Whether you were turning a strong female look or being completely camp-tastic, drag has always been an absolute “statement”. Recently, we have seen queens standing at the forefront of our political movements, with queens like Marti Gould Cummings and Virginia West leading the charge in terms of making true change. Miz Cracker is beyond aware of the crucial needs in our community, and she is making a point of standing shoulder to shoulder with every American Woman (coincidentally, also the title of her one woman show) in solidarity. I got to catch up with one of our community’s most stunning advocates, and we talked about everything from why her passion for women’s rights runs so deep, how she reconciles corporations converging on Pride, and how the RuPaul’s Drag Race fandom has been responding to her universal message of equality for everyone.
Michael Cook: You are working on some amazing projects right now and our community needs voices like yours. People that are talking about not just the entertaining and fun topics, but the necessary ones as well. Do you think that’s accurate?
Miz Cracker: You know, it is always an interesting balance to see how we can take our fun time like drag, but also to make it something useful that brings us together in every sense of the word.
Michael Cook: Women’s health care right now is so polarizing for a myriad of reasons. Why do you think it is something that you are incredibly passionate about?
Miz Cracker: For a couple of reasons actually. Right now, we are at a crisis point for women, not just in America, but all around the world. It is just one of those moments where there is just a spasm of agony of how women are treated. This is not the first time and I am sure that it will not be the last. That is the number one reason for me, watching the #MeToo movement, and watching women’s access to health. What make me so close to it is that I was essentially raised by women; my mother, my sister, my cousin’s that I was all close to were all women. My friends growing up were all women, a woman made my RuPaul’s Drag Race audition tape, a woman is my assistant, a woman is my agent. When I look out from the stage, seventy five percent of the people in my audience are women. It feels natural to be concerned about what is going on for women in the world; it would actually seem absurd not to be concerned.
Michael Cook: What kind of a response are you getting to your advocacy from the always opinionated fandom from RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Miz Cracker: Boy do they express how they feel (laughs)! They express themselves to strongly that I think sometimes queens can get choked up. Like Hamlet walking in the halls, wondering if I can make any move at all because you feel duped at every turn. Finally I just said let go; say what’s in your heart and just see what happened. I was rewarded; the feelings that I had resonated with women in the audience and that made me extremely happy. Everyone had such a wonderful reaction to American Woman the online response was great and the reviews were wonderful. It is definitely one of the most important things that I have done as a drag queen; one of the important things I do as a drag queen is walk on stage and take a risk for that show.
Michael Cook: After your elimination from Drag Race, I asked you if you would do All Stars and your response was that you were going to be departing on a mission trip. Have you always been the kind of person that is very politically active?
Miz Cracker: I think of my self as politically minded as much as I do as someone who is very personally involved. I see things around me that personally that are wrong and it hurts my feelings and I want to say something. I think that if I were to get politically involved in things, I would end up on the wrong side of things accidentally because of ignorance. I always move on the instinct of reaching out to someone who is asking for someone to be there for them. I don’t think you can go wrong when you are functioning with your heart and not your politics.
Michael Cook: You have crafted your own show American Woman and it is quintessentially Miz Cracker. What is it like to have your own platform where you can speak about the things that you are passionate about post-Drag Race?
Miz Cracker: It is really important to me. Life is so terribly short, you want to feel that you have said, very clearly, how you feel and what you believe is right before you go. Also, I am a deeply flawed person and everyone that I know is as well. You sort of muddle through life making a lot of mistakes. With American Woman, being on stage and having that platform gives me an hour and a half out of the day where I am doing the right thing. Then you go back to being just a shitty human being, you know (laughs)? This hour and a half, everyone in the room is there to talk about how we can make the world a better place. It is a break from the reality of things and think that is wonderful; its like dreaming together.
Michael Cook: I have always said that drag is one of the biggest political statements that almost anyone can make. What do you have planned for World Pride?
Miz Cracker: I am in New York because New York is where my drag came from. I had the privilege of going back and guest starring with the queens who made me the queen that I am today. For me, Pride is inseparable from New York City. I am here to give back to New York for pride, I think that is the greatest thing that you can do, to give back to the community that means something to you. New York nightlife is a shitshow and people are a headache here, but it’s family you know (laughs)?
Michael Cook: When you see Pride in New York City, how do you separate the political messages and the corporate sponsorships that many have trouble reconciling?
Miz Cracker: It’s funny, corporations try to get involved and be present for Pride, and we definitely see their logos there. Once you have that many people in a single place, it kind of takes on a life of its own. It becomes personal, it becomes about the humanity and about the bodies and the people that are there, of all kinds. The corporations are kind of like the cool moms trying to hang out, but they’re largely being ignored, if that makes sense? Let them give money to the event, let them add a few sequins here and there, as long as we can all come together that day.
Michael Cook: What gives your pride?
Miz Cracker: Knowing what we have survived. I am proud when I look at people like my agent Gina who has been friends with queer people for decades and seen all of the crisis’ that they have been through for gay rights and the health crisis and gaining marriage equality, getting a place in the army, etc; she has watched so much survival. I am proud of us as queers and queer allies for surviving everything that we have.
Art courtesy of James Michael Avance
Photo of Miz Cracker/Antoni Porowski-Courtesy of New Now Next
Miz Cracker “American Woman” Photo courtesy of Miz Cracker