Pride season is upon us, and this year we’re ringing it in by spotlighting the folks who make us proud to show up to work each day — the artists, activists, performers and personalities who make our community shine.
Since the 1980s, multi-faceted drag queen Linda Simpson has shined as a nightlife personality, media maven, performer, game-show hostess and drag documentarian. Known for her witty demeanor and unique blend of sass and class, she enthusiastically embraces the role she was born to play—a reigning queen! She’s quite literally one of our favorite people.
1.) What are you working on right now that brings you Pride?
Lately I’ve been organizing my archive of stuff I created in the 1980s and ‘90s, including the underground gay magazine that I used to publish called My Comrade. I’ve also put together a lot of the photos I took during that era into a slideshow that I narrate called “The Drag Explosion.” It’s her-stoical!
2.) Describe your first Pride.
My first Pride was great! We painted our dinosaurs pink and marched around Stonehenge.
3.) What was your most awkward Pride moment?
One year I was tired of being so immersed in gay life so I organized a picnic in Central Park on Pride Day. But the entire time we were there, everyone, including me, couldn’t wait to get back downtown and join the gayness!
Here’s a photo of Linda in front of a “Legalize Prostitution” float that she and Lady Bunny organized in 1991:
4.) What Pride is on your bucket list?
I’d like to attend a Pride in a part of the world where gay people are just beginning to gain acceptance, like Turkey or Lebanon. I think it’s so inspiring that those people take such risks to be visible.
5.) How is Pride different this year?
6.) What’s your ultimate Pride song?
“I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross.
7.) Your ideal Pride outfit?
Fairy wings, rainbow kilt, leather harness, huge pink false eyelashes and clogs.