RPDR S4,E1: RuPocalypse Now!-The Also-Rans (in Heels)

It’s Monday. Before tonight’s episode, let’s talk about how the rest of the queens fared last week. Grab that green tea chai latte, and let’s tear into those bitches.

But before we do, that incredibly talented artist Chad Sell is at it again, with a new set of renderings of the Divas of Season 4. Treat yourself to a little sugar in your coffee-break and check him out.

RuPaul Logo by the fabulous Chad Sell

I hope Ru can continue that delicious level of regal bitchiness that she exhibited during last week’s runway. It was that perfect combination of camp and commentary that shows exactly why she is where and who she is. The most biting moment being when she let the safe contestants know that “safe” was nothing to strive for. I definitely agreed with the Supermodel’s assessments. At best, the safe contestant’s outfits were pretty–not edgy or unique. At worst, they were derivative and forgettable. Take THAT Miss O’Hara.

Willam


In reading posts on other sites and blogs concerning this dynamic little diva, there seems to be a dilemma as to whether or not to like this bitch. What’s NOT to like??!! From the first second she walked into the workroom she was Reality TV at it’s finest. People, she’s playing the game AND showing who she is at the same time! Willam knows EXACTLY what he’s doing. What a breath of fresh air to watch a contestant who uses pragmatism as a tool and a weapon at the same time! She’s not afraid to look ugly OR beautiful–playing each look and sound-bite like she’s in a winner-take-all game of Drag Chess. She walks that marvelous tightrope between audience love and hate and it’s devilishly fun to watch. In the new Denzel Washington movie Safe House, Washington’s character, in response to another character saying to him “Your not gonna get in my head” says: “I’m already in your head.”

Phi Phi? You might wanna pay attention to this: if Willam’s resume is no big deal–then why are you making such a big deal of it? Miss Willam is already in your head.

Lashauwn Beyond

After watching the episode again, I’m more convinced than ever that Lashauwn is trying to play the game as well. The problem is that unlike Willam, she’s too young to have a thoughtful and consistent game plan. Submitted for your approval:


  • She tells Ru in the workroom that she doesn’t know what she’s doing when it comes to her outfit. She then turns out one of only two outfits that could in any way be called couture.
  • She tries to play demure and coquettish on the runway (and gets called on it, thank god), yet goes after Jiggly like an Old School Diva in the Interior Illusions Lounge.

Girlfriend has been taught well by someone in the Old Ways. But her youthful naivete could send her back to Dagobah for some additional lessons with her Drag Yoda if she’s not careful.

The Princess

In addition to the adorable crush and exchange she had with Sharon Needles, I too thought The Princess had a good idea with her get up. The problem was that she didn’t take it far enough. If you REALLY want people to get Water World then you have to take it farther. Get a paddle and row your way on stage. Find a blow up boat or water toy and put it around your middle. Since the outfit was well made, I think a gimmick like that–in addition to the floatation device neckpiece–could have put her in contention for the win.

Kenya Michaels

What a devastating beauty she is. The Queen is wondering if that will be her downfall. I don’t know whether she will allow herself to get down and dirty when it comes to these challenges. She’s a spitfire in the work room, and she stomped the hell out of the runway, but she took absolutely no risk in the challenges. I was telling mefein1 in the Comments section that Bianca and I had a good laugh about her. I posited that the language barrier may have prevented her from fully understanding the concept of an apocalypse. Bianca said, “Kenya understood the challenge perfectly. She just decided: ‘I got body, I got face…FUCK APOCALYPSE!’”

I think she’s got real talent and potential. We’ll see how she does tonight.

