I love a good show. I always have. When Jerky's and the Living Room were Providence’s go to spots, you would always see me, front row, ready to go.
This week, I sat down with Seraphim Penumbra -- a smart and super funny Transgender Performer to chat about her new show, *Otherwise*, support for the LGBT Community, and of course, sex.
MD: Tell us a little about yourself. When did you know you wanted to perform in Drag, and how is that different than being Trans?
Seraphim: I actually don't identify as a drag queen. I love my drag sisters, but I define drag as some version of female or celebrity impersonators who lip-sync. I suppose there are some components of my aesthetic that overlap, and there are some singers who sing in drag, but I say in my shows that I identify as both trans and intersex because I want to clarify that while I may look like a drag queen, my ministry is about being a voice for intersex and transgender people.
MD:The words Transgender, intersex/ fluid sexuality are becoming the social norm. How do you feel about the rise in support for the community now a days?
Seraphim: Well I'm glad there is more visibility and awareness, and I'm glad there are more dialogues happening around it, but I feel we have a long way to go. I was in a gay bar a few weeks ago and a gay man asked me if I had lost my wig. He was bald so I asked why he wasn't wearing a wig! Then he asked why I was so butch, and I had to read him. Just because a person has a face on, doesn't mean they need to wear a wig or be effeminate. I feel like when I am in a gay club I am there for acceptance and inclusion, not to be harshed for not conforming to gender binaries. That is the whole point of my ministry!
MD:The Stonewall Inn just became a New York City Landmark. Why is that important?
Seraphim: I like the meme that says "the first Pride was a riot" because I think so many of our younger community members have no idea what their predecessors did to pave the way for the liberties we enjoy today. A lot of voices in the gay male community still say 'straight acting preferred' or no drag queens. Everybody is welcome to their preference but do they know that the equality we are just starting to enjoy today is directly a result of drag queens, at Stonewall, who had enough of being oppressed and fought back?
MD: What would you say to a person who was struggling with their sexual identity. What Advice do you have to offer?
Seraphim: I would say "Don't struggle! Give yourself the time and compassion to figure out who you are and how you want to identify. You don't owe anybody any explanations until you are good and ready to share. Feel free to experiment, on your own terms, but you don't have to be defined by that either. Be a dolphin if you want to!
MD: What makes great sex great to you?
Seraphim :Hahaha! When the other person is equally into it, and when you laugh, inevitably, it's okay! I find sex hysterically funny sometimes, and it freaks some people out!
MD: Tell us about *Otherwise*
Seraphim:*Otherwise* is a cabaret show during which I sing songs that resonate with me, peppered with stories about my advocacy as and for intersex and transgender people.
MD: What's Next for You, My little Sex kitten?
Seraphim: Well, I have received 20 rejections for my manuscript for LIVING PENUMBRA, a life experiment that I recorded in journals spanning about 15 years. It's all about my own personal journey through discovering myself, gender, and sexuality. I've just started approaching agents to help me get it sold. *Otherwise* is actually a tour that I created as a platform to sell my book, but I finished writing the show before the book got published! Also, I have been collaborating on a graphic novel with a writer about a superhero character, based on me, who avenges bullies. After that, I have no idea, but I am along for the ride of my life!