A trailblazer of San Francisco drag and a prolific director of stage and screen horror-camp to boot, Peaches Christ is one of those nightlife warriors that have shaped (and continues to shape!) our culture. On the eve of her performance in the New York revival of the Wigstock festival, Thotyssey is honored to take in the Teaches of Peaches.
Thotyssey: Ms. Christ, what an honor to speak with you! So as of this writing, where are you and what are you looking at right now?
Peaches Christ: I am in Provincetown, looking at this computer screen and just behind it an almost full moon sitting over the beautiful bay.
You are of course one of the legendary queens of the western hemisphere! What is the biggest thing that has changed about drag since you first began, for better or for worse?
I think the biggest change is that back when I started, drag wasn’t coo–not for gays or straights, or really anyone. It was gritty and underground, and our audiences were truly niche. It’s been incredible to see how popular drag has become over the years.
Bianca Del Rio recently caught heat for making a “rape joke…” Is it dumb for audiences to be offended by jokes made by a drag queen, or should queens be a little more mindful of what they say or do on stage?
Hmmm… I’d say that if you’re going to buy a ticket to see a Bianca Del Rio show, you should know that she’s an insult comic with a wicked tongue and no boundaries. One of her tours was even called “Rolodex Of Hate.” I mean, hate and being rotten are what made her so successful–it’s her brand. So if you buy a ticket and then she makes an off-color offensive joke and you’re surprised by that, or it upsets you–well, then that’s dumb.
How does San Francisco drag differ from the drag of other cities?
I think probably the biggest difference is that because we’re children of the Cockettes, we’ve been a drag community that’s been inclusive of bearded drag, cis women doing drag, straight people doing drag, trans folks doing drag since the late 60’s. I hear about other drag communities where these concepts are still considered controversial, and it sounds so different from San Francisco because all of this has been normal in the drag world for over 40 years now.
You first developed Peaches after appearing in a drag role for your student thesis film Jizzmopper: A Love Story! Will Jizzmopper be hailed a masterpiece by film historians in the near or distant future?
You also directed a bona fide cult classic horror campy comedy, All About Evil starring Natasha Lyonne and Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson! What’s directing a feature like, and will there be more in the future?
I’d say directing a movie is really similar to when I direct a stage show. It’s all about storyteling and working with a big team to tell the best story possible. I loved making All About Evil, and am hoping to get to direct a new feature called Slay Gardens that will star Jinkx Monsoon and myself.
I was watching clips from Mommie Queerest, a live stage parody of Mommie Dearest you did with Heklina at her club The Oasis. You’ve written and performed in many such parodies throughout your whole career, and these are huge productions! It must all be very time-consuming.
I have so much fun doing what I do for a living that I sometimes forget how time consuming it all is. I feel really blessed I get to do what I love.
Where can we most likely see you in San Francisco these days?
My shows are almost always at the historic Castro Theatre now. Although, I’m producing my first ever giant haunted attraction called ”Terror Vault“ that will happen at the (also historic) San Francisco Mint.
So, thrilling news! You’ll be front and center for the Wigstock revival, courtesy of Lady Bunny & Neil Patrick Harris! It’s Labor Day in NYC, and you’ll be on stage with Heklina and New York legacy queens like Shequida and Sherry Vine, plus amazing up and coming NY stars and some Drag Race stars as well! Who are you most excited to see?
Wow, I’m just so excited to see so many old friends all in one place. But I’m a really big fan of Sugga Pi Koko and am really looking forward to seeing her performance.
What do you think you’re going to do… a lip sync, a parody, a spoken word piece?
Bunny asked Heklina and I to do a little mini-Roast of some of the girls, so we’ll be doing a spoken word thing.
Will you be doing anything else in NYC, drag related?
Sadly, no! I’m literally getting on a goddamn bus in Provincetown at 5am on Saturday morning with a bunch of clowns (Jinkx, Varla, Liza Lott, etc.), and then driving straight to NYC to do Wigstock… and then they’re putting us back on the bus when the show is over and are sending us back to Ptown.
Okay, final question… Cynthia “Miranda” Nixon is running for governor of New York. Should we vote for her?
Thank you, Peaches!
Peaches Christ is a San Francisco-based queen. Follow her gigs there on her social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and her website. And check Thotyssey’s calendar for any upcoming NYC appearances.