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Death Becomes Her

Luna of the Lilies is Houston’s horror queen.

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Luna of the Lillies (photo by Christelyn Nash)

It’s close to midnight, and something evil is lurking in the dark. No, it’s not Michael Jackson’s moonwalking ghost, it’s Houston’s horror queen Luna of the Lilies. This ghoul relishes in the dark arts and everything stemming from the underworld, which makes October her month-long playground. Despite her self-described “harsh crustacean exterior,” she’s really a goofball with a heart of gold.

Hometown?
Houston

Drag Birthday?
March and April of 2016 at Meteor, for their So You Think You Can Drag contest.

Preferred Pronouns?
Anything, with respect.

Inner avatar?
A mix between a street pigeon and a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Puff.

Favorite scary movie?
I’ve been a huge horror-movie fan since I was 11. I was given a year’s subscription to Fangoria magazine as a Christmas present one year. At this moment, it’s a five-way tie between Hereditary, Evil Dead II, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Ginger Snaps, and May.

Story behind your name?
“Luna” comes from my favorite show as a child, Sailor Moon. “Of the Lilies” didn’t come into the picture until I was looking through prayer cards when I was a funeral director. I came across this painting of the Virgin Mary called Madonna of the Lilies. I liked the ring of Luna of the Lilies and thought it would fit, since lilies are the most common funeral flower.

Describe your drag persona.
Luna is a sewer goblin torn straight from the pages of the high-fashion avant-garde magazines they sell in hell.

Favorite Halloween candy?
Eyeball Gumballs 

Thoughts on celebrating Día de los Muertos?
I absolutely love Día de los Muertos. It has always made me proud of my Mexican heritage, as a lover of anything spooky and odd. My family here in the States never really celebrates the holiday as much as my family in Mexico does. Also, I love the Mexican commemorations of those that have passed on, unlike the very distant and capitalistic mourning customs here in the U.S.

Favorite Halloween tradition?
Haunted houses, for sure. I have always been wowed by the talent that goes into making and working at a scare attraction. Shout-out to the Houston team at Phobia Haunted Houses!

What do people not know about you that would be interesting?
I am a licensed Texas funeral director and embalmer. I worked as a full-time mortician for two years at a Montrose- and Cypress-based funeral home. I gained my skills and my love for makeup through mortuary cosmetics.

Which celebrities would you love to put in drag?
Danny DeVito and Wendy Williams. 

If you could be reincarnated as anyone, who would it be?
Selena. And I would choke-slam Yolanda.

When you’re not busy scaring your fans, what do you do in your free time?
I currently have a YouTube series called Rigor Morris, where my best friend and I talk about our mortuary stories in a funny way. I’m also in the midst of creating a film, and I’m a full-time “guncle”.

Tell me your thoughts on Houston’s alt drag scene.
It’s definitely booming, and has come a long way since I first started drag. However, the scene will not grow if you don’t personally create the shows and events. The Houston drag scene is overflowing with willing and talented artists. If you can make it in Houston, you can make it in any city.

When we’re not practicing social distancing, where can people see Luna of the Lilies perform?
Twice a month on Thursdays for Smoke Break at Guava Lamp, and at your other local queer bars.

Keep up with Luna of the Lilies on Instagram @lunaofthelilies

This article appears in the October 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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Sam Byrd

Sam Byrd is a freelance contributor to Outsmart who loves to take in all of Houston’s sights, sounds, food and fun. He also loves helping others to discover Houston’s rich culture. Speaking of Houston, he's never heard a Whitney Houston song he didn't like.

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