There is no denying the influence of the LGBTQ+ community on nightlife. Queer communities all over have looked to discos, clubs, and drag bars to gather for decades. Nightlife provides a safe and supportive space, and the culture is so heavily driven by queer culture that they’re practically synonymous.
For Pride 2022, we wanted to honor one of the most distinct and original forms of queer nightlife – drag shows. We talked with drag queen Fi Fi DuBois ahead of our New York City in-store drag show to discuss queer spaces and community, what Pride means to her, and more. Check out highlights from the NYC event featuring Fi Fi, Jan Sport, Olivia Lux, and DJ Gay Panic. Read our chat with Fi Fi below.
Who are you? What do you do?
My name is Fi Fi DuBois, I use she/her/they pronouns, and I’m a professional drag artist.
Can you tell us about the sense of family and community that exists within the queer community?
The Drag Community can be very competitive and cutthroat. But if you find fellow artists you respect and value, it can be quite a supportive and uplifting atmosphere.
What influence have queer-centric spaces and events had on your creative work?
My New York City drag premiere was one for the books. I was competing in a Drag competition at a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen… and I was the only contestant (so I won!). But little did I know the audience was filled with queer and drag legends like Alexis Arquette, Sherry Vine, Sahara Daveport, Manila Luzon, and more. Being surrounded by such icons in such a safe space gave me the confidence to pursue drag as a career and proved to me that I had chosen to put myself in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing amongst the right group of people.
Which causes/charities are close to your heart?
One of my favorite charities is the Victory Fund. They fundraise and support LGBTQ individuals running for political office. For me, it’s not just about politics; it’s about representation. Queer people can do anything, and I want to live in a world where our voice is also heard.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride to me is about visibility, equality, and authenticity.
How do we keep the focus on LGBTQIA+ rights all year round?
It starts by supporting queer people year-round, voting in every election, and supporting queer-owned businesses! And if you need some fierceness or a good laugh in your life go to a drag show!
If you could celebrate Pride with one LGBTQIA+ historical icon, who would it be?
Oh, that is the toughest pageant question I’ve ever gotten, and I have had a lot of tough pageant questions in my day. But I think my answer would be Divine, and not just because she was the inspiration for Ursula. She was a radical, a groundbreaker, and offensively and authentically queer.
What would you expect from someone who wants to be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community?
I expect the same love, support, compassion, and open mind that I’ve given to straight cis-gendered people all my life.