Drag Race Changed My Life: Katie P. and Courtney Act

Author: Deborah Nelson

Drag means many things to many people.  To some performers it is a chance to explore and express their inner femininity in a way that is acceptable in our society. To others it is the venue where their performance skills best align and where they can find work.  To certain fans it is just plain entertainment – “theater times ten” or a chance to look at hot guys dressed as hot girls. For others, however, drag can provide a welcome respite from the grim places life sometimes takes us.

For Dragaholic Katie Peskar – known in the drag world as Katie P. – drag has been a place to find happiness, light, friendship and motivation.

KatieP w Courtney Act RuPauls Drag Race Season 6 at Axis

[quote]’In June of 2013 my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given 2 years to live. In September of that same year I went to my first drag show at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. It was in that moment my life changed! After the show, as I was leaving the theater, I looked up and saw Manila Luzon standing right in front of me. Manila graciously took a picture with me and the next day I decided to change my life! I thought, if men can look that beautiful in a dress and heels what is my excuse? I went to the store and bought makeup and a pair of heels and decided to werk it!

There is something about the art of drag that takes you away from your current reality. It is a wonderful escape. If I am having a bad day I can look at YouTube videos of queens and instantly feel better. I don’t think the Ru girls and other drag queens will ever know just how much they impact people’s lives! I truly am forever grateful for how they have changed mine. I try to go see a drag show at least twice a month and thank the queens personally.

‘Flash forward to February of 2014 whenI went to the Battle of the Blondes tour in Pittsburgh. That is where I met Courtney Act for the first time and it is the moment Courtney became my favorite drag queen. When I went up for the meet and greet Willam Belli noticed my Cher cell phone cover and asked me about it. Courtney told me she was good friends with Chaz Bono. Cher is my idol, so now I was in love with Courtney!

Courtney Act RuPauls Drag Race Season 6 by dumpster 359x624

‘After the show was over I hung around and Courtney came over to talk to me and take more pictures. The next day Courtney tweeted me and thanked me for some gifts I had brought the girls. Since then I have traveled many, many miles to see Courtney perform. I tweet with her on Twitter and she really does take the time to respond. Courtney even mentioned me in an interview with Rachel Reilly! It was the coolest thing ever to hear my name!

‘It makes me crazy that people actually think that Shane (the boy behind Courtney) is a “Mean Gay.” He is one of the nicest people I have ever met! He is so nice to his fans when he really does not have to be. If given the opportunity everyone needs to see Courtney perform at least once. Shane is genuine and sincere and loves what he does and it shows.

‘It is through drag that I have made some amazing life changes. I have learned to love myself because, as RuPaul says, ‘If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ Thanks to Michelle Visage I have accepted that I am beautiful and need to own it. Through this process I have dropped 50 of the 160lbs I need to lose to be healthy. It is an amazing feeling! There will never be enough words to express how grateful I am to the queens for all they have done.

I want to give a special thanks to: Chad Michaels, Manila Luzion, Pandora Boxx, Willam Belli, Detox, Vicky Vox, Bianca Del Rio, Nina West, Michelle Visage, RuPaul and Courtney Act! Without their help who knows where I would be today!'[/quote]

Related story: Courtney Act and Shane Jenek: Nice Gays!

Has drag changed your life? Tweet @DragaholicDeb to share your story with us!

Courtney is performing her cabaret show “Boys Like Me” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre from July 29 – August 21. Tickets are available at 212-352-3101 or www.SpinCycleNYC.com.

Purchase all your Courtney merchandise  at her online shop and buy her music on iTunes.

Watch: Courtney Act singing ‘True Colors’ on the Atlantis cruise

Try to watch this video without crying. Courtney Act performs ‘True Colors’ like I have never heard it sung. She leads into the song with the story of a fizzled sexual encounter with a supposedly “straight” boy. One of the people whom she says, “Live between the black and white of gay and straight. Because of the polarized world that we live in there’s no room for them to even consider the options.”

Even though the story is about confusion over sexual identity, when Courtney sings, “If this world makes you crazy and you’ve taken all you can bear, just call me up cuz you know I’ll be there,” it really does sound like she is singing to ALL her fans, whatever their troubles may be.

It’s probably the most touching drag performance I have ever seen. If  ‘Boys Like Me’ is anything like this performance, it’s will be a hell of a show! Buy your tickets now, before it sells out! — Deborah Nelson