The Amer­i­can star on the rise of cis women join­ing the drag com­mu­nity, and why she’s stand­ing in sol­i­dar­ity with her queer sib­lings.

Gay Times Magazine - - CONTENTS: - Pho­tog­ra­phy Tan­ner Abel Fash­ion Wes­ley Nault Words Larry Owens

Drag Race has in­spired an en­tire new gen­er­a­tion of qweens, and the drag scene is evolv­ing and di­ver­si­fy­ing faster than ever be­fore. We met with one of these up-and-com­ing per­form­ers on what makes her drag so dif­fer­ent - and it’s not be­cause she’s a cis­gen­der woman.

For the past ten years drag has dra­mat­i­cally re­de­fined a woman’s worth and Vicky DeVille hopes to up the ante. A newly emerg­ing, self-iden­ti­fied “look queen,” Vicky is shak­ing things up in more ways than one.

For starters, un­like most drag queens the per­son in­side of Vicky’s wigs and make­ups was as­signed fe­male at birth – one of the rapidly grow­ing num­bers of cis women who oc­cupy a newly found niche known as ‘hy­per queens’.

Let’s start with some­thing easy-ish, what’s your real name, age, and where were you born?

My real name is Vic­to­ria D’Aloia and I am 32 years old. I chose the drag name Vicky DeVille be­cause it’s a more fab­u­lous ver­sion of my birth name and also a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of my drag char­ac­ter. I was born and raised in Union, NJ, a sub­urb of NYC.

A sub­urb out­side of NYC, that sounds so fake bougie. Look­ing back on your child­hood, was there any­thing then that in­spires what you do now?

When I was younger I would spend hours watch­ing car­toons and draw­ing what I saw on TV. My par­ents thought I was strange for not want­ing to go out­side and play, but I re­ally just loved get­ting lost in my imag­i­na­tion. I feel that my years of draw­ing car­toons has heav­ily in­flu­enced my drag paint­ing tech­nique. Now I like to tell peo­ple in­stead of draw­ing car­toon women on paper, I just draw them on my face.

I can tell from your In­sta­gram that you are su­per artis­tic, the at­ten­tion to de­tail is crazy...

As I got older I started do­ing mu­si­cal theatre in mid­dle school and high school, and that was where I learned how to be com­fort­able per­form­ing on a stage and ex­plor­ing things like chore­og­ra­phy, block­ing and the im­por­tance of comedic tim­ing. Still can’t sing to save my life though. I moved to NYC for col­lege stud­ied at FIT, I re­ceived my BFA in Fash­ion De­sign. Grow­ing up do­ing mu­si­cal theatre and then go­ing to a fash­ion univer­sity most of my friends and men­tors are gay men. They have al­ways been and al­ways will be one of the biˆest in­flu­ences in my life. They were also my in­tro­duc­tion into the drag com­mu­nity.

So you feel gay men have blessed your en­deavor as a drag queen?

The LGBTQ com­mu­nity gave me a safe space to ex­plore my iden­tity as an en­ter­tainer and I will al­ways be an ac­tivist for gay rights. I’m very for­tu­nate that I have been able to per­form reg­u­larly at New York’s his­toric land­mark The Stonewall Inn. A lot of queens put on char­ity shows and events to ben­e­fit LGBTQ and LGBTQ youth. I would love to get to a place in my drag ca­reer to be able to or­gan­ise these events my­self. I have re­cently been in­volved in shows ben­e­fit­ing amaz­ing non prof­its and youth or­ga­ni­za­tions such as New Al­ter­na­tives and Im­mi­gra­tion Equal­ity. I think it’s very im­por­tant to do­nate and bring aware­ness to these is­sues even if it doesn’t di­rectly af­fect you.

How many hours does it take to cu­rate a look?

About 2 hours. 90 min­utes to get in face and an­other 30 to get dressed and ap­ply my wig.

Cool, now let’s check your priv­i­lege. What’s the av­er­age price tag for a head-to-toe Vicky DeVille look?

Most of my wigs can range be­tween $50-$250 dol­lars de­pend­ing on the style and brand. Makeup is also very ex­pen­sive. I’m a bit of a makeup junkie so I re­ally like to use the best of the best when It comes to prod­ucts. The foun­da­tion I use is about $38 a bot­tle and my con­tour pal­ette is about $50. The set­ting spray I use is also $38 a bot­tle but if I’m gonna take 90 min­utes to do my makeup I want to make sure it lasts all night long.

Where you get­ting this coin, girl?

I have been work­ing as a fash­ion de­signer by day for the last 10 years spe­cial­is­ing in chil­dren’s ap­parel. Luck­ily I do know how to de­sign, sew and con­struct gar­ments my­self, so I al­ways have fresh looks with­out cost­ing me an arm and a leg. Queens can pay any­where from $200 for a cus­tom body­suit to thou­sands of dol­lars for a pageant gown. How­ever, when I make my own cos­tumes I still have to buy all of the fab­rics, no­tions and trims for it.

How does your gen­der im­pact your drag?

I con­sider drag to be a per­for­mance of gen­der through the per­spec­tive of the artist. Grow­ing up as a woman there is a lot of pres­sure to be at­trac­tive and fem­i­nine brought on by so­ci­etal stan­dards. As a drag queen, I feel like I’m tak­ing my fem­i­nin­ity and con­fi­dence and chan­nel­ing it into my art rather than

tak­ing it as some­thing that is forced on me.

And your prism of fem­i­nin­ity is Vicky?

I con­sider Vicky DeVille to be a car­i­ca­ture of a woman, how­ever it’s not just for the sake of be­ing fun or funny. Cis male drag queens per­form be­ing fe­male for a few hours a night, but then when the makeup, wigs, cos­tumes come off, they can go back to be­ing their male gen­der. I still live my life every­day as a woman, and I feel as though this can of­fer the drag com­mu­nity some nu­ances and a dif­fer­ent point of view.

Where do you see your­self in five years as a drag queen?

Wow. Five years from now I’ll be 37 so it’s re­ally hard to tell. The mes­sage I’m try­ing to send out right now is that drag is for ev­ery­one. I would like to some­how make drag more ac­ces­si­ble, whether that is through mak­ing more af­ford­able drag prod­ucts or creat­ing more safe spa­ces for drag. Also in the fu­ture, I would like to see drag taken more se­ri­ously as an art form that goes be­yond the con­text of one or two re­al­ity shows.

Speak­ing of safe spa­ces, as a hy­per queen, what’s the rud­est thing any­one’s ever said to you about do­ing drag? Don’t be afraid to dig deep.

I feel as though most of the peo­ple I’ve en­coun­tered in the com­mu­nity have been very sup­port­ive and en­cour­ag­ing. I re­cently had a Face­book video about my drag go vi­ral and the re­sponse was over­whelm­ing. Cis women do­ing drag is a very con­tro­ver­sial topic right now and ev­ery­one has a strong opin­ion about it. I only read a few of the com­ments, but one in­sult that stood out to me was some­one who said ‘She’s not a drag queen she’s just a per­former who wears a lot of makeup’. That one just made my heart sink.

Why specif­i­cally?

He ba­si­cally negated all of my hard work and art while mak­ing me feel com­pletely ex­cluded within a mat­ter of a few words... I think it’s easy for peo­ple to brush off cis queens or not take us se­ri­ously. But what kind of mes­sage is that send­ing to the younger gen­er­a­tion of drag fans and as­pir­ing queens? I try not to get dis­cour­aged by the neg­a­tive com­ments, in­stead I use it as mo­ti­va­tion to get bet­ter and keep go­ing for­ward.

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