As long as you can entertain young people, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
My name is Ben by day and I work at one of the nations best LGBTQQ drop-in-spaces in the country, Rainbow Alley. I have the honor of hosting and emceeing the drag shows there once a month. I have been doing drag for 5 years now and have performed at major LGBTQQ Youth events and have been Mistress of Ceremonies for most of those events as well. Monthly I see new faces trying drag for the first time and see this spark in them that others overlook. There are times when we have housed youth come and want to become this glamorous entity that they see on TV. Rainbow Alley has a Drag Closet and I consider myself to be their “Fairy Drag Mother/ Father.” I try to help them fill out their fantasy by dressing them up and sometimes using my own makeup to transform them. Everyone has a story, but not just anyone can listen to them, it takes a “motherly” personality to care.
Most young drag queens nowadays are so focused on their paint or face and they think that just because they look sickening they can get away with just gracing the stage with their presence. I like to tell people that I was raised by wolves and that I was told “Anybody can wear pounds of makeup, a $20,000 dress, and be featured on YouTube for looking amazing. But, if you can’t entertain youth, then your just like everybody else.” Being raised on that, I don’t take my looks seriously and focus heavily on my performing skills.
I call myself the “Rachel Berry of Drag” and consider her the biggest inspiration for my character. My style is definitely Gleek at Nationals or Thrift-Craft. Nothing special looking, but when you see me perform, there is something that hits you, something strong and prevalent that captures the positivity in the room and throws it back at everyone with a strong backhand.
Being a drag entertainer for 5 years now has taught me so many things. I am aware of my privilege and try to use it to help others achieve their dreams. Peaches West is a drag performer for Non-Profits and for anyone who is willing to have me, as well as someone’s Queen, King, and In-Between. I am a educator, supporter, and young starlet all in one. I will achieve stardom, but not in the ways that others do.
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