Note to newer queens reading this: you don't have to spend a million dollars at Sephora and mac. Some of my favorite pro it's cost half as much and I get locally. 

9. Who is in your drag family?

Well the Haus mother is Kitana Gemini, she is the founder of the Gemini haus and responsible for creating the empire here in Orlando. My sister Gypsy, who was a judge in Tumblr's Drag Race in the early cycles, is the princess of the family and the closest to me. Hex and Roman are the boys in the family, and there are a few other people who I haven't met yet. But it is a rather small family. 

 10. Favorite contestant from all the seasons of Rupaul's Drag Race?

Milk. Do I even need to explain? I just relate to her on so many levels. She is fearless, brave, beautiful and so conceptual. 

11. What is something you wish to change about the world?

I wish I could change the view people have on drag queens and their sexuality. I have had so many guys leave me when they find out I'm a drag queen and it changes everything. I wish I could make people more accepting. I'm rather butch outside of drag, and I always get to a good stage in a relationship where everything is super chill and we are happy and the shallow minded people always go running when they find out my art form. I wish we didn't need acceptance. I wish we could just all be ok with everything. And also world peace. 

12. What do you love most about this community?

I love the support I get. Complete strangers come up to me to compliment me and tell me to never stop doing what I am doing. This is something that never happens to the boy version of me. I love that I have two complete separate lives and this one allows me to be seen. 

13. What is the biggest lesson you've learned since you started drag?

Trust no bitch. I'm not bitter by any means, but you have to be very careful who you trust in this community. There have been many times where i have been left stranded, had people back out of helping me last minute, people talking about my personal life that I trusted not to. I tend to trust too easily, and it's a hard lesson to learn, but at the end of the day we are all on our own. 

14. What is an item that you can't live without?

I would have to say my sketch pad, the second I get inspired by something, I run to my sketch pad and I draw it out or else I lose that thought. If I try to recreate it later I over think it and it doesn't turn out as well. 

15. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill: Yara Sofia, Ginger Minj, Sharon Needles

Marry Ginger because we the same sense of humor, Kai Kai with Yara so I can steal her hair, and kill Sharon because she's already dead. So no harm there!

Follow Sleigher Gemini: 
Twitter: @theonlysleigher
Instagram: @theonlysleigher

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @ragingdragaholic

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