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June 25, 2019 Comments (0) Views: 165 *Dragolicious, *Resist. Protest. Obstruct. Inform., #Interviews, Arts & Entertainment, Conversations With L.A. Kendall, Drag, Drag O'Tainment, Gay 101, Legends, News, Pride, Queer News, Seattle Lesbian Scene, Seattle News, Seattle Pride 2019, Seattle PrideFest, Seattle Transgender Scene, Stonewall 50, We Love The Nightlife

Mama Tits Interviews Varla Jean Merman, ChiChi LaRue and Ethylina Canne!!!

 

Mama Tits interviews drag stars Varla Jean Merman, Chi Chi LaRue and Ethylina Canne before their Seattle PrideFest appearances this weekend!!!

Mama Tits interviews drag stars Varla Jean Merman, Chi Chi LaRue and Ethylina Canne before their Seattle PrideFest appearances this weekend!!!

As a Drag Queen obsessed Lesbian, Pride is definitely not Pride for me without a fabulous bevy of DRAG QUEENS!  The looks, the shade, the performances (good and bad), the make up, the general over-the-top nature of it all. It’s like salve for my soul!  This year I have been lucky enough to have my hand in assembling a fabulous bevy of beauties for PrideFest Capitol Hill, PrideFest Seattle Center, AND the W Hotel.  What do you get when you put 4 queen in the same interview? Genius! Read on as my good friend Mama Tits, hot off her much acclaimed run in Puerta Vallarta, interviews the legendary Varla Jean Merman, the saucy and sassy ChiChi LaRue, and the Queen of the Desert: Ethylina Canne….

– L.A. Kendall


 

 

MAMA TITS: What does Pride mean to you?  And why is it important to still have pride?

VARLA: Pride to me is a time to celebrate, but really more of a time to reflect on where  we have come as a community. Most of us grew up with shame when we  realized what we were, so it is so important to reinforce not only the acceptance  of our community in society, but more importantly the acceptance of ourselves.

CHI CHI: Pride means a lot of things. It means how you carry yourself, how you treat   others and what you put out there for people to see. It also means you need to   love yourself to accomplish all these things.

ETHYLINA: Pride to me means a time to celebrate all colors of the rainbow. A celebration of   diversity and acceptance. It will ALWAYS be important to celebrate Pride  because I believe the world will always need to be reminded that everyone  deserves to be loved for who they are and that they have a place in the world.

 

MAMA TITS: What do you think is the most important issue facing our community currently?    In the next 10-20 years?

VARLA: Combating the rise of hate that is now considered acceptable all across our country.

CHI CHI: Well, first we have to get that ass clown that’s in the White House out! I also  think we need to start treating each other better. Homophobic homophobia,  Gay on gay hate, transphobia….all seems to be building in our community and with all the people out there that already want to harm us we should not be harming  each other.

ETHYLINA: The most important issue facing our community is to be considered equal. Our  sexuality should never define us or make us feel less then. With our current  administration in the White House, I feel that our community is being classified  and marginalized on this issue alone. I may be gay, but it does not define me as  a person. I am forever hopeful that things will change and people will be more  accepting of the LGBTQI+ community. Until then we must continue to fight the  good fight and make sure that generations to come feel accepted and loved no  matter who they are or who they love.

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MAMA TITS: Do you think Drag Queens / Entertainers should be political?  Why or why not?

VARLA: I think Drag Queens/Entertainers can be political if they choose. We live in a  country where we are fortunate enough to have a choice when it comes to  politics. It seems that in these current times everyone is too far right or far left,  which I find troubling. I express my views from time to time, but I am always  open and willing to hear other peoples opinions and ideals if they have other  views.

CHI CHI: I think everybody should be political to a point and make your feelings and  thoughts and concerns heard!

ETHYLINA: I think Drag Queens/Entertainers can be political if they choose. We live in a  country where we are fortunate enough to have a choice when it comes to  politics. It seems that in these current times everyone is too far right or far left,  which I find troubling. I express my views from time to time, but I am always  open and willing to hear other peoples opinions and ideals if they have other  views.

 

MAMA TITS:   Who are your heros of the LGBTQI rights movement and why?

VARLA: The drag queens who jump-started our equality 50 years ago at Stonewall,  before drag was acceptable and in everyone’s living room. Drag was considered  a sexual deviance, not a form of expression, so these pioneering queens deserve  our respect for standing up and risking their reputations and lives for all of us.

CHI CHI: My heroes are anyone that stands up for themselves. Anyone that can hold  their head up high and say I am what I am, like it or fuck off. A lot of my friends  are my heroes. Like, Sister Roma from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, She is  always ready to lend a hand and help someone less fortunate. Boy George, who  is never been afraid to be himself. And will be the first to tell you!

ETHYLINA: My heroes in the LGBTQI+ movement are some of our straight allies such as Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Radcliffe, Beyonce, Pink, Cher, Lizzo,  etc. These people which have such enormous visibility in the world and are  helping bridge the gap between cultures. I also think that anyone who is living  their truth and being their authentic selves are heroes. This especially rings true  to my Transgender brothers and sisters who battle daily harsh discrimination.

