If you’re going to be in town, you’ll want to get your tickets early and show up early, or else face a heinous line as the crowds disperse from Civic Center. Also, Juanita will be DJing in NYC this weekend on Sunday at Vandam.
Before she left, she sat down with The Sword for a quick interview about the life and times of one of San Francisco queen bee drag queens.
The Sword: Tell us about the start of your drag career. Was it in San Francisco?
Juanita: My first performance was at the drag bar Lily’s where Martuni’s is now on Market Street in San Francisco. I still have the lime green lame pantsuit Mr. David made for me. I was wearing his couture right from the start! John Baretta was doing my hair — he really did some beautiful stuff for me. My song choices were from Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. I still have such a great love for those amazing ladies. If I had my choice I would still just stand center stage with a spot light – no props and lip-sync a ballad from one of those old gals.
And you took the inspiration for your name from…?
My last name was taken from my drag mother Glamamore. I first got to see Glama perform at Boy Bar on St. Marks Place in New York City in the mid 80s. Up until that time I had no interest in drag or drag queens. Standing front row watching Glama do Chez Chez La Femme by Dr. Buzzard’s Savannah Band — I was just mesmerized. We became close friends. Years later Glama put me up in drag on a hokey Halloween night here in San Francisco. A few weeks later we were having dinner at The Line Up and racking our brains over the perfect drag name for me. We looked up and a movie poster was glaring in our faces – Imitation of Life staring Lana Turner and Juanita Moore. We dropped an “O”!
Who are your drag idols?
My drag idol is Divine. In LA as a kid I got to see Pink Flamingos at The Nu Art Theatre. A couple of days later after the initial shock of the film wore off I became so facsinated with Divine. Years later, I got to see her live in The Neon Woman at The Alcazar Theatre in San Francisco. I waited at the stage door to meet her. She came out without her wig and in a kimono and autographed my show poster. She told everyone around her how cute I was. In my mind all I was thinking was,”Take me away with you, FOREVER!” I felt like I was dreaming of running away with the circus.
Do you have a favorite porn star?
Yes. My Latin brother with the big dick — Ricky Martinez (link NSFW).
You do some photo shoots of your own right?
I love taking photographs. There are so many beautiful people here. My big plans are to help out all those gorgeous boys with bad photos on the sex sites — by taking a fucking sexy photo of them so they can get laid, proper.
When did you start the after-Pride party you’ve been doing at Bambuddha Lounge?
This will be our fifth year hosting the annual Pride Party and benefit — the first was in 2005. I’m so excited and so protective of it. I’ve always approached it as if I were hosting friends and family in my own home at a dinner party. For someone who has never come to it, think of it as a lavish Hollywood movie musical set around a pool in the 50s — but, a PARTY! And, it benefits a different local non-profit each year. This year my heart fell into the hands of the Transgender Law Center. They are doing some important work in our community.
What are you hot for this season?
Recycling your plastic Britta water vessel and investing in Japanese Bamboo Charcoal for purifing your water. You can get it at Boulette’s Larder, online or at the Ferry Building.
Top photo by Brandon Norris, second photo by Austin Young
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Juanita More’s Pride Party (Official site)
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