One of the funniest, most positive and congenial queens to step onto the shores of Fire Island or the sidewalks of Manhattan’s nightlife is Lips’ own Ginger Snap. Having graduated from FIT in the field of fashion, and loving Broadway, Ginger is now the subject of a Fire Island documentary. The film follows her on her journey through her Home Queen competition, and then finally the win.
I spoke to Ginger regarding the film and wound up having a very personal and intimate conversation with her. She’s a very sensitive person and extremely passionate about doing drag and wanting to make people laugh.
You are very proud of a documentary called “Snap,” filmed about you by fellow resident Parker Sargent. What is the theme or message?
I guess this documentary, from what people are telling me—they are really seeing who I am. I really don’t ever let down my guard. So I let people into my life, letting people know what’s going on in my life, and how I ran for homecoming queen. What Cherry Grove means to me. What it’s like to be a gay guy dressing as a woman, and not getting love, because most men don’t want to date drag queens, unless you’re on “Drag Race.” Right now I’m working my ass off to get on “Drag Race.” I’ve also been doing a lot of stuff for Bravo too. They have been calling me up to bartend and do certain characters. I do feel like something good is going to happen. With this documentary though, I really want to get it out there; I really want people to see it. I want to hear people’s reactions to it. Parker really worked her ass off with this, and it looks so professionally done. I feel like you’re watching something that you would watch on TV.
When you aren’t at the Grove, you work at Lips. When can people see you?
At Lips they can catch me there at my show most every Wednesday for Twisted Broadway. I’m there every Sunday for our sold-out Sunday Brunch. We were just on Channel 4 News, who rated our brunch the “Top Rated Brunch” in NYC. Aside from that, I’m all over doing private gigs and stuff.
Will you be back at Fire Island this summer?
Absolutely. I work for Cherry’s on the Bay. I’ve been there since 2008, I believe. I do shows there, I do Dining With the Divas, and then I host a lot of the shows. I do the Leather Man Show, I host Miss Cherry’s on the Bay. The only thing I don’t do is I don’t host the Miss Gonorrhea. That would do really well out there.
In drag, do you consider yourself more of a…?
Comedy queen. I’m not a pageant queen. I’m not a beauty queen. I know what it looks like, and I’m wearing fucking Martha Stewart Collection. I’m wearing Benjamin Moore paint. I know I don’t look like a woman. I look like someone’s Italian uncle Fred putting on a dress.
I knew I would laugh tonight. I love you. So which do you like better, being a man or a woman?
It’s the best of both worlds. You know what I love? You know Eileen, I was really never happy living as a woman. It was a hard life. Men don’t want to be with you, because they don’t want to take you home. And I couldn’t see my family for 10 years. It was really hard and very lonely. When my father became ill—it’s sad to say this, but it was the best thing that ever happened, because I went back home, and I got to know my father for the first time. It was amazing, even though he died. It got me close to my sisters and my mom and my family. So I am content being a guy. I have drag in my life. You know, I transitioned for the wrong reasons. But as a gay guy I love to put on drag, because I love to perform. I love to make people laugh. It’s a high that I don’t get as a boy. I never feel special enough as a boy. When I put Ginger on, I’m just a whole other person.
Do you feel like your personality actually changes? Every queen I know seems to be different in drag, except China.
I think China is just China. There’s no performing personality for China. China is China, and I adore her for that. She knows who she is. She’s a “look” queen, and people love that.
For you, do you feel different as Ginger?
Well, I feel like a whole person comes out of me. I feel like I’m funny as Emilio, but when Ginger comes through, I don’t know what’s going to come out. I am really all about improve. I am not a person that’s going to rip down another person. That’s just not who I am. What I am is trying to make people laugh. I make fun of myself as much as I make fun of anybody. I feel that in order for you to get a laugh you have to make fun of yourself. If you’re just making fun of someone else, I think people would feel, “This bitch is shady.” I get it. I get what I am; I’m a fucking clown. I’m a man in a dress. Until you can make fun of yourself, that is when you can make fun of other people. I don’t do it in a hateful way. It’s a little shady, but it’s funny. It’s just who I am.
To view the documentary “Snap” visit gingersnapmovie.com.
Facebook: Emilio Gingersnap Deluca