Drama Queen…Drag King


Photo: Kina Williams

What do you get when you combine sheer talent, rainbow moccasins and a traditional family? None of the Above, a phenomenal autobiographical performance by Jennifer Lanier.

Exploring her complex racial identity, first relationships, sexual identity, the perfect lesbian wedding, and all of the nuances that come with them, Lanier mesmerizes her audience with her ability to relate to life’s many crossroads. “Black, white, gay, straight, feminine, masculine; I don’t feel that there are just two choices.”  Funny, emotional, and timeless, this piece garnered two awards from the 2006 Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival: Best Socio-Political and Best of the Festival Solo.

Unfortunately, Jennifer will not be taking any honors home this year since the festival was cancelled. However, that hasn’t slowed her down one bit. You can spot Lanier all over the country as she performs regularly for college diversity workshops and trainings. In Portland, Ore., where she is happy to call home, you can find her or her alter ego Bruce the Drag King, teaming up with the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, guest hosting shows at The Embers Ave, or across the bridge as a regular cast member at The Northbank’s Lipz Cabaret every second and fourth Saturday in Vancouver, Wash.

“[Performing] is a fascinating kind of one night stand,” says Lanier passionately. “The intensity! There’s so much you want to communicate in a short space of time, it is fun and it’s always exciting.” Jennifer is also managing to showcase others’ talents through her Many Horses Production Company. A standout on the schedule is the annual benefit variety show, Super Queer Lusty Fun Xtravaganza!

“We have a risqué juggling duo that is really sensuous. It’s playful, sexy, erotica—you know nothing too heavy. We feature erotic spoken word, burlesque dancers and drag kings.” The first run was such a hit, the show returned to Portland at Berbati’s Pan last month.

Lanier is hot, but rest assured Bruce the Drag King is not sitting idly by letting Lanier get all of the attention. He has taken the Northwest by storm; garnering top nods as the first drag king to be voted Mr. Gay Pride Vancouver 2008. Unfortunately single ladies, Bruce wasn’t alone at his celebration; Ms. Gay Pride Vancouver 2008 was none other than Lanier’s partner Dustina Haas, the title traditionally held by a drag queen.

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