Jiggle Caliente

I realize how much of an old crotchety Queen I am by the way I react to Miss Jiggly. I have so much less of a tolerance for the machinations of youth than I used to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this young queen…other than the fact that he’s a young queen. He’s precocious and opinionated and self-absorbed: all job descriptions for someone his age. I just have so much less interest in dealing with those traits than I used to. I think I’ve always been hyper-judgmental of gay men–especially gay men of color. I constantly want us to comport ourselves in a way that shows our dignity and elegance–which is a highly romanticized, compartmentalized and unfair way of thinking. Jiggly’s got a wonderful old school sensibility, and he wants to be a Fierce Black Queen so bad it’s coming out of his pores. So what if he got super defensive in the Interior Illusions Lounge? He was a baby queen defending his honor when there really was no defense. So what if I wanted to turn the child over my knee and spank him? That’s my issue, not his. He makes for great television.

Plus, he turned the LSFYL OUT. I think it was one of the best performances in Drag Race history.

WHEW! So whad’yall think? Ready for tonight?

The FBQ of Project Runway All Stars: Goodbye to Sistah Soundbite

Look at that face.




















In his early twenties, the Queen had quite a scare when one of the only girls he ever dated seriously thought she was pregnant with his baby. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear Anthony Williams was the secret offspring of that relationship.

Whether or not Miss Thing is the Queen’s love child is the topic for another discussion. The fact that we have to say goodbye to the Beeotch of Bon Mots, is the subject of this one.

It’s no secret that I give preferential treatment to the black people on the reality programming that I watch. If they dazzle me with their talent, then I will faithfully ride the emotional roller coaster with them–even though I know that %99 of the time, it will end in heartache. That’s IF they have talent. I’ve gotten over rooting for someone indefinitely simply because they happen to be black. And though Miss Williams has given me smiles and laughter from day 1, as I have stated in another post–I have never been a big fan of his aesthetic. So since All Stars is more about talent than personality (thank the Good Lord), I can’t say that I’m very broken up about his leaving. Besides, I get the strong feeling that he had no real interest in being there any more. He is a very smart man. He’s played the PR game before. He knows that adhering to the parameters of the challenge is paramount. The fact that he would send something to the runway with less than %50 of the fabric he adeptly retrieved from people, says to me that he wanted to go. Taking clues from his exit dialogue, it seems to me that he was using this appearance as a tool. This wasn’t a proving ground for his talents. In the bio section of his website, he says “Television introduced me to the world as a funny, southern, gay, black man that is sassy and full of entertaining one-liners. I am more than the image and personality that was projected through that reality show.” Unfortunately, I fear that that still remains his primary Brand. The Queen is very disappointed that Anthony didn’t step up his game on PRAS, however he joins the thousands of others that wish him MUCH success in his future endeavors. I sincerely hope he finds a satisfying place in which to showcase his sparkling personality and spirit.

RPDR S4,E1: RuPocalypse Now!-Top and Bottom

The Queen’s good friend (whom for the purposes of our discussions, I shall refer to by his former Drag Name, Bianca) and I did something we haven’t done in decades: talked on the telephone until the wee hours of the morning. We kee kee’d about RuPaul’s Drag Race till we ran out of biting, bitchy things to say. It was wonderful.

Throughout our four-hour-plus conversation (I will get NO WORK done today), a running theme emerged. To use Bianca’s own words:

“I can create from nothing. That is what a good Drag(Queen)does. Create your world and make that fierce–and by doing so, inspire others to create from nothing. How powerful the world would be if more people created than tried to steal or cheat…”

She’s such a fierce, cerebral bitch.

Or, as he broke it down later, a Drag Queen’s job is to: Be somebody. Be about something. Then Prance. So that’s how I’m evaluating the show in general, and the contestants in particular. Who emerges as a “somebody” who was about “something”, and who knows how to prance?

Before we get started, I have to say something about Shangela Laquifa Wadley.

Either D.J. has some serious dirt on RuPaul Charles, or boyfriend gives the best fellatio in Hollywood. That bitch was featured in almost as many segments as the Supermodel himself–INCLUDING the Absolut commercial! Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Wadley is talented. But I think the producers highly over-estimate the child’s audience appeal. She doesn’t have the love/hate factor of a Raven; or the America’s Sweetheart quotient of a Manila. But honey, if she can continue to capitalize on this fifteen minutes and strengthen her Brand, then–say it with me–HALLEIGH-LOO!

