Catching Up With Justin Bond
By Phillip B. Crook
Do you see a gap in the LGBT community between gays/lesbians and transgendered people?
I do, but for me the root of homophobia is misogyny, more specifically femme phobia because that which is perceived as feminine is perceived as weak. A lot of gay people experience homophobia long before they're aware of any sexual desire. But they are perceived quite frequently as being femme or different or 'sissy.' And that doesn't come from problems with sexuality, it comes from problems with gender. I think that's why many gay people have so much disdain for transgendered people, because they feel like, 'If you would just stop being so outrageous, if you would somehow assimilate, it would make it easier for us all to be palatable.' There's always a tension between the gay community and the transgendered community. But if it weren't for people who insisted on expressing themselves in a more flamboyant way, there would have been a lot less movement for gay rights. People who are assimilationist are less propelled as activists because they can blend when they need to. People whose lives are threatened on the street have no choice.
What would a gendered world of your own creation look like?
I think it would look a lot like the one we have now, there would just be a lot more acceptance of fluidity. I don't think everybody needs to change, I just think everybody needs to be who they are and recognize difference in others.
Speaking of people who already do that, your new show at The Kitchen includes a group of trans performers called 'The House of Whimsy.' Any rivalry there with the 'Haus of Gaga'?
I don't even know what the 'Haus of Gaga' is, although there is definitely an allusion to heterosexual women who become cultural imperialists by taking queer creativity and claiming it as their own. I don't know if there's a rivalry, but there's definitely a commentary.
Well then how do you view Lady Gaga's activism for the queer community?
I think it's great. All voices are helpful and I definitely applaud her outrageousness. I think what she says is heartfelt.
Who's in your dream lineup of nightclub performers?
I've already performed with my dream lineup: The Scissor Sisters and Debbie Harry and Sandra Bernhard and Rufus Wainright'most of these people are my friends, so I like being onstage with my friends and fellow revolutionaries.
Not Bette Midler?
Better Midler? She's all right.
Do you have a favorite Bette? Maybe fiery redhead Bette or Hocus Pocus Bette?
My favorite is the live DVDs of Bette Midler in the '80s. The Divine Miss M Bette Midler on her motorized wheelchair. Classic Bette.
Justin Bond and the House of Whimsy's Re:Galli Blonde (A Sissy Fix) plays at The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, New York, NY, Friday'Saturday, October 22'23, 8pm and Wednesday'Saturday, October 27'30, 8pm. For tickets and more information, click here.
And to follow Justin on Twitter, click here.