Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kandy Warhol: Living for the Applause

Taking her name from one of the most influential icons of the decade, Kandy Warhol started drag by dressing up as Lady Gaga. She's originally a southern belle from Texas and she eventually made her way to Indiana where she wants to please audiences and feel their applause. Read more about this gorgeous, down to earth, and beautiful queen below. 

1. Who is Kandy as a performer?

I'm a very lovely, cutesy, sexy queen who usually performs top 40 bubblegum pop hits. 

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I officially started drag about 4 years ago when I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana. But when I lived in Texas I would dress up as Lady Gaga. Back when "Lovegame" came out, I remade one of the outfits and nobody knew who I was. So then the next year, I made the pearl outfit and I covered a bra in circular packing peanuts that looked like pearls. So I went out to a Halloween Costume contest, and I didn't win because some guy with 8 pack abs in a speedo won because that's how the gay people are. And I went to a hair store with my sister and this queen had told me about a show where I could perform every Thursday for free for tips. So I did that every Thursday until people just started booking me. 

3. Where did you get your name from?

When Lady Gaga first started she had these YouTube video clips and they were based on Andy Warhol and in the beginning of the videos she would say "and my name is Kandy Warhol" and when I heard that I was like "if I start doing drag, that's gonna be my drag name" and I couldn't think of a better name for myself. 

4. Biggest accomplishment so far?

I would have to say winning my first title which was Fort Wayne Gay Pride. I still don't think I'm a "pageant queen" but when I came here I wanted to win all the title. In total I've done 4 pageants, and I won that title the second time I did it. And also I get to host at my home bar and I think it's awesome I'm a somewhat newer queen and I'm a main host. I jut think that means that I'm growing. 

5. Favorite and least favorite thing about drag?

My favorite thing is getting ready and getting into an illusion and meeting people and going out and having fun. My least favorite would probably be all the rumors and bullshit that goes along with being somewhat known. People are going to say what they want. Not everyone is gonna like you. Also, taking the tape off my boobs at the end of the night because it hurts. 

6. How did you learn to do your makeup?

My sister did my makeup for me when I first started because I had never done it before that, ever, in my entire life. I learned how to contour and highlight, so she would do my eyes all the time and I would do everything else. And then one night she had to work really late and she said she couldn't help me and I just did my face myself and I've been doing it alone ever since.

7. Makeup product you can't live without?

A really good lipstick (MAC, Limecrime, NYX), and also a really good setting spray 

8. If you could work with anyone in the future...who would you choose and why?

Amanda Lepore. Before I started doing drag, I saw her in person at Oil Can Harry's, and when I did a meet and greet with her she asked me if I was a drag queen and I said "no" and she said "you would be really pretty as a girl" and she just really inspires me I love her. 

9. Biggest drag inspiration?

I love Amanda Lepore, Manila Luzon, Kim Chi, my drag family...I just love all kinds of drag but it would be weird if I were to paint like Kim Chi because I already have my own aesthetic and what I'm comfortable with. I love all these people but I don't base my look on anyone but myself. 

10. Favorite performance you've ever done?

I would have to say "Circus" by Britney Spears for my Pride performance and I had backup dancers, a bearded lady, a ringmaster, I had a costume change...I was just really proud of it. There's also another performance I did "What's Up" by the 4 Non Blondes and everyone knew that song and sang along and it was just amazing. Another one is "Applause" by Lady Gaga for about 9,000 people in the audience. It was amazing. The fact that I could stand onstage and clap my hands like twice and everyone joins you, it's the most amazing feeling in the world. 

11. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

If I could pick anywhere it would probably be Paris...but I don't know any of the clubs in Paris. But I've always wanted to go there. 

12. If you were to move somewhere new (see question above), what would you bring to the drag scene there?

I just think I have my own unique stage presence and I absolutely love interacting with the audience. The fact that someone comes up to you and says "omg I love you so much" and the fact you can look at them and it makes them smile, it makes me feel good. 