Okay. Now.

The Queen loves that even in Season 4, the show is staying true to it’s over the top, campy aesthetic. The production values and choice of challenges and segments remains true to their Drag core. I thought the schtick with Shangela was cute, and the Romero-esque style in which they shot the main challenge free-for-all was pretty inspired. I just hope they don’t go crazy with that stuff. Like Project Runway, I think RPDR works better if you stick close to the original game purpose and objectives. Give us the kinds of challenges dolls in Drag would actually face and let us watch the creativity and sparks that fly. But I had fun with it.

I’ll get into my take on all these divas in later posts this week, but first let’s say ConDragulations to Sharon Needles for her Runway Win. No surprise to me here. She has introduced herself as a somebody, who has something to say and knows how to Prance. Not only was she clearly getting the winner’s edit; but I feel she absolutely deserved it. She pulled off a most delicious hybrid of macabre and couture–and she managed to make the most of every second of her screen time. Her patter during the zombie challenge was inspired. Bianca–who was not a fan–was blown away by the attention to detail in her runway drag. She wants to see if Ms. Needles can do standard drag as brilliantly. If she can, she may just be the first of the “specialty queens” to take the win.

And it’s “Sashay Away” to Miss Alisa Summers. Sweet girl, but she apparently graduated from the Carmen Carrera School of Drag. I really don’t get these queens who think that becoming an entertainer on the level of RuPaul is simply about body and looking good. I have to believe that during the LSFYL, she honestly thought that playing with her fake titties and slowly strutting around the stage would give her the win. I’d rather see a little chunky queen working it for all it’s worth, than simply a pretty man in makeup ANY day.

So what do y’all think? Who peaked your curiosity? Who are you already tired of? Will you continue to watch this season? What about “Untucked”? Inquiring Queens want to know.

A Fierce Black Queen’s Guide to Football-Part II

PART 2: Down and Distance

I think many football enthusiasts would agree that the most important thing about understanding American Football, is understanding how the game is played and scored. Since scoring involves many rules and regulations—which can be learned later—we’ll concentrate mostly on going down…uh, down the field.


The game starts with those manly men meeting at the center of the field with the referee (the men in those surprisingly unflattering stripes), who tosses a coin to decide which team goes first. The team that wins the toss gets to decide whether they want to kick the football to the other team, or have the ball kicked to them. There are advantages to both, but that’s for another Tea Time.

The team that gets the ball kicked to them (the “receiving team”–don’t GO there) has to catch it, and try to get it as close to the other team’s end zone (again, DON’T GO THERE)–(that area at the opposite end of the field with the goal posts–those large poles in the shape of a kind of square “Y”–and the cute little team logo on it) as possible. They do this in a series of “downs.”

Downs


A down is a complete turn—or “play” (like in a board game when you get the dice and make a move). A down begins when the actual ball is put into play (“snapped”), and ends when the referee whistles that the play is over (usually when the ball touches the ground).

This referee was asked about the size of one of the Queen's body parts.

A team gets four plays (“downs”) to get the ball at least ten-yards closer to their opponent’s end zone. If they can do that, then they get what is called a “first down”, which means they have secured another four plays to get the ball even closer.

Let’s see an example using the terms my gay brethren used to help me understand:















Pretend that the football field is actually the Men’s floor of your favorite department store. And it’s Black Friday. And the Queen has found the last of this FIERCE Hermes leather shoulder bag for %90 off (we can dream, can't we?). In order to purchase it, I’ve got to get it past all of these jealous queens who want it for their own (the other team), and to the Cashiers (the “end zone”) at the front of the store. It’s my job as the diva in charge (the Quarterback) to tell all of the divas who came with me (my team) how best to do that. That could be throwing the bag (ball) to another FBQ diva, passing it covertly to one of my queens, or running through the screaming horde of opposing queers myself.

