A Hard Knox Life
M eet Chloe Knox, Houston’s most statuesque drag queen. At almost six-and-a-half feet barefoot, she’s through the roof when you add the heels, the hair, and the attitude. This twig in a wig sat down for a minute between her multiple gigs to give Outsmart a quick dig into her life.
You can refer to me with any of them, but I do identify as a he.
I was born in Toronto, but I consider Houston my home town.
Drag birth date?
I started drag in August 2012, but my first club performance was June 6, 2013, so I’d say then.
Describe your drag persona.
A willowy, statuesque model (a young Carmen Dell’Orefice), but with a cornball personality.
Team Britney or Team Christina?
What illusions are you known for?
At EyeCons, Houston’s longest-running celebrity-illusion show at Michael’s Outpost on Saturdays, I do Stevie Nicks, P!nk, and Kesha. But my favorites are probably Annie Lennox and Madonna.
Where can we catch Chloe when she’s
Almost always in my apartment, with my mom, or at Midtown Bar and Grill with Violet S’Arbleu.
Pet peeve when you’re performing?
People treating you like an object and not a person, or looking miserable. Smile! It’s drag—we are having fun!
What do your fans in the audience do that you appreciate?
Taking photos and videos of my number and sending them to me. Getting someone to film or take pictures is a hassle, so it’s nice to have evidence of the hard work we do.
What have you learned about yourself from doing drag that you carry into your daily life?
We humans are more powerful than we know. I have more confidence and belief in myself in my daily life than I believe I would have otherwise.
Favorite charity to support?
Favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant?
Katya, whose full name is Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova.
Horror stories from performing in drag?
One time, a girl on drugs followed me onstage and around the bar during my number.
To be an actor, a comedian, or a model. Any combination of the three.
Most distant place you have traveled to perform?
Salt Lake City.
What would be your goal as Chloe Knox?
To get to a level of success that I feel is sufficient, where drag is concerned. Whether it be Miss Gay America, RuPaul’s Drag Race . . . When I’ve reached it, I’ll tell you.
Performers whose songs you love to sing?
Muse, Betty Who, Allie X, Taylor Swift, Gaga, The Sounds, Stevie Nicks, TLC, Kesha, Avril Lavigne, and others.
I like drawing, painting—anything artistic. I’m also a super fan of figure skating. I follow it religiously.
Professional role model?
There are many, but [I admire] anyone who’s a boss-bitch who knows who they are and what they want. Especially if they’ve overcome struggles with self-confidence.
Advice for your younger self?
Don’t ever lose that spark and lack of inhibition. Don’t let anyone tell you what you need to change to make yourself “better,” because your obnoxious personality will be an asset to you in more ways than you know.
What would you say to the world about the LGBTQ community?
Before we’re anything else, we’re human beings. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you can’t respect it and let people live their lives. [That doesn’t mean] being ambivalent about us. It means supporting our right to live our lives without hindrance.
What do we not know about Chloe Knox that is interesting?
I’m a ginger. I’m a twin. I played football in school. Take your pick!
Houston’s best-kept drag secret?
Real talk: the most decorated and well-respected drag legends come from here.
Final thoughts about Chloe, Houston’s LGBTQ scene, and drag?
Houston’s drag scene is bursting from the seams with talent, but the fervor and excitement for it isn’t always there. Go out and support, show love, and show these artists they are valued. Oh, and always remember to wash and air-dry your tights.
This article appears in the January 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.