THE DRAG ARTIST known as Persephone started doing drag on a whim in 2017. She was working at Hamburger Mary's and signed up for a “turnabout” show, where employees who've never done drag try to slay. Poof! A star was born. Flirty, sassy and fun, you can catch her performances at various venues around town; she’s especially busy during Pride month, with shows at half a dozen venues sprinkled throughout June. In our Q&A, the 20-something native Houstonian tells us how she won Outsmart magazine’s Gayest and Greatest Most Divine Drag Queen award, about her day job, and her new role for The Woodlands Pride.
When did your drag queen career take off? Last year, after I won the Gayest and Greatest Most Divine Drag Queen award, my career really skyrocketed in Houston. I reached out to Tiny Champions restaurant about my Drag Trivia show, and lo and behold, it has sold out every month since December! Since then, I’ve been approached by numerous bars and clubs to orchestrate shows and I’m booked almost every weekend.
Why did you choose the name Persephone for your stage persona? I chose Persephone because I’ve always been fascinated with Greek mythology, and I love the story of Persephone and Hades. She is the reason we have seasons, and think it is a great metaphor for consistent growth and change.
How would you describe Persephone’s aura? She can spark a conversation with any person in the room and make them walk away with a smile on their face. She is glamorous and feminine — the embodiment of a walking goddess!
Who do you like to channel in your shows? Classic celebrities like Janet Jackson, Shania Twain, Cher and Whitney Houston are a few. Sometimes I just create my own character.
What’s the biggest misconception about drag shows and drag queens? The biggest misconception is that we are all the same — just campy drag queens who act amuck. Houston is one of the most diverse drag communities in the U.S. We have queens who are alternative, campy, comedic, glamorous, dancing queens and singing queens. If you ask me about a queen who can do X Y Z, I can provide you with a list!
Where can one catch your shows around town? Besides Tiny Champions, one gig that is important to me is Angel Share Downtown. We support different nonprofits every month and, at the end of the month, 100 percent of the proceeds will be awarded to that charity. I have a drag brunch at Winnie’s near Midtown and a game night show at Idle Hands in Montrose [above Uchi in the former Rosemount space]. But I have shows and private events all over Houston.
Do you have a day job? I’m a part-time student at UH pursuing a media production degree, and also work for Tiltify, the number-one platform for live streaming and digital fundraising. We work with MTV, Twitch and YouTube. I will be creating Tik-Toks for the month of Pride to bring awareness for many LBGTQIA+ organizations.
What can you tell us about your new role at The Woodlands Pride? I’m excited to say I will be taking on the responsibilities of festival chair and overseeing the festival portion of Pride! From booking entertainment to collaborating with different nonprofits and our local vendors, I will ensure everything runs smoothly.
What’s your career goal after you finish school? I would love to have my own production or entertainment company.