If we make it to the next rack (ten yards) in four tries without one of the other group of bitches (the other team) getting the bag from us, then we get a “first down” and get to try once again to get it to the cashiers in the end zone. If not, then the other team gets to walk around the city with MY BAG (or in the case of football, the team gets “possession” of the ball right where it is, and tries to get it down the opposite end of the field in the same way).

Understand? Of course you do.

There is, of course, a lot more to the game. But honestly, if you can master this concept then the rest of the stuff will fall into place. And you won’t believe how easy it is to get into your man’s good graces by being able to ask questions based on this information.

In the Queen’s last post on this subject, he’ll give you some information that might get your partner so turned on that they turn off the game and jump your bones. Or even MORE erotic: cleans up after the Super Bowl Party.

A Fierce Black Queen’s Guide to Football-Part I

“He’s at the ten…he’s at the two…and…

TOUCHDOWN!”

No, Miss Things, I am NOT talking about the culmination of my Saturday Night Date with the dude I met at Splash.

I’m talking about that Great American Sport in which husky men in tight pants, chase a ball into the end zone and score!

Come to think of it, that DOES sound a bit like my Saturday Night Date.


This FBQ didn’t grow up playing sports. In this way I was the stereotypical gay boy. But I realize now that it wasn’t because I didn’t like sports—it was mostly because I didn’t really understand them. It is assumed that every male comes out of the womb knowing how to play baseball, football and basketball. No one every really explained them to me in a way that made sense. It wasn’t until High School–when I started hanging out with gay men of color–that I began to understand, and enjoy the art and excitement of professional sports. Leave it to a homo to get things to make sense.

With the playoff season upon us, this FBQ thought it might be a public service to break down the game into its most common denominators for those who might be a little football-ignorant. Male or female, if you have a sports lover as a partner, the Queen strongly suggests engaging in the viewing of a few games as an almost foolproof form of foreplay. I firmly believe that while the first way to a man’s heart might be through his stomach, the second is through his sports teams.

Knowledge is sexy y’all. Knowing your partner’s favorite team’s colors and mascot, and the last time they were in the Super Bowl, and/or playoffs will get you into their pants faster than a Jackson family member can say “I’ll have item #22 on the Plastic Surgery Menu, please.”

Male football player costume from halloweenplayground.com. Abs sold separately.

Object (Or “What the hell are these grown-ass men supposed to be doing ANYWAY?”)

Honestly sweeties, the object of the game is pretty simple: score more points than the other team, by advancing the ball down the field and into the opponents “end zone” (the part of the field with the goal post–the big poles in the shape of a kind of squared “Y”–and their cute little team name on it).

The thing that makes it seem complicated is that there are a myriad of ways to do this, and many intricate rules involved in getting that done. But the game itself is pretty simple.

Over the next few days we’ll talk about a few other basics, such as game play, scoring (you can never know too much about how to score, Miss Things), and how to make your partner’s jaw drop with your knowledge of the game. Knowing how to get your partner’s jaw to drop can come in handy in all sorts of activities.

The FBQ of Project Runway All Stars


I can’t quite see doing a weekly post on Project Runway. There are more than enough wonderful blogs and sites that do a fabulous job in recapping and reviewing the show. However I will of course be watching, and—as is usually the case in reality shows—be inexorably drawn to the FBQ of the cast. So I will probably give my take on them from time to time throughout the run, if you REALLY care to know.

In regards to the show itself: I will say that after the last season of PR, the first episode of PRAS was like a sweet, refreshing and cleansing gulp of fruit juice after having vomited in your mouth.

But, before I run down the two FBQ of the group…

…’Cause he’s fine.

Rami Kashou. Ooooh. I done give myself the vapors *sips his sweet tea*. Now onto my Brother-Sistahs.


