Georgie Bee is one of London’s most innovative and well-respected drag queens! A glittering tour-de-force of sequins and campery, she gets awards, gets her life, and gets the 242 to Dalston.
She’s one of those performers who’s instantly captivating. Frenetic, mad and unapologetic. The sort of thing that would probably really confuse Ann Widdecombe. She’s got a certain act where…well, we won’t give it away, but if you’re sitting at a table and Woman’s World by Cher starts playing, just make sure you’re in a room with a high ceiling.
Ahead of her performance at international queer mecca Daddy Issues next week, Dylan Jones spoke to Georgie about what it’s like being a woman on the London scene, as well as, of course, THAT recent RuPaul interview.
Hey Georgie! So, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get involved in performing, and the queer scene?
I’ve been in the queer scene since I moved here to study in 2008. I’d had a few nights out at Kashpoint, which really cemented the need for queerness and creativity in my nightlife experiences which I didn’t get at home. I dumped my girlfriend of the time, moved to London, and just started going out. But it was only when I met a special friend (artist, drag queen and costume designer Jay Barry Matthews) that I decided to put myself in the forefront rather than the background.
In your experience, is the scene male dominated?
Yes it is, but there’s something very special about East London’s drag scene. It’s a celebration of all genders, in my experience.
Do you think gay men are guilty of misogyny?
Yes, but I think quite a lot of gay men don’t realize, and are guilty by accident. I don’t think anyone likes to think of themselves ‘hating’ women – which is a very simple way to explain the term, when you take into consideration microaggressions and how they circle back to an overall response to women – but it’s about equal opportunities and experiences, which I do believe women in the gay scene and otherwise don’t often have.
Some would describe you as a “bio-queen”. Is that how you’d define yourself?
No, it reduces me to my genitalia and is an exclusionary term. ‘Bio’ makes me sound a bit supermarket. Just drag queen is good for me!
What do you think about RuPaul’s recent comments?
I was really disappointed to read them. It wasn’t exactly surprising, but really broke my heart that someone with a voice of such power could reject women so vocally. His ‘fuck you to male dominated culture’ that excludes women is merely a reinforcement of male dominated culture – hello! In simple terms, Ru said that ‘having breasts’ meant you were a woman. So Peppermint was allowed on the show because ‘she was enough of a man’ because she hadn’t had that surgery yet. I can’t even begin to imagine how this must have felt to read as a trans woman. And I can’t imagine what Peppermint thought! She probably feels in a position where she can’t even respond to someone like RuPaul. Let’s get one thing clear – you absolutely do not need validation from RuPaul.
How do you define “drag” (if at all)?
If you feel like a drag queen, you are one.
It’s International Women’s Day on Thursday! What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?
Don’t get tired of fighting. If people tell you you’re a ‘snowflake’ or ‘angry’ it just means you were quiet before. Just say your piece and move on, the more people hear it the more things will change.
What can men (LGBT or otherwise) do to be allies to women?
Support us! Listen! If we are telling you something has made us feel shit – it’s probably because it has. When in doubt, ask. Book us for your parties! Invite us! We wanna come!
You’re performing at Daddy Issues! Tell us a bit about that.
I can’t wait for Daddy Issues!! Whenever I have been I’ve had a good time. I’m glad attitudes are changing and there are a few nights willing to pave the way for inclusivity. It doesn’t make people any less ‘masc’.
Finally…we bloody love your Woman’s World dressing table act! Can you tell us the secret behind it?!
No secret – it was kind of an accident. It was an entry for lipsync1000 last year. Jonny woo advised me on going into the final to make it less performance art and more fun. So I did.
Georgie Bee is performing at Daddy Issues: St Paddy’s Day on Saturday 17th March. Head to their Facebook page for more info.