 

MAMA TITS: What is your most memorable Pride moment?

VARLA: My first Pride in NYC! Having grown up in Louisiana, I had never seen anything  like it. For some odd reason, I carried a raw chicken on a platter the whole route  of the parade. I’m not even sure why. It was the 90s! By the end of the parade  my arm was so sore, I couldn’t straighten it for three days.

CHI CHI: When the fabulous Mama Tits stood up to that hate group in the streets of  Seattle and towered over that man and would not back down… Get it, Tits!

ETHYLINA: I have so many fantastic Pride memories throughout the years, but my favorite  moments are when I get to return to my hometown of San Luis Obispo to  perform at the yearly drag show for their pride festival. Growing up in that  town, we never had drag shows back in the day, and it’s always such a surreal  moment performing for the community there. It shows me how far we have come as a community and that we are loved, accepted, and celebrated and making a difference.

 

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MAMA TITS: What is one piece of advice you would give the new generation of LGBTQI people?

VALRA: Know your community’s history and where we came from, so that we never return to those dark days.

CHI CHI: Live your life to the fullest, don’t be afraid and remember there’s more to life  than the Kardashian’s.

ETHYLINA: My one piece of advice to the new generation of LGBTQI+ people would be: Be  yourself and don’t ever let anyone tell you you aren’t enough.

 

MAMA TITS: If you could talk to your younger self, what would be the one thing you would  say to them?

VARLA: It’s a toss up between: “Stop worrying what people think about you,” and “buy stock in Apple computers.”

CHI CHI: Don’t drink alcohol and keep your mouth shut when you need to.

ETHYLINA: I would tell my younger self that I am perfect just the way I am and that it does get better.

 

MAMA TITS: Why do you think Stonewall was the catalyst for our movement?  How has it shaped our community?

VARLA: New York City was our country’s largest city, so strength in numbers allowed  them to be seen and heard, and not pushed aside. It has shaped our community  by reinforcing the fact that hiding gets you nowhere. Come out and show people that we are everywhere.

CHI CHI: I think it was a turning point when someone finally said enough is fucking  enough. Sometimes we need to fight back and I don’t mean with violence I  mean with being active in the community.

ETHYLINA: I think Stonewall was a catalyst for our movement because it was the moment that our community had had enough of the bullying, the oppression and the  harassment. It has shaped our community to have a voice and to say “we are  here, we are queer, so honey….get used to it!”

 

MAMA TITS: What would you say to our new generation of Allies, how can they help in the  equality movement?

VARLA: Mainly don’t accept friends and family talking disparagingly about our  community behind closed doors. It starts at home.

CHI CHI: Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep standing strong with your gay brothers and  sisters.

ETHYLINA: I would say “Thank you” to our new allies. Continue to stand with us and help be  our voice to encourage love and acceptance of everyone, no matter the color of  their skin, the way they dress, or their sexuality. EVERYONE deserves their place  in the world and there is room for us all.

 

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MAMA TITS: What was the worst discrimination you have experienced and how did you  overcome it?

VARLA: There was a time in the early 1990s where our own community discriminated  against drag. We weren’t allowed in many bars, and we were not welcome at Gay Pride Parades. I experienced both of those. People used to think we needed  to be like everyone else to be accepted in the world, and that our community needed to pretend that we were “normal.” Even LOGO, the gay network did not want any drag represented on television when they started because many gay  people thought it shed a bad light on the rest of the community. My, how things  have changed!

CHI CHI: When I was growing up and finding myself I had a lot of negatives against me. I  was fat, I was feminine and I got teased a lot but I think that teasing give me a  thick skin to take on any challenge put in front of me. I’ve been pretty lucky to not have had too many horrible things happen to me in the grand scheme of  things. I look at my gay, lesbian and trans brothers and sisters and know that a  lot of them have had it a lot worse than I ever did, so I take pride in watching  how people take such horrible events in their life and prevail. They give me  strength, they give me hope!

ETHYLINA: I was a victim of intense bullying from the time I entered pre-school. It lasted  the entire time I was in school, until I graduated 12th grade. It was so traumatic  that I still feel the effects of it today. I am a work in progress and constantly  need to remind myself that I am okay just as I am and that what other people  say or think about me is none of my business. I am hopeful that things are a  little better for kids growing up these days. I know that the bullying still exists,  and I hope that the youth of today has resources to help them cope with  discrimination.


Mark your calendars, and don’t miss your chance to see these queens live and in person at the following events this weekend!

PrideFest Capitol Hill: https://www.facebook.com/events/378091112740064/

PrideFest Seattle Center: https://www.facebook.com/events/386290931942076/

W Hotel Friday: https://www.facebook.com/events/656048881504087/ 

W Hotel Saturday: https://www.facebook.com/events/683515795402701/

W Hotel Sunday: https://www.facebook.com/events/347871969251725/

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