From Southern Belle to sickening drag queen, this nightlife scholar ain’t just here for book learnin’… she’s here to slay! Krymson Scholar gives us the 411 on life, love and all the pageants that come along the way.
Thotyssey: Hello Krymson, thanks for chatting! You had a busy weekend, performing for the Hot Rabbit party at Boots & Saddle on Friday, and then Ari Kiki’s show RIOT on Saturday at Stonewall! How did it all go?
Krymson Scholar: It was absolutely amazing! DJ JCLEF is absolutely the best, and [Hot Rabbit founder] Emily was an amazing hostess. Also, RIOT is always a blast! Ari is such an amazing person to work with.
You’re popping up everywhere these days. Do you have a signature number yet?
I would have to say “Ain’t Your Mama,” by Jennifer Lopez.
Werk! An anthem! And how was Ladyqueen Draguation last month? That was the show and ceremony honoring your troupe’s newest members.
It was great! So much fun, and all the Draguates did so amazing! I’m proud of all of them.
The Ladyqueen drag crew, which was founded by Crimson Kitty, grows more interesting and diverse by the day. Are you considered to be the group’s first trans-identifying member?
Yes I am, but we are all equal. We are also open to all races as well.
Is there, like, a theme regarding what types of numbers you all perform, or how you perform them, in Ladyqueen?
We have themes now and then. Like with our new one, “Queens of Filth: A Dragtastic Tribute to John Waters,” we are performing to all of John Waters’ films. And there aren’t really any rules of how I perform; I just go out there and have fun with it.
Okay, so, let’s hop back to the beginning of Krymson for a bit! Where’s your hometown?
I’m originally from Columbus, Mississippi. So I’m a Southern Belle!
Very classy! What was life like growing up there for you?
Life was rough. I got verbally assaulted every single day of school. It was tough; I have contemplated suicide many times–until I started transition at the age of 15 years-old. So, transitioning in a small town, and going to a school where people were all raised to hate LGBTQIA individuals, was rough… but I got through it.
That was quite a struggle. What were you interested in during that time?
Watching all these drag movies. And, watching Maury when they had the episodes with the trans women: I thought to myself, I want to be there one day.
And also, Halloween was and still is my fave holiday, ‘cause I get to be as creative and as true to myself as possible. Actually, I have two biological sisters who dressed me up as a girl when I was five for my first Halloween. And from then on, I knew I was a girl.
It’s so inspiring that you got through all that, and discovered your identity and calling in the process. When did you come to NYC?
I moved up here July of last year, with my husband.
Oh wow, how long have you been married?
August 10, we will be celebrating three years of marriage. We got married on my birthday, so he will always know when our anniversary is!
That’s so sweet! And very noble of you to sacrifice an Extra Gift Day!
It’s okay, his love is enough gift for me.
Aw! So, what was your introduction to NYC drag?
It was going to TNT (#RIP) for Elizabeth James’ show, and she let me do a number. That was Brooklyn. Then Manhattan was Brita Filter, who let me compete for Miss Lady Liberty at Boots & Saddle. I thank God for them giving me a chance.
Was there ever a conflict for you, as far as living as a trans woman while performing as a drag queen? Some queens who are trans, like Peppermint, have discussed experiencing pushback from people in their communities about being both.
In the south, yes, absolutely. Male-bodied drag queens couldn’t stand me, or other trans entertainers, because they think we don’t have to do what they do. But what they didn’t know is that we actually do more than they do. But moving here, I’ve gotten so much love and acceptance, which I’m very thankful for.
Well-deserved! How would you clarify that you have to do more with your drag then a male-bodied queen? Does this have to do with strongly exaggerating your paint because you already have feminine features?
Yes. I don’t do the normal “fishy” paint–I paint exaggerated. I try to resemble the drag queens of the past who did extreme makeup. Other trans girls or Ladyqueens also pad, even though some of them don’t have to. But we do it because we try fool peoples’ perceptions, so people won’t know if we are male-bodied drag queens, or Ladyqueens.
What’s the story behind your drag name?
“Krymson” has to come from being an Alabama football fan. It’s called Crimson Tide, but I misspelled the “Krymson” so it would be unique to me. Then, “Scholar” comes from being a scholar of drag.
You sound like a Game of Thrones character, in the best way! Does it ever get confusing having a Crimson and a Krymson in LadyQueen?
Not at all! Sometimes it’s funny, ‘cause we will answer at the same time. I absolutely love Crimson, I’m so glad we have gotten as close as we are. She is there for me, and I’m there for her. So now we are a double threat: Crimson/ Krymson! Usually the girls in Ladyqueen just call me the MOIST queen, so it helps!
You mentioned Ladyqueen’s Coney Island USA tribute to John Waters coming up on July 21st… will your number be a tribute to your personal favorite Waters film, or did you get stuck with something else?
Yes I have [my favorite movie], but you’ll have to buy a ticket to find out what that number will be!
The Nobodies (DJ Accident Report, Ariel Italic and Lady Bearica Andrews) have asked me to do it ever since I met them last year at Terra Firma for their Rupaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Season 2 viewing party. So I decided I would do it. They have become some of my best friends; I love them dearly! Whether I win or lose, I’m thankful that they have become friends of mine whom I cherish.
It should be an exciting night. And I’ll be there as a judge… can’t wait!
In general, you do a lot of the weekly and monthly drag competition shows in the city. Do you enjoy them, or is it just something you have to do to keep your name out there?
I enjoy doing them, ‘cause sometimes I get to meet new queens and get to learn about their lives. And that’s the most rewarding thing: getting to meet new people. You never know who will become your new bestie! And on the other hand, it’s always a good way to get your name out there, whether you’re a new queen on the scene or you’re an older queen. And it’s good to do just for the fun of it.
What else is coming up for you?
Got it! Okay, last question… what’s you least favorite thing about drag… and your most favorite?
My least fave thing would be putting on lashes! And my most fave thing is going to the club and seeing the smiles on the crowds’ faces, and having everybody sing along with you during your performances. It’s the best feeling!