Despite the fact that a certain popular drag competition TV show has yet to cast a drag king to compete, these genre bending artists have been making art and pushing boundaries for a long ass time.
One of the first cited popular kings was Annie Hindle, a stage performer from New York City in the late 1800’s. Blues singer Gladys Bentley lit up the Harlem Renaissance in traditional male attire in New York and across the country. King Stormé DeLarverie participated in the Stonewall Riots (and claimed by many to have thrown the first brick). And now in 2019, LA king Landon Cider will be competing on the upcoming season of Dragula.
One of WUSSY’s personal favorite Southern kings, Andro Gin, is known for his fantastical makeup skills, blending the beauty of the surreal and the spooky one mug at a time. This Cuban American performer appeared recently at Bushwig and Miami’s Wigwood, as well as walking in the Opening Ceremony of New York Fashion Week. If you’re not following him on Instagram, get on that now.
Andro will be joining us in Atlanta this Saturday, August 10th for our first ever K!NG show at Star Bar in Little Five Points — hosted by local drag thing, Mystery Meat. Find more info and tickets when you click here.
Check out our interview with Andro Gin below:
Talk to us about Miami's Queer scene!
It’s an ever changing/growing scene. One thing I love the most about Miami is the equal treatment between performers regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, or whatever type of drag you’re performing. Can you paint a mug? Can you serve a look? Can you perform? That’s all we really care about. There’s 0 tolerance for ignorance of any kind down there. I take it for granted sometimes, but then I travel and see these issues weigh down a scene and I really have to take a step back and be thankful for what I have back home. Andro wouldn’t be where he is without that unconditional acceptance. So if you want to blame anyone, blame them!
Who do you look up to in the drag king world?
Everyone! If I had to give some names: I think a really obvious answer is Landon Cider, but I feel like he deserves the credit he receives. He’s trailblazed for so many kings to be able to do what we do so my respect is sky high for the dude. Spending a 3 hour car ride with him while I was in LA was such a highlight. Another fave is Tenderoni in Chicago, who is such an amazing performer it flat out intimidates me -- in the best way of course! He’s such a funny ass chill guy and I absolutely love his focus. Go watch a Tenderoni performance pretty please and message me so we can geek about how stupid good he is.
Would you ever compete on a drag reality show?
I’m very much of the mentality if it’s meant for you, a path will be made for you. So if it happens it happens and that’s all I’ll say on that. <3
What's one of the best experiences you've had traveling to perform?
Seeing bar owners’ shock and awe when they realize that queer women do show up if you give them something to show up for. Baffles me that’s even a thing, but it’s totally a thing. This may be super Cancerian of me, but also being able to connect with Drag Artists from all over are the memories I cherish most. Between that and the notes I get from followers/fans I’m always like on the verge of tears at a gig. The little loner weirdo kid in me gets emotional sometimes over how many connections I’ve managed to make because of this crazy career I’ve landed in. I’m constantly trying to express gratitude back into the universe for it
Your makeup style is very distinctive -- what was your inspiration for this style of painting?
Cartoon animation and illustration I think is a natural inspiration for someone who grew up on Disney, but I had no idea what I was doing when I started and I certainly had no idea anyone would find it cool. I was just doing what I liked, so it’s been neat to see it resonate as well as it has.
What are you listening to?
I wish my answer was more interesting cause I know I probably look more interesting than this but Ariana Grande. I’ve had a rough couple of months in my personal life and the b*tch has been getting me through it! We have a lot in common in the way we navigate our personal relationships, which is that we navigate them terribly.
Top 5 favorite films?
Jurassic Park (the amount of people I’ve made watch this damn movie with me. It’s a large number), My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Jingle All The Way, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I’m just going to include Avatar The Last Airbender because by the time I’ve binged the three seasons it’s longer than most movies combined.
Anything you want to plug?
Speaking of makeup, I recently did Transformations with James St. James (which was extremely rad, naturally) if anyone is curious as to how my makeup process is, or if anyone wants to see the chaotic nature that is myself, Abhora, Hollow Eve, and James St James on a set with no sleep. I had just flown in from San Francisco the night before straight from a gig so it’s a hoot -- and the World of Wonder editors really just did me justice haha. Also all my social media handles are @androginking if you wanted more villainry in your daily feed and maybe the occasional cuban rant or two.