an interview with boo gatTi
winner of queen bee 2016
8 months after winning
queen bee 2016
we caught up with boo gatTi
How & when did you first get into performing in Drag?
I first started drag by accident in December 2015, I was asked by my friend (now drag mother) to fill in for one of the queens in his show as they had pulled out last minute and he knew that I have a background in dancing. So he put me into the makeup and to say I had a meaty tuck was an understatement, and I fell in love with it almost instantly.
What do you enjoy about performing in Drag?
I really enjoy the freedom of expression, and that drag has such a wide boundary to what you can do. I also like the fact that I can use my dance background to really push myself to work harder.
Where are you from originally, what was your childhood like?
I’m from a little town in the cotswolds called Cricklade, and I spent most of my life in Wiltshire. My childhood was a learning curve, after being thrown out of home at the age of 14 I went into foster care and spent the next 3 years going through the care system. It was a rollercoaster, with a lot more downs than ups, but it was an experience that has built me into the person I am today.
How did you find out about Queen Bee and what made you want to enter?
I’d seen that Gisele had posted a poster in regards to the competition and just decided “why not”. I’m not going to say that I’d had a bottle of wine or two when I saw the poster, but I’m not going to say I didn’t.
What themes and inspiration did you draw on for your performance for Queen Bee?
I went through 3 different looks for 3 different songs on stage, so took 3 different themes for each part as I wanted to show as much variety as possible. I went from High Fashion, to more of a dark route channeling inspiration from the illuminati conspiracies and psychiatric wards, to finally more of a skimpy hooker vibe.
How did it feel to win Queen Bee 2016?
It’s going to sound cliché, but it didn’t feel real, everyone who was there won’t let me live it down that I cried a lot when I won, and I don't cry… ever, not even at marley & me. I think a lot of it was a gratuitous feeling of validation that I’d been working so hard to receive.
It’s been 8 months since Queen Bee 2016, what have you been upto, I heard you had actually re-located to Leeds?
I have! I’ve now moved to leeds as there is such a phenomenal drag scene up north that I wanted to be a part of! In the last 8 months I have been working all across the UK as a UK headliner for lots of the Rupaul’s Drag Race queens that come over to perform, as well as doing solo shows! It’s honestly been the most unreal and crazy experience.
On August 6th you will perform as Queen Bee 2016 at Leeds Pride, over 20,000 people will be in front of you - are you prepared and is this the biggest audience you have performed to.
This will be the biggest audience I have ever performed to, and in all honestly I’m absolutely bricking it, but I’m ready to bring my A-Game! I’m still in the midst of preparations as I want it to be perfect for pride and I only have a small slot to try and wow so many people!
What do you look to achieve in the future and how far do you want your Drag Artist career to go?
Well I’d ideally love to be able to tour the world doing the job that I love, and I hope that with constant persistence and improvement - I can do so, you can only achieve as high as you set your bar, and mine’s set sky high.
What would you say to anybody who is considering entering Queen Bee this year?
Bring it. You need high energy and you need to commit to your idea fully, don’t doubt yourself and be proud of what you’ve created and what you’re performing. Just enjoy it!
thank you boo!
don't forget you can catch boo gatTI live at leeds pride on august 6th!
interview by J Springthorpe