My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? Q & A

ISBN: 9781797203225 On Sale: November 9, 2021 $24.95



Q: Your book starts out with you as a young Justin, noticing that you aren’t into stereotypical boy’s clothing or toys, and more intrigued by your grandmother’s fashion and sister’s dolls. What was your experience when you came out to your family?

A: I'm really lucky my family was very supportive and lovely. My mom especially. I never even had to come out. It was very obvious that I was a queer child, so really no closet could contain me. My mom eventually talked to a counselor and got advice as to how best to bring it up with me and from then on we've been great.

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Q: There are several stories and references to The Rocky Horror Show/Picture Show in the book. What has Rocky Horror meant to you?

A: What Rocky Horror represented was really all the things that drag now stands for— it was rebellious, and wild, and unconventional, and it invited people to think about gender and sexuality in completely new ways. Plus Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon are amazing and it's just really fun to watch

Q: Your relationship with Sharon Needles is a major part of the book. What was it like to reflect on a very public, but also deeply personal and intimate, relationship and breakup?

A: The thing about breaking up with someone and having the literal whole community knowing about it is that it forces you to spend a lot of time thinking about it and talking about it. So, I was more than ready to talk about it in this book. I got to speak about everything that happened between Sharon and me in a long-form way, in my own words, and from my own perspective.

Q: What advice do you have for young people interested in Drag?

A: Retire! Just kidding. That's Lady Bunny's joke. My advice is to learn the rules, and then learn how to break them. When I first started out, finding out how to do makeup and hair and all the things you need to know about drag was hard. But now, there is YouTube and Amazon and all of these things are at your fingertips. The key is finding out what makes you different than every other YouTube and Amazon queen out there. Also show up on time and be nice to people.

Q: What inspired you to create your own pageant, Drag Queen of the Year?

A: There are so many types of Drag performers and so many types of artists who exist inside the world of Drag. My friend Lola LeCroix and I wanted to see what would happen if we put a bunch of different types of Drag performers —performers who were assigned female at birth, Trans performers, spooky queens, male performers, Drag kings, etc.—All onstage together, competing for the same title. The result was magnificent and beautiful and one of the best shows I've ever seen. But it also has given us a chance to shine a light on and increase the platform for some amazing and inspiring performers.

Q: What makes your song "The T" (from the album Poundcake) such a hit with your fans? Why is it one of your personal favorites?

A: It was great timing. There were so many things I wasn't allowed to talk about for so long because I didn't want to spoil All Stars for people. So once All Stars was over, I just did a WikiLeaks type dump of everything I wanted people to know about— and put it in the form of the song. It's funny, it's cunty, and the production is great. I'm glad people like it.

Q: Who did you write My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? for, and what do you hope they take from it?

A: This book is for anyone who does drag, or loves drag, or wants to know more about drag. It's for anyone who has felt like they're not good enough, or hasn't fit in, or has ever felt like they might not make it. I want people to know that Anus-thing is possible.

For more information, contact:

April Whitney, Chronicle Books, april_whitney@chroniclebooks.com

Ken Phillips, Ken Phillips Publicity Group, Inc., kppublicitygroup@gmail.com