A: Maybe it's easier for people to watch a boy put on makeup and do drag. It makes sense to more people than it does some who is transgender, going through a transition, doing drag. Because honestly, there's no rules to drag. You can't say in order to be a drag queen you have to live your life as a man. No. That's not true.
Q: RuPaul has said many times that "you're born naked and everything else is drag."
A: Exactly. I think it would defintiely be intreresting.
Q: Do you keep in touch with anyone from 'Drag Race,' any of the Heathers?
A: I keep in touch with Raja. I mean, I haven't seen Manila for a while. Everyone's pretty busy. I still do my shows and stuff. But I'm really focused on functioning in a straight society, because it's new to me. I'm so curious about it.
A: Right after high school, I came out as gay. I went straight to the gay clubs. The gay scene, it's all I've ever known. So now it's totally different. Being a girl is so dofferent. Women just have a lot more things to deal with than men do. It's not even like I walk around and I feel like people know that I'm transgender. The thing is that they don't.
Q: For example?
A: When I go to the airport, guys will hold my bag for me, they'll try to flirt with me. These are things that I'm not used to dealing with. ... Me and my husband, we'll go to like a straight club, whatever. He loves to dance. I let him dance with all his girlfriends or whatever. I'm kind of like the one at the bar. I like to watch, have a drink. And guys will approach me and want to take me out to dance and want to get my number. And it's awkward. Because what do you say? What do you say to them, 'Oh, no I have a penis?'
Q: So what do you do?
A: First of all, it's no one's business what's going on between my pants. That's one thing. I still talk to my husband's friends, you know, straight guys, and they're like, 'Oh, you should always tell a guy right away, if you are [transgender].' I'm like, why? If the guy's interested in you, why can't he see you for the woman that you are, I guess, presenting yourself to the world as? That's one thing that I'm having a hard time dealing with.
Q: Do people feel like they have some right to know?
A: I guess they feel like you have to tell them right away. OK, so if you're hitting on a guy or whatever, does he have to tell you right away if he has HPV or whatever? Gonorrhea? Some things are personal. Or if he has 10 baby mothers? Those are things that you find out when you have a relationship or you're talking or whatever.
Q: Does it ever make you uncomfortable to be sort of an unofficial spokesperson for trans people? Or do you like that?
A: I get a lot of emails from little kids and boys, like 'Oh, I would love to transition.' And even other transgender girls who are like, 'Wow, what you're doing is awesome,' and stuff like that. ... [But I also] I got this one email from this lady who was like, 'Oh, you know, you get naked in your shows and that's not a way to carry yourself and this and that.' Things like that.
Q: So you try to balance that?
A: I just want to be a good example of who I am. I feel like I would definitely want to be a good example of a transgender person living a normal life, functioning in both societies. Have a husband, have kids, be happy totally. But there are some other girls, they'll go on the Maury show or they'll go on Jerry Springer. They'll call themselves men and it makes it easier for other people to call them men, too.
Q: What's your perspective on that?
A: There are a lot of transgender girls who deal with so much they don't have any pride in themselves. They're not proud of themselves. They feel like they're a punching bag, that it's OK. That people are going to judge, so let them judge. Or people are going to say things so let me just insult myself, let me just put myself down before anyone else does first. Those are the people I would like to change, but I can't change everybody.
Q: So you focus on what you can focus on.
A: Maybe it's just best for me to be the best example of myself, because maybe that will spark a change. They can say, 'Look at her. I saw her as a boy. I saw her transition. And I'm seeing her do things she's always wanted to do.'
Q: What's the next step?
A: I think I want to get my breasts augmented. I think I'm going to get some boobs going on here. ... That's what I'm looking forward to right now.
Q: What are you working on next?
A: I'm working on a couple of things ... I'm going to be on TLC [on 'Cake Boss'on June 11.] I still have more shows coming up. You'll see me out. I'm the kind of person, I don't know if it's good or bad, but I just go with the flow. I never really plan for things. I just do them.
ggarvey@Tribune.com | @gcgarvey