It was a calm Sunday afternoon... in an undisclosed location in Chantilly, VA... a backchannel rivaling that of the Russians and the White House was opened. A discussion was happening that would shake this nation to its core. Houston would be put in drag.
PHOTO: Julian Vankim/Metro Weekly
In what has become a yearly tradition, I team up with DC's legendary queen Destiny B. Childs, to host the Capital Pride Concert Stage on the second Sunday in June in front of the Capitol Building on Pennsylvania Ave.
It was something we both sort of stumbled into, but over the years, has developed into something that gives us both extreme sense of pride every year. We are humbled to speak to the thousands and thousands that turn out every year to celebrate their LGBTQ pride on America's Main Street. It's truly something we are so grateful to be able to do. Especially in a year like this. More on that later.
We've been busy since last year's Capital Pride celebration preparing for this year's. I'm one of the Executive Producers for the Capital Pride Concert each year in addition to hosting the stage with Destiny, and as time progressed, our responsibility to properly represent this celebration grew.
You can hear all about what Capital Pride means to both of us thanks to Randy Shulman's incredible article in this week'd Metro Weekly magazine that you can read right here.
What I'm really here to talk about is what it's like to have boobs. As a gay man, I've always enjoyed the theatrics of drag, but have never really felt inclined to participate more than being an active audience member and dangling my singles for their performances. Tucking is best left to the experts, I've always said.
Todd Franson, photographer at Metro Weekly, recently proposed a cover idea to MW's editor Randy who excitedly called myself and Destiny. In a flurry of scheduling during the insanely busy week that leads up to our Capital Pride celebration, Randy requested that we "swap" our lives and shoot a series of pics where Destiny would transform into Houston and Houston would transform into Destiny. We were immediately in love with the idea.
Destiny and I have hosted the Capital Pride Concert for 8 years and I've never understood how hard it truly is to stand on a black stage in 95+ degree heat with 80% humidity (DC is a swamp, after all... great job draining that swamp, Donald). I never realized a glue stick would have been such an important tool in the drag world. I have a whole new appreciation of these great entertainers.
Did you know that a glue stick is a drag queen's best friend? I found out... through multiple applications trying to hide my eye brows. I also learned that Krazy Glue is of vital importance. I won't divulge where that's used...trade secret!
During the hour-long transformation, Destiny struggled to glue the caterpillars on my eyes he called "eyelashes"... but when everything was said and done, and I had squeezed my gut into a sequined spandex dress... Alt-Destiny was born.
PHOTO: Julian Vankim/Metro Weekly
It's either Alt-Destiny or Gene Hackman from The Birdcage...jury's still out.
I leave you with a gallery of my transformation and an invitation to pick up a print copy of Metro Weekly throughout the DMV this week/weekend and come celebrate YOUR Pride with us this weekend at Capital Pride!