Unapologetic: Girl by Day, Queen by Night
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because as RuPaul famously said, “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.”
By Viviane Feldman
Vicky lives a double life. By day, she’s a girl. By night, she’s a queen. A drag queen, that is. Vicky DeVille, named partly as an homage to the Disney villainess, comes alive in Manhattan’s West Village, an area famous for LGBTQ bars and cutthroat drag competitions. This drag queen, often mistaken for a Christina Aguilera impersonator, performs songs and dances in outfits that evoke the cartoonish Lisa Frank nostalgia of the ’90s and early aughts.
After friends told Vicky to join them in watching RuPaul’s Drag Race at various viewing parties around the city, she became familiar with the talent, artistry and creativity of the drag community. “I was like: I have to know their secrets,” she says.
As a cisgender woman — a woman born biologically female — Vicky was unsure whether she would be accepted into a traditionally gay man’s arena. The terms “bio queen” or “faux queen” are often used to refer to women like Vicky performing in traditional drag and come with certain stigmas.
All you see is a drag character. That’s what we want you to see.
After months of practicing, forcing herself to go out to drag shows to interact with more experienced queens, asking advice and taking tips, Vicky got to the point where she didn’t just feel like “a girl in a wig.”
The rise of female drag queens comes at a culturally significant time for the drag community. RuPaul himself said in an interview with The Guardian that he wouldn’t accept women, transgender or cisgender, onto his show. “You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body,” he said. “It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing.” Several past contestants identified themselves as trans either during the show or afterward.
”We all, you know, have the big wigs and the big lashes, and like crazy padding. We have cinched waists and the makeup … and I think that’s how you can tell if the drag is good,” she says. “If you can’t tell if it’s a male or a female or transgender, nonbinary. All you see is a drag character. That’s what we want you to see.”
While Vicky understands the stigma around the term “bio queen,” she doesn’t shy away from using it. “I am so proud to be a female drag queen,” she says. “Because I am putting myself out there and I am trying to find this confidence within myself to do this.”
And others feel her confidence. Over the past year, Vicky’s drag career has exploded. She was invited to appear at festivals around New York City, including RuPaul’s Drag Con, a convention for all things drag-related. The rising star has also been featured in Gay Times Magazine and Paper Magazine and recently won the coveted “Scene Queen” title at the 2018 NYC Nightlife Glam Awards.