13.  If you could change anything about the drag community, what would you change and why? 

When the whole Orlando deal happened, I love how we all came together as a community, but it needs to happen all the time. All the derogatory names I've ever been called has never been from a straight person, it's always from another gay person. Half the people who talk shit about you don't even know who the hell you are. We need to come together all the time, not just during tragedy. 

Follow Kandy: 
Instagram: @usokandy

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

Monday, August 8, 2016

Why We Can't Be Quiet About Valentine Steaphon

The Drag Enthusiast is a movement that is responsible for educating people on the art of drag. But in the last week, a performer by the name of Valentine Steaphon was discriminated against in the restroom of a well known LGBTQ establishment. She was told that she couldn't use the women's restroom because her presence made someone else uncomfortable, and then was kicked out of said establishment simply for trying to use the restroom.

I get Boots and Saddle is a business and they were trying to make everyone heard, but as an LGBTQ friendly place, they need to realize that what they did was oppress someone who already deals with enough oppression on a daily basis. And it was at a place they felt comfortable at. Transgender women and men should be able to use the restroom they feel comfortable using, and it should be left at that. Because in reality, what's between someone's legs is no one else's business, and it has never been an issue, so why is it an issue now? 

Transgender individuals aren't trying to hurt anyone. They aren't trying to hurt you or your children. All they want is basic human rights, the right to use the restroom. Everyone uses the restroom. And what's sad is a lot of the people that I fight with about this are people who identify in the LGBQ rainbow, and we are supposed to be a community that fights together, all of us know what it's like to be oppressed and struggle as individuals, all of us have dealt with discrimination on some level throughout our lives, so why oppress the transgender community and discriminate against them? Things like this happen everyday and nothing is ever done about it. If you stand behind Boots and Saddle for doing this, then you're part of the problem, and I hope you realize you're justifying discrimination. And if you're part of this community, it's even worse, because you of all people know what it's like to be oppressed. 

It's a bathroom. It shouldn't be an issue. If you really think about it, it's pretty disgusting that someone would intrude on someone else's right to use the bathroom. On top of that, the establishment kicks her out like her voice doesn't matter. So many people face things like this everyday. The numbers of transgender individuals being murdered, especially trans women of color, rise everyday. We also have people committing suicide because they suffer so much oppression and decide one day that they can't take it anymore, and before anyone can reach out and help them, they already have their mind made up. This is not okay. It will never be okay. And we need to talk about this, we need to stand up for our community, and stick together. Because we will never see any type of change if we just let this go. 

Whether you like it or not, transgender people have been using the restroom of their gender identity for years. It's never been an issue. And it should never be an issue. Let's realize this and educate everyone. Not everyone is going to want to listen, but we should NEVER be quiet about this. I'm tired of losing so many innocent people because of who they are. I'm not transgender, but I have been made aware of what a transgender person has to go through, and it sickens me. Innocent people are scared to walk down the street because they don't know if it could be their last day alive. Someone could notice and murder them. People in this world are absolutely crazy and disgusting for taking an innocent life. And I know someone is going to comment and say "well this isn't someone getting killed it's someone that was told to use the bathroom of their biological gender", but the thing is it should've never been an issue. Ever. It's basic human rights. When will anyone ever be concerned about the safety of a transgender individual? If a transgender woman walks into the men's restroom, you don't think they could be raped or murdered or shouted at and called names? But we don't care, right? Cause it doesn't affect us. No. It's not okay. And I refuse to sit here and be quiet about this issue. We need to make a change. And it needs to be made now.

To Valentine, I'm sorry the staff at an establishment that is supposed to be open to everyone discriminated against you. And I admire you for not keeping quiet and making everyone aware of the things that happen everyday. I'm sorry you have to deal with such discrimination in our own community, but once again thank you for being a voice for those who feel they don't have one. You have my support as well as the support of a lot of other people. Know that.