Arguably the country’s most famous queen who has never been on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” this entrepreneur and genuine pop scholar has captivated legions of fans the world over with her social media presence, including an especially-devoted Instagram following. She came of age in an era where lowbrow culture was championed by the expansive bombast of MySpace. BibleGIrl666 – who tellingly drag named herself after her own provocative social media handle from that time (a somewhat misleading one, since this native Floridian and current Brooklynite is actually a Nice Jewish Girl) – built an entire celebrity persona around the equal-parts celebration and satire of the best of the worst of what pop culture had to offer. Now a more seasoned stage performer at the ripe old age of 24 and the founder of the incredibly successful DragqueenMerch online company, Bible is very much a queen that you need to know. Drag Con, you ain’t ready for this!
Thotyssey: BibleGirl, thank you for talking to us! You were just in London, right?
BibleGirl666: Hello! Thank you for the opportunity to rock out here with you! Yes, I was just in London two weeks ago for DragWorld UK.
Is it surreal to meet fans across the ocean, who only know you from social media?
It transcends surrealism, in all honesty. I go into any kind of convention / travel situation with no expectations because it’s like, ‘Well, who the fuck am I,’ if that makes sense; then once at the event, to be faced with a line of people who just “get” what you do without question is really dope.
It’s always interesting for me to hear from a performer about how much of her drag persona is fully her, and how much is a created character. In your case, BibleGirl is very much a fully-realized character based on those white trashy MySpace girls that came up in the Britney Era: colorful, selfish, messy, fun. Do you think those traits fascinated you on a personal level, or were you just so exposed to that growing up in in that time that that’s all you knew?
I feel like, more so than ever, the character is at her most fleshed-out point to date. The genesis personality, which was that of the aforementioned trashy girls, took hold because that’s what I was super intrigued by at 15 on the internet. 2007 was the era of trainwrecks and unapologetic tabloids! Seeing the public’s fascination with the tragic headlines fueled by A-listers really resonated with me.
I sometimes miss MySpace! That network sort of encouraged one’s individualism, whereas social media today tends to streamline you to be like everyone else. You can’t even use your drag name on Facebook! But scrolling through peoples’ MySpaces got ridiculous in the end, with all that music and animation people posted on them. Anyway, do you miss MySpace at all?
LOADED QUESTION! I miss the aspects you described, but I don’t miss it entirely for the clunky interface and cesspool breeding ground for the cyberbullying which really took root there, in my opinion.
The best way to follow you on social media today is Instagram. Do you consider yourself to be very picky and choosy about what images you post there, or is it always spontaneous?
I used to be super haphazard with my posts, but realized there is an algorithm and a process of finessing an “aesthetic” if you will. I have found that following my own set rules for my account has allowed me to explore character development on more of a multimedia platform rather than in a club.
I do my best to maintain levels of spontaneity, to show who I am on a more personal level, through the Instagram stories feature nowadays.
Recently, Instagram temporarily took down your account under very mysterious circumstances, during a period when it seemed like social media was maybe cracking down on gay content.
The experience was really bizarre, and one of the weirder ones I’ve had this year. I was in Canada for a couple of shows, and was waiting for a flight to Winnipeg for night #2 at 6 AM, and I watched my account get suspended in what was essentially real time. I woke up before heading to the airport, and checked Instagram with no problem. I got through security, found my gate, and grabbed a seat… only to check Instagram and watch an auto-log out happen. I checked my email thinking I was hacked, but instead had a message saying I violated terms and conditions and was indefinitely suspended. I joke that it’s the trip that never happened because I virtually couldn’t document it. It took an interview with Unicorn Booty after a week of suspension, and two days after the article’s release, for my account to return with zero explanation.
You have kind of a rabid fanbase, based largely on your amazing pics and your relatable personality that comes through. Can you kind of empathize with a young celebrity queen like Drag Race’s Valentina, who might’ve been overwhelmed by her fans aggressively trolling other queens from her season and then got heat for not regulating it? Like, can a single person even regulate a monstrous online movement like that?
I can empathize with Valentina on more of a level of we are both people that know what we want, and stay in our respective lanes when reaching our goals. I think it’s fucked up that people use a reality TV villain narrative to scapegoat micro-aggressions, but maybe that’s just me. I do think a more immediate condemning of the trolling from her fanbase would have done everybody a little bit more benefit, but I did find it in bad taste when people were going to her meet-and-greets just so they could film whether or not she hugged fans.
You do get into some trouble now and then for “hurting someone’s feelings” online, be it another queen or whomever. But your drag persona kinda dictates that you have to be a Heather once in awhile for authenticity, right? Are there lines that you don’t cross when it’s time to take a bitch down?
