By David Goldberg
On December 19–20, Silver Street Studios will host scores of big-name performers and multimedia artists at the Day For Night Festival, an experimental showcase that’s sure to put Houston on the map for party-hungry Millennials. Among an armada of high talent—that includes Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monáe, and Shamir—is the iconic, subversive, and totally divine Amanda Lepore. Dubbed “the world’s most famous transsexual,” the silicon queen has been a nightclub staple and couture favorite, appearing in advertisements for Patricia Field and M.A.C. Cosmetics and being adored by top photographers. The nightlife maven spoke to OutSmart about her upcoming show with gay rapper Cazwell at Day For Night.
David Goldberg: You’re such a fixture in NYC. What is it like to perform in other cities, and what are your non-New Yorker fans like?
Amanda Lepore: My fans are amazing in every city and country. I have been lucky to have such positive experiences and such dedicated fans.
What kind of performance do you have planned for the Day for Night Festival?
Cazwell and I have a fun show planned—I cannot wait, and hope everyone loves it!
Have you been to Houston before?
Yes, I have been to Houston several times. I love it! People are so friendly and welcoming. I always have a blast.
With rapid changes in cultural understandings of trans identity, do you find yourself being policed? Is it still safe to be Amanda Lepore in 2015?
I think it is wonderful that people are actually talking now, and it seems people are willing to educate themselves more these days. I am hoping that this leads to more acceptance.
Watching your Tyra Banks interview from 2011, it’s clear that the world’s understanding of trans has changed. Has it changed for the better? How has the cultural shift affected the Amanda Lepore ideal?
I think it is publicized in the media now more than ever. As I said, people are talking more now than ever, and I hope that with more understanding people will become more accepting.
What attracted you to this festival?
There are a lot of talented artists performing—Kendrick Lamar, New Order, Janelle Monae or Dillon Francis, and so many more! I am excited to be a part of it all. And of course, to perform with Cazwell—I love working with him and think he is one of the most talented and hard-working artists I know.
What are the inspirations behind your new album and what kind of sound are you aiming for?
There will be more vocals on this album than previous. Of course, it will be also be very fun and flirty, and very Amanda!
What was your most marvelous moment of the year?
Working on my memoir [due out in Spring of 2016], and walking the runway at Life Ball for Jean Paul Gaultier!
What: Day For Night Festival
When: December 19–20
Where: Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards St.
David Goldberg is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.