Anthony Williams

Aside from the fact that physically we resemble each other enough for him to be my baby brother; Anthony Williams is that burst of sunshine that flashes through your curtains first thing in the morning, and jump-starts your day. Earthy and effusive, the man captured my heart and funny bone immediately and never let go. Like a lot of FBQ he is smart and self-aware. He drew on his strengths during his season and almost rode them to the finals.I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t a fan of his aesthetic. I felt his pieces were somewhat one-dimensional and repetitive. It was often pointed out that he was more referential than fashion-forward. But none of US have Heidi Klum and Jessica Alba wearing OUR clothes, so what I think of his work and $4.50 will get me a Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks. My hope is that he sheds the naive country boy schtick (which I’m sure is genuine–but sometimes we black queens use it to keep from scaring all the white folk), and shows the group his fierce creative and competitive side (which I also believe is there).

By the way…did I mention that Rami Kashou is HOT?!!!

photo by Brent Dundore


Jerell Scott

Though I don’t always understand this FBQ’s Point of View, I very clearly understand that he has a strong one. In terms of the black cultural aesthetic of “More Is More”, I found his take on that design theory to be the most successful from all the seasons. And while I don’t share his personal style, I am in awe of any artist who makes such bold garment choices. The man has flair and panache. And he is all ready in his mantle to take his place as a New Millennium Apostle when Jesus comes back.

I wish these two FBQ MUCH success in the new season.

…but I’m still rooting for Mondo.

And I can’t remember if I mentioned the fact that…

RAMI KASHOU IS SO DANG HOT!!!

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned from Black Barbie

From the AWESOME Flicker photostream of Mieke Linden

Growing up as a FBQ in training during the early 70’s in Chocolate City, I had already begun to learn the duality involved in being black and gay. Wanting to fit in, I did my best to hide my true fierceness and passions from the world. Which is why I had to covertly indulge in my love for All Things Barbie. I would sneak into the rooms of my cousins and nieces on visits to their houses, and play with their dolls. I’d fix the HIDEOUS hairstyles that they had subjected Miss B. Millicent Roberts to, and put her in the appropriate outfit. Later on, when I began to receive an allowance, I would buy my own Barbies and surreptitiously sew gowns for them that I’d seen in Ebony Magazine. In college I used to smugly tell my good friend Keith that, unlike the stereotypical Queen, I had no female icon that I deified like Midler, Cher or Diana Ross. He would look at me equally as smugly and declare: “Yes you do. Barbie.” The perceptive, diva bitch was right: I definitely heart Barbie.

In retrospect, I realized that like many children, I learned valuable lessons about life while playing with these miniature divas. And I was especially schooled, albeit unconsciously, by the emergence of dolls of color into the Fashion Doll Community. I’d like to share some of those lessons with you.

1967 Colored version of Barbie's cousin Francie


1. If you hang on long enough, the world will finally have to acknowledge you exist. (Barbie debuted in 1959. The first “Barbie of Color” didn’t appear until 1967. But once you go black, you never go back.)

2. Having powerful white friends can get you places.(Being one of Barbie’s “Registered Friends” puts you in the chicest of Doll Circles)

3. Having a tough plastic skin helps to get you through those bumps and drops along the way.(As a kid, my best friend Charles and I put our Barbies through Hell.)

4. Dipping you in brown paint doesn’t necessarily make you black.(A lot of companies–including Mattel–use face molds with caucasian features, simply change the skin color and market them as “ethnic”–see Francie above.)

5. A man needs to offer you more than just what’s between his legs (‘Cause otherwise Ken would be USELESS).

2001 AA version of Oreo Barbie

6. A lot of white people mean well, but sometimes they. just. don’t. get. it.


















7. When you’re Unique, people want you more. (Since Mattel manufactures fewer dolls of color than their white counterparts, their value as a collectible is higher.)









And the most important thing I learned from Black Barbie:

8. The world (and non-porous plastic) is not going to accept you just because you try to paint yourself lighter with the pink tempera paint that you stole from Art Class in the third grade. Eventually it will dry and peel off anyway; so you might as well revel in your inherent beauty.