After a lot of trial and error, I’ve learned to not go for the lowest hanging fruits, as they tend to be the most personal and internally damaging.
I’ve fine-tuned the infamy channels, and have kept a lot of my humor more pop culture-centric since it’s what I know best. Anything pop-adjacent are gifts that keep on giving.
My motto to troll by hails from Brazil: Se me atacar eu vou atacar [you attack me, I attack you]. It proves handy!.
Have you had a “favorite” feud with another queen, if that’s possible?
It’s impossible. They’re all great when you’re the one getting booked.
As far as today in Pop Divadom, fans are having wild and polarizing reactions to Taylor Swift’s new music and videos, and Katy Perry’s as well (but we all seem to be on Team Kesha). Where do you stand with these ladies… who are you loving and who are you hating?
First and foremost, always Team Kesha.
Ultimately, I ride and die with Katy if it’s between her and Taylor. Although problematic, I have never seen Katy as somebody with malicious intentions. Her music has always been really fun, well-executed pop, and that’s what originally made me love her. I find her recent public reception rather upsetting, considering how on top of the world she was, re: Prism World Tour. She was always just somebody who did her thing and was inclusive of everybody; I feel that it’s been a consistent trait of hers since I first discovered her, like, 10 years ago.
I also feel like noting that she was publicly campaigning for Clinton in 2016, and what 2017 yielded was an avalanche/barrage of god awful press majorly hailing from the likes of Page Six & TMZ, – both of which are backed by CEOs who have vocalized support for Trump. This also happened to coincide with her album promo release cycle, and that created some weirdly fulfilled prophecy of failure. It just all seems strange to me.
I DIGRESS…I really fucking love Katy’s most recent album, Witness, amongst all the flack she’s gotten.
Circling back to Taylor: she’s somebody who at this stage of the game has been nothing but self-gratuitous / indulgent. As a woman, more power to her for living her best goddamn life in what has been a male-dominated industry in terms of those who can make or break you. That said, now is not the time to be rehashing old fights with celebs. Now is not the time to show the world that squeaky jar of mayonnaise TayTay has a bad girl streak “for a reason” now. There’s so much going on in the world, and I think her message misses the mark this year.
That goes without saying that I’m not marginalizing sociopolitical situations via the behaviors of pop stars.
In the past you’ve emphasized that you’re not a “strong” performer – that you’re like a regular girl feeling her fantasy lip synching into a hairbrush. But I’ve seen clips of you giving very high-energy, fun, splits-and-drops-and-all stage performances recently. Have you become a better stage performer over time, in your opinion, or have you maybe discovered more joy in performing?
In the past I feel like I had been allowing people’s opinions to manifest my performance style, and it created a sense of complacency where I thought being bad was all I was capable of. Through growing into myself, and taking some choreo lessons from my friend, Nick Laughlin, I was able to really channel my performance style into being more about exactly what a song makes me feel in that moment, rather than a fully rehearsed number where you can tell I’m counting steps on my face.
After enough time, I’ve learned drag ain’t so serious. If I’m having fun, people vibe off of that. That’s the atmosphere I try to bring on stage nowadays, something just bursting at the seams with bright colors, crazy faces, and good-ass time.
What’s your favorite number to do these days?
Kesha’s “Let ‘Em Talk” of Rainbow is definitely a fave hard-hitter of mine!
One New York venue where you performed in a lot over the years, Easternbloc, has just closed and will be revamped as the much-different Club Cumming very soon. You and Ruby Roo hosted a fondly-remembered party there called Hellfire Club, and most recently there was Bible Study (hosted by Cameron Cole, Cedric Antonio and yourself). Are you quite sad to see Easternbloc go, or do you think Club Cumming will offer something special?
Easternbloc was the first real gay bar I had been in ever, right after moving to NYC 6 (AHH!) years ago. It was also the first bar to take a chance on me with a reoccurring party. It will forever hold a special place in my heart, where I made so many friends and lost so many memories! I welcome the evolution of the bar; I like being Glass Half Full.
Do you know yet if you’re gonna be involved in Club Cumming after it opens?
I’ve heard nothing in terms of official return on my end, and that is totally a-okay. That doesn’t mean I won’t happily be a patron and support a local queer space.
You’ve been hosting / performing at several monthly installments of the “Wallbreaker” benefit shows at Macri Park in Brooklyn, which features a new charity cause and lineup of guest performers each month.
The experience of working Wallbreaker has been nothing short of amazing. It’s less about me, and more for what the party is and stands for. I’m happy to see an entire community come together to help support those facing oppression.
What’s in store for the next one?
