‘My sense of freedom has always been important to me. The more my dad pushed me to be “normal,” to be a good Christian boy, the more I rebelled by expressing myself in extremes. I dyed my hair, I got piercings, and I constantly said things without taking my dad’s feelings into consideration. Things between us were always tense. When I got into scarification and branding at the age of nineteen, he kicked me out and I left for San Francisco. Eventually, I made my way to Berlin.
Berlin is home, and I am realising my dreams here. I am a performance artist with a background in acting, directing, and costume design.
‘Mixing my female outfits with my big beard doesn’t make me less of a drag queen. Or a man’
Since I don’t speak German, I cannot be an actor, so I do drag. Being a drag queen feels natural to me: on stage I am playing a role, but at the same time I am showing just another version of myself. It’s still me you see. Acting out this feminine side of myself in front of a crowd is liberating.
Mixing my female outfits with my big beard doesn’t make me less of a drag queen. Or a man. I think it actually makes me more interesting and beautiful. I love my big black beard. I like the manliness of it – especially when I am with other men and we make out and rub our beards together, it is incredibly erotic.
I have gynecomastia, an abnormal, non-cancerous enlargement of my breasts. In other words: I have a male body with titties. I am proud of them, I think they look really good. Besides, there are many men who like different gender features in one body. I feel blessed with the way I look.
Seven years ago my dad got sick. He didn’t want me to visit him in the hospital, he was ashamed of the condition he was in. So, I didn’t visit him and stayed in Berlin. A few weeks later he passed away, and I felt guilty as fuck. Why didn’t I defy him like I used to? Why didn’t I do what I knew I should have done? I have always lived the way I wanted to, even if it jeopardised my relationship with my dad. That is the guilt. Did I fuck up?
‘I have always lived the way I wanted to, even if it jeopardised my relationship with my dad. That is the guilt’
My dad never saw me perform in drag, but he did once see me naked in a scene in a show that was set in this 70s gay bathhouse. I was conscious of my body, of my big chest and my tits, and there I was: naked on stage. After the performance, my dad came up to me and told me he was proud of me. For him, this Christian man, to say this, was mind-blowing. The older I get, the more I realise that his whole life, my dad was just looking out for me.’