Hello, mother. You’ve truly written some of the most amazing chapters in New York nightlife history, from the Limelight to Tunnel, and then to RuPaul’s Drag Race. How did it all begin?
It started for me back in the rave days, which went from Manhattan to Long Island, and even Staten Island. People never believed we used to have raves on Staten Island, but we did. We even had raves under the Verrazano Bridge. And it was all techno, not the shit you here now, but original techno. [Around that time] I bought a record of “I Need Your Lovin’” by Energy Records. Inside was a note advertising its live premiere at Limelight, so I went, and saw the most fabulous, fierce people.
What did you wear that first night at Limelight?
Silver bell bottom pants and top, no makeup, nothing else. Back then I was doing club kid boy drag.
How did you find your place with the club kids?
I was never fully in their scene. I already had an aptitude for dancing because I’m black, so I was already there. My moves in the club were from dancing in front of the mirror at home. When I met [club promoter] Lee Chappell, he felt I had what it took to be under his wing. In turn he handed me directly to Peter Gatien, which really pissed off those club kids.