The next Wallbreaker is on September 14th, and its the ninth installment! Super wild that we’re this deep into 2017, period. This month we are raising money for the benefit of Brooklyn Defense Committee, which is an emergency response network for those facing harassment from ICE, whether it pertains to deportation or unannounced home raids.￼
Aside from Instagram, you’re best known for the wildly successful and essential company you started, DragQueen Merch. This is basically an Amazon for the t-shirts and other promotional items that drag queens sell to fans, where items are printed and directly shipped to order – eliminating the need for queens to worry about stock and supplies. How long have you been doing this now, and how much of your time does it consume these days? Do you have a large staff?
The business has been running for nearly three years, which is mind-blowing! A lot of my time during the day (aside from my freelance graphic design job) is invested into the site, whether it’s strategizing for what’s next or setting up pages for queens. Our staff consists of no more than ten people, as far as infrastructure is concerned!
I recently had a queen tell me that she didn’t want to get on your bad side because she wanted to sell her stuff on your site. Are personal relationships / interactions ever a consideration for putting a queen’s stuff on your site, or is it simply that if they agree to whatever the business arrangement is and have the collateral, then it’s all good?
Point blank: it’s one thing to have an opinion on me. It’s another when you have no problem utilizing a non-expense startup system which was founded on wanting to help our industry on a grand scheme outside of TV, and then marginalize me as just some chick who can’t actually do drag makeup or dance. I won’t allow a negative opinion to dictate who is or isn’t on the site, but I always see everything and note who says what. I like to know who’s afraid of the “@” symbol.
Okay, let’s talk about this weekend. First of all, Drag Con! What will you be doing at the convention?
Dragcon NYC is gonna be the fuckin’ tits. I will be at Booth 557 w/ Rubber Child, Lisa Limbaugh, Trixie Mattel, Amanda Lepore and the House of Avalon! The entire DQM team is going to be on deck as well. Together, we are meeting-and-greeting, along with selling our respective merch ranging from apparel to enamel pins!
Who are you excited to see there?
Honestly? Rubber and Lisa. We only get to see each other during con seasons, or on the off-chance I get to escape to Florida for a weekend. There isn’t ever enough time with them.
And you have a stellar lineup in store for a Drag Con afterparty and show you’re hosting at Stonewall on Saturday night: Super Smash Kweenz! We’ll see you there with Lisa and Rubber, plus Brooklyn’s own Daphne Sumtimez, Hystée Lauder, and Cameron Cole, in addition to famous out-of-town performers like Lucy Stoole and Soju.
YES. What gags me the most is that we are throwing the coolest party comprised of local talents of NYC and afar (without an emphasis on drag and TV crossover as the main attraction) at a muthafuckin’ gay national monument! All of the performers (including Cameron as DJ) are some of the best and most unique that I have had the pleasure of experiencing shows of and working with!
PS – we don’t have a cover or tickets because Drag Con is already corporate enough. If you want a damn good drag show in a rad location, Super Smash Kweenz at Stonewall Inn on Saturday the 9th is where you want to be!
What else is going on with / coming up for you?
At this point in time, I am bound and gagged by contracts until announcements are made! Just note: lots of travel for the next few months, and I couldn’t be happier or more excited!
You’re always on many lists as a favorite candidate for a season of Drag Race. Is this something you’re actively pursuing?
It is not something I am currently pursuing. It’ll always be a childhood dream, and something I enjoy. I’m a believer in timing, and if my life is circular, I’m not going to try and make it fit within the square hole of reality TV.
Oh, you seem like a good person to ask about this, as an internet-famous and pop-savvy entertainer: what do you think about Lactacia, the 8-year old drag queen? Is she fabulous and wonderful? Is she annoying and demeaning to the art of drag, or a true prodigy? Is she being exploited, or are her parents good role models for what the parents of a drag child should be? Should an extremely underage kid be turning numbers and sass in bars on the stage with Bianca del Rio?
Ohhhhhhhh, I say let the kid live! I love her and what she represents. It doesn’t feel exploitative. If anything, it is celebratory, and should be shown as a class act of how to accept your child for who they are – no matter what they are or how they represent. I think Lactacia is punk as fuck – and like every good drag queen, is getting into venues underage. She’ll be seasoned well before any of us industry-working heifers are.
Okay, last question: What’s the single best piece of advice you can give to anyone, anywhere, who wants to break into drag in 2017?
Do it for you.
Thank you, Bible!
BibleGirl666 appears monthly at Macri Park for the “Wallbreakers” benefit concert on second Thursdays (10pm). Check the Thotyssey calendar for upcoming area appearances, and follow BIble on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and DragQueen Merch.com.
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