WiggingOut

All Hail the Queen

Persephone delivers with both brains and beauty.

Queen Persephone (Photo by Frank Xavier)

Queen Persephone originally picked her name based on the mythical Greek daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Persephone became the queen of the underworld after her abduction by (and marriage to) her uncle Hades, the king of the underworld. Truly a romantic story, right? But unlike her epic beginnings, our Queen Persephone very much exists in the everyday world, and she’s making the most of it. The whip-smart goddess is currently working on her media production degree at the University of Houston.

Read on for more about this drag queen with the mythical mystique.

Pronouns?
She/Her

Inner Avatar?
Selina Meyer trying to win the presidency

Hometown?
Houston

Drag birthday?
August 10, 2017

What got you interested in drag?
I have always loved feminine things since I was a child, and I admired powerful women onstage. I would continuously watch Selena, The Bodyguard, What’s Love Got to Do with It, and tons of Britney Spears music videos. I think I always knew I wanted to be a queen, and when I worked around the grand divas at Hamburger Mary’s and had the chance to perform, it felt like a fever dream.

Describe your performing persona.
I would consider my performance persona to be sexy and funny. I’m flirtatious, alluring, and can lock eyes with anyone in the room. I’m also really silly and fun! The combination of being beautiful and funny intrigues people. Persephone is the girl next door who has everything. She’s the prom queen, she is the valedictorian, she is your crush, and she is president. I’m basically a 6-foot (6’ 3” in heels) Latina walking Barbie with semi-big shoulders—but the hips match.

How did you pick your name?
I always had a fascination with Greek mythology, and I loved the story of Persephone and how she is representative of seasons and change.

Describe your competition at The Nook Cafe.
Persephone’s Game of Drag is a Houston drag competition that welcomes all styles and types of drag. We have queens, kings, nonbinary, and AFAB performers. My weekly panel of judges consists of a former alternative bearded queen, the beautiful Hu’Nee B, and a local guest judge. I wanted to start a competition that is very welcoming to all walks of queerism and is a safe space for attendees alike.

You love to cook. What got you interested in that?
During the pandemic, [considering] how the world was and with people getting sick, I knew that I had to start putting food in my body that was nourishing for my health and immunity. I began to start eating to live, eating for fuel, eating to age gracefully, and eating to maintain my energy through drag. I do not eat much fast food or junk, really; I prefer to eat at home most of the time.

Drag is under attack right now. What are your thoughts on all of that legislation?
Drag is art. Drag is theater. Drag has been around for centuries. Tell me, where was the outrage regarding Mrs. Doubtfire, The Nutty Professor, Big Momma’s House, White Chicks, Madea, and all these other forms of straight men dressed as women for entertainment? This legislation is not to protect children but simply an attack and attempt at the erasure of a minority group based not on fact but on pure homophobia.

Have you ever had a defining moment in your life?
When I was 25, I was bartending, doing drag, and drinking really heavily. I was pretty aimlessly going through life without a real purpose or plan. My dad had passed away, and I started to develop depression. I was overanalyzing everything in my life, and I had a bit of a “quarter-life crisis.” Through therapy and self-control, I was able to get my life into order. I am 29 now, and I am close to completing my bachelor’s degree in media production. I have five shows, and I am a successful entrepreneur.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
A bowl of Hot Cheetos or hot fries topped with freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro, diced cucumber, and avocado. A Hot Cheeto salad, so to say.

#TeamBritney or #TeamXTina?
Team Britney, duh!

Where do you perform?
I have monthly shows at Winnies, Tiny Champions, Wicklow Heights, Star Sailor, and a biweekly show at The Nook Cafe!

Follow Queen Persephone on Instagram @PersephoneQueenXO.

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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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