Cowboys and Queens: not as different as you think!
February 20, 2012 | 12:00 am
(Updated: January 17, 2013 | 2:17 pm)
An up-and-coming young drag queen recently emailed me wanting the secret to my success. What tips could I give her to become Denver’s next famous drag queen?
I did not begin my journey with the desire to become not-so-rich and famous. I began my drag queen dream with two goals: to make people laugh and to have fun doing it. They say if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. What they don’t say is that you might not get paid for it, especially if what you love to do is donning a wig and a dress. Well, money and fame were never really a concern anyway. It’s the laughter that matters.
Before I ever slid into a pair of six-inch platform boots, I was pulling on cowboy boots and jumping into arenas across the Southwest, ‘rastling steers in the gay rodeo. But one day I found myself laughing to the hilarious antics of the Denver Cycle Sluts. It was time to trade in my Stetson for stilettos.
Cowboys (and cowgirls) have a lot more in common with drag queens than you might think. They both perform amazing tricks in front of a cheering audience. Sometimes those “tricks” take place in a barn or a dressing room. I’ve done both.
Being a cowpoke or drag diva is ALL about the accessories. Spurs are just jewelry for your boots. A purse is just a saddlebag without the horse. And all wear big-ass belts and buckles. A cowboy is not a cowboy without his hat. And a drag queen without a wig should just be slapped. Unless you’re Nina Flowers. She is fierce with a topknot.
I must confess, I did have one other goal in my head when I launched my radioactive ride. I wanted to make sure I did not limit myself to just the gay community. I wanted to make sure Nuclia Waste was a drag queen for everybody – gay, straight, liberal, conservative, animal or vegetable. Why limit the fun and creativity of who I am? Which would explain why I was kicked out of Cherry Creek Mall while posing for photos spread out like warm syrup on a giant waffle. Did I mention it was the children’s playground – filled with actual children and some not-so-appreciative parents? (Check out my website for those crazy pics).
So I wrote the fledgling drag queen back and gave her some advice. And as I did it I realized it was advice we could all use, whether or not we aspire to become Denver’s next famous drag queen. Take this advice and apply it to your own life. You will become a better person. And you just might have some fun and laughter along the way.
Nuclia’s seven secrets to becoming a drag queen success:
1. Be a nice person. Being nice goes a long way. Bitchy – not so much.
2. Put yourself out there. Take some risks. Walk on stilts. Wear dog toys for earrings. Grow a third tit. Normal is boring.
3. Always put your friends and your fans first. You are not the star. Put them on that pedestal. Without them, you are performing for an empty room.
4. Don’t let others limit who you are or what you do. Some will say you can’t. They’re wrong. Very, very wrong.
5. Avoid the drama. Fill your life with the positive, not the negative.
6. Give back and share your gifts. Ask yourself this one question, “Is the world a better place because I was in it?”
7. Good hair, good shoes, good accessories. You can never have too many accessories.