A face of the new era of Brooklyn nightlife, this socially conscious fashionista has carved out a niche all her own in just about a year’s time. Spearheading events and shows with purposes ranging from celebrating the city’s POC queens to geeked-out Pokemon tournaments, she has certainly gotten her lay of the land… it’s Laé D. Boi!
– EDIT 1.27.2019: this performer now goes by “Blvck Laé D.”
Thotyssey: Hey Laé D., thanks for talking to us! So Pride is nearly upon us… are you excited, or are you dreading it at all?
Laé D. Boi: Thanks Jim! The pleasure is all mine. Really excited, because it’s my first working Pride as a drag queen. So it sorta, like, feels like my first Pride altogether.
This is only your first drag year? You’ve come so far!
Thank you! I like to think so! I’ve been “dragging it up” for a year and a half now. But I have major imposter syndrome, so I always feel like I’m playing catch-up to my peers.
That’s, like, an epidemic for performers.
It truly is! I feel like that would be my “inner saboteur.” But in all honesty, it has been my main motivation to grow–mainly because this community is such a “pressure cooker.” But I grew up in similar scenes in Los Angeles, so you think i’d be used to it!
Speaking of inner saboteurs, you were with Crystal Hart for her Drag Race viewing party at The Bedford last night. So for the second season in a row, the Top Four will all move on to the finale as a Top Four. Um, are we surprised?
We aren’t surprised in the least bit. It’s on mainstream TV now, so they are gonna milk the seasons dry.
Who is standing out for you as the winner?
My Top 2 out of the 4 are Asia and Aquaria. They are both fierce competitors, but also amazing performers. I’m a visual person, and the looks they turned out were out of this world. I mean, Asia’s “Hats Incredible” and Aquaria’s saboteur looks were right up my alley.
Yes, and It was so surreal. I am always humbled when performers lend their time and talent for a great cause. We raised $635. Major shout out to Anna-Lisa for being a great producer.
So, growing up in LA, were you very connected to showbiz people?
Not so much showbiz, but fashion. I worked as a stylist in LA, which is what brought me to NYC. Super-competitive, but I learned a lot! I kinda fell into drag / showbiz, funny enough.
What drew you to drag in the beginning?
Heartbreak, haha! 2016 was a rough year for me. I had a falling out from my childhood best friend who moved out here with me, the guy I was dating at the time and I had a traumatic breakup, and then Donald Trump became president. I was feeling a lot all at once, so I wrote about it as a poem, added music to it, then premiered it at a birthday performance at [The Deep End party] Otter Box. I kept going out in face until I got my first booked gig.
Is there a story about how your drag name came to you?
I love puns and dad jokes. My off-duty name is Ololade (o-la-luh-day). One of my cousins growing up would always call me Laday, and I love androgyny, so I thought lady boy. Originally it was
Lae DuBoi (lay-du-boy), but people would always mess it up, so I shortened it to Laé D. Boi.
I remember seeing your name that other way!
How did you fall into the Brooklyn scene in particular?
I only knew of Otter Box at the time because i was friends with [The Deep End’s co-owner]
Do you sew or design for other queens?
I WISH… I can’t even sew for myself! However, I just got my first hot glue gun about a month ago, and it has been life-changing! I’ve been making all sorts of new props. Though I’ve always believed, it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it that counts.
Absolutely! So, how would you describe your performing style to the uninitiated?
Live and in color. I predominately do raps and live numbers, though when I do lip syncs, I’m a total prop princess. I live for the drama.
Props to props! And you did this past MR(S) BK pageant, right?
Yes!! It was such a fun experience! I consider it to be like a drag cotillion–a fun way to “introduce” yourself into to the scene.
One great thing about the Brooklyn scene today is that there is such a diversity of performers, as far as race, ethnicity, gender, aesthetic, etc. There are more young BK queens of color turning it than ever before. But the BK audiences are still made up mostly of cis white guys. Is this a weird dynamic?
It’s so funny that you say that. This was the inspiration behind my bi-monthly party REPARATIONS at the Deep End. My co-producer Maé B. Dolores and I discussed how queer spaces that draw predominantly cis white males often use our culture, language, and music. But we would often not feel welcome in those spaces, so we decided to create our own. We feature all black performers, and have raised over $1,000 to different POC organizations like The Audre Lorde Project and Black Lives Matter.
The next REPARATIONS is coming up soon, right?
Yes!! Its June 30th. I’m so excited because its our Pride theme. We have Munroe Lilly and Merlot, and starting this month we will feature a non-black POC performer–because all POC’s deserve Reparations–and our first feature is Magenta.
Reperations underway! Before this, you’re going to perform this Saturday in the West Village for Emi Grate’s “A+” revue at the Monster, which usually consists of all-Asian queens. Are you Asian at all?
I am! My grandfather on my mother’s side has family in Bihar, which is eastern India. Though I’m a huge mutt: my Dad is From Nigeria, and my Mother is Indian, black, and white.
You’re Everything in every way!
And you’re gonna perform a cute party / show at Macri Park this Sunday, Resident Shevil! What’s the theme behind that one?
Well, Resident Is an open platform dance party that is focused around club beats. It’s the love child of my URL-to-IRL friend DJ Dreamcast–it’s his resident party in San Francisco. If you love to dance, this is the party for you!
Then you’re kicking off Pride Weekend with “Lets Have a Tiki” at the Dromedary Bar, where I believe you’ve previously hosted a Pokemon Tournament! Angelica Sundae, Mini Horrorwitz, Mary Con & DJ Lady Simon will be there with you. This should be cute!
Anyone who’s worked with me knows that I love food, and Dromedary has a great menu. I’ve had my anime-inspired party there, Annie Maé, and thought, “why not have another party there too?” It’s gonna be a Pride bash that celebrates the past, with a twist. There’s even gonna be a virgin sacrifice!
Anything else coming up?
Yes, I’m releasing my first mixtape at the end of July. It’s called The Mx. Tape, and will have all my original songs I’ve performed over the past year: songs like, “Boyfriend Twins,” “Breaking Binary” and “Baroque n’ Boujee,” to name a few!
That’s incredible, congratulations! And finally… if you were stuck on a desert island with a BK nightlife sister or brother, who would you choose to be stuck with?
Hmmm… that’s a tough one! I’d say my drag sister Yoya. No other queen makes me laugh like she can. She’s crazy and a mess, but also vastly loyal… and taking care of people brings out the best in me.