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Kofi Keeps It Piping Hot

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Kofi

A cup of joe is a good way to start the day, but Kofi is what keeps the nights entertaining in the gayborhood. This seasoned queen has been gracing the stage for nearly 40 years, and she’s still introducing new ways to keep connected with her fans. Her larger-than-life personality is a living testament that Pride is always worth celebrating and never goes out of style.

Preferred pronouns?
It all depends on how I’m dressed at the time. Most of the time I’m indifferent, as long as it’s said with respect.

Hometown?
Leesville, Louisiana.

Spirit animal?
The eagle, because in life I want to soar as high as I can.

Drag birthdate?
June 15

Story behind the drag name?
It’s from a good friend, who always determined that he had the right amount of cream in his coffee when the color of his coffee matched the underside of my arm.

What first got you into drag?
A group of best friends who kept insisting that I go see the Super Sunday Drag Show at the Copa. Baby, one show and I was hooked.

What does Pride Month mean to you?
Pride Month is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the legacy that has paved the road from Stonewall to all of the freedoms we are blessed to enjoy today.

What was your experience like emceeing for Pride?
It was nothing less than amazing and educational. Definitely one of the high points in my career.

Share your pageant history.
My pageant career has been truly blessed. I’m a multi-national title holder, holding such titles as Miss Gay USofA At Large, Miss Black America Plus, and Miss Continental Plus, along with many state and local titles from Texas and Louisiana.

What are some of the most prominent accolades you’ve received?
I was actually voted OutSmart’s Most Divine Drag Queen something like 17 years in a row, and appeared on the cover in 2005.

What advice do you have for queens who are just starting?
Make sure you take the time to build your career on a strong foundation, and always remain true to yourself. Don’t sell out.

Who are some of your favorite artists to perform?
My favorite artists to perform would be Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Lizzo, Gladys Knight, and Missy Elliot, to name a few.

What’s the wildest thing that’s happened during one of your performances?
I stripped and sold my bra to a man for $100.

Who are your role models?
In life, my mother and father. My role models that inspired my drag career are Hot Chocolate (Larry Edwards), Tasha Kohl, Naomi Sims, Donna Day, and Miss T.

Tell us about The Kofi Break.
The Kofi Break is a talk show with a twist. It deals with life, living, laughter, and love. You should always expect the unexpected—[you’ll have] all kinds of twists and turns dealing with all aspects of life. It’s on Facebook Live on Mondays at 9 p.m. and also on my YouTube channel, The Kofi Break. So please go and subscribe.

What do you think the future of drag will be?
The face of drag is definitely changing. This pandemic has forced us to think outside the box and take our talents down avenues we never imagined. Now, where will we land? We shall see.

When and where can people see Kofi perform as the clubs reopen?
You can catch me at my home bar for the last 29 years—JR’s. Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

This article appears in the June 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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