Starpulse.com’s Jeza Belle caught up with Landon Cider, one of the nation’s leading drag kings. Their discussion centered on what the art entails, who has inspired Landon, and what he thinks the biggest misconceptions about drag kings are.
For many this may be their first introduction to your art. With this in mind, explain to our readers what a drag king does?
Like my counterparts, drag queens, we cross-dress, but in our case as men. There are many other similarities in that we bind, in my case I bind my rather large double-d breasts, and we “pack”… but in this case some sausage down below. Also, we put on lots of make-up, especially contouring, but instead our highlighting and contouring is completely in the opposite places that drag queens highlight. This helps create a masculine look. In fact, I paint my abs and chest to look like a six-pack and then add facial hair and perform/act like a man.
Since in many ways you are breaking ground on a form of expression that has not been highly publicized, who are your drag inspirations?
Actually, I was a huge fan of the local drag queens in the scene and fell in love with the make-up and theatrics that all of them brought to their art. Whether they were dramatic or comical they owned it! Since I’ve always been interested in make-up and theater, they really inspired my entrance back to a love of the arts after having fallen out of the art scene during a difficult time in my life. My drag inspirations have been: Raja, Morgan McMichaels, RuPaul, Chad Michaels mixed in with other life inspirations such as Ellen DeGeneres, Johnny Depp, Freddie Mercury, Murray Hill, my fiancée and most definitely my mother! All of these people combined inspired the birth of Landon!
As Landon, you do a number of celebrity impressions such as Pitbull, Tim McGraw, and Adam Lambert; which is your favorite?
Pitbull! The reaction I get from the crowd is always joyous. They are shocked and I love that feeling of knowing that I could transform into someone like Pitbull and that the audience would react so positively to it. If you call Jesus Christ a celebrity, he would be runner up! He’s my new celeb and I’m really enjoying playing him!
Are there any misconceptions that have developed about drag kings?
One of the major misconceptions is that drag kings are only butch lesbians who throw on a t-shirt and jeans to lip-sync. I feel like I’m part of a handful that are breaking that barrier to show that we come in many forms and that we use make-up and perform a form of story-telling that is just as important as drag queens. In fact, like the queens, we too wrap ourselves in a complete character.
Speaking of story-telling, there has been one story making huge headlines in the national press the past few weeks. Since you are from California, what was your reaction to the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions the Supreme Court issued in June?
I had a late night the night before and I woke up to my partner bringing me the news. We both cried! It’s such a great accomplishment for our community. As a people, I’m so proud of our history and our fight. People put their lives and careers at stake coming out of the closet to show that we are here, to prove that we exist. Harvey Milk told us all to come out of the closet to show we are humans like everyone else and we did that. I am overwhelmingly filled with joy and thanks for those who stood up and made it happen. We still have a fight but we have stepped in the right direction.
Do you feel that the way we’re viewed as a community is changing and played an impact in the decisions?
Yes! We owe a huge “thank you” to our allies in the straight community that also stood up for us and helped change minds. After all, love is love and we are people too. I host events regularly for many different occasions and I make a point of raising a toast not just to birthdays for example, but to us all living in a country that allows lip synching cross-dressers to f*&k with gender and get paid for being exactly who we are. Without fail every time; gay, straight, bi or other, they all erupt and we celebrate together being one community of people!
Time to dish:
Angelina Jolie...I think that she is every lesbian’s celebrity crush! My second would be Johnny Depp, but I have to confess that I’d suck Adam Lambert’s $%@%!
A must-have makeup item:
Contour…there is no way I can go on stage without it!
When you are not in drag what do you lounge in?
My push-up bra, because my drag has not allowed my tits to be as bouncy as they once were! I like low v-necks as I like revealing my cleavage because I actually embrace my femininity.
What are you currently working on and what’s next for Landon Cider?
I’m going to be featured in a documentary called “Making of a King” that should be out in September. Also, I believe in the importance of continuing to evolve so I am currently working on developing more celebrity impersonations, specifically movie stars. I’m in love with this art and don’t go a day without thinking about how to push the limits. Finally, I’ll be traveling around heralding the art of drag kings everywhere and hoping for a day that we will be as accepted, respected, and celebrated as our drag queen counterparts.
For Landon’s latest information and schedule see the official Landon Cider website.