Drag queen DJ talks music and politics as she gets ready to head back to Dallas for Toast to Life
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
“In Texas, I’ve become the DJ for socialites.” That’s how it seems to Lady Bunny, who was the DJ on Halloween at Hotel Zaza and at the Fresh Arts benefit, both in Houston.
In Dallas, she’s DJ’d an event at the Rachofsky home known for its art collection and for a Dallas Theater Center fundraiser, as well as at a wedding held on marriage equality night at the W Hotel.
Bunny admits that she’s “not the greatest mixer,” and that she doesn’t have a lot in common politically with many of the people who attended those Texas fundraisers. “But I know music and I know what they’ll like,” she declares.
And after all, that’s what counts, right?
Bunny says she knows how to please a crowd and has a wide variety of experience as a DJ. “When you DJ from Pride to Fashion Week in Paris to gay weddings to bar mitzvahs, you find out what a crowd likes,” she says.
And knowing what the crowd likes shouldn’t be too difficult for Bunny when she’s next in Dallas, because she’ll be spinning for a crowd that’s much closer to her on the political spectrum: She’ll be the star attraction at Resource Center’s 18th annual Toast to Life fundraiser on March 5 at The Empire Room.
Surprisingly, Bunny has also made a name for herself in the fashion world since a fashion publication called Visionaire hired her as their in-house DJ.
“That started my DJ career outside New York,” she says.
Her first party in Paris, on the Eiffel Tower, attracted fashion model Iman and designer Karl Lagerfeld as guests. From there, she’s done Toyko, Milan, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul and London.
“That gave me credibility as a DJ,” she says. “It became OK to hire this drag queen.”
Bunny says it was her years of working in clubs that helped her be successful as a DJ. “I remember what songs turned the party out,” she says. “In every decade.”
It also doesn’t hurt that she breaks the ice by getting into the music and cutting up. “You get a DJ and a clown for the price of one,” she says.
Currently, Bunny is on a DJ tour promoting the upcoming eighth season of Drag Race. Before coming to Dallas next week, she hits Phoenix and Kalamazoo. From here, she heads overseas to London, Manchester and Milan. But that doesn’t mean she’s carrying a lot of luggage around.
“I shock people how light I travel,” she says.
For this tour, Bunny needs seven dresses. So she just packs fewer men’s clothes. What about all of her wigs? They’re big, she says, not teased out. So they stack and she combs them out.
Bunny says even when she’s in men’s clothes with no make up, she gets called “ma’am,” especially when they hear her voice. It’s not rude, she adds; at least they’re calling her ma’am, not something derogatory.
But she’s had a number of funny experiences with that. “A men’s room attendant in Mexico told me I went into the wrong restroom,” she recalls. When she explained she was a man, he propositioned her.
As passionate as Bunny is with her music and entertaining, she’s equally as hot about her politics.
First, she rips fellow New Yorker Donald Trump.
“I was in L.A. and Walgreens had a life-sized cutout of Donald Trump,” she says of an experience that happened before Trump launched his presidential bid. “Do they know no one in New York even likes Donald Trump? He’s regarded as a joke.”
Bunny says she doesn’t think Trump is even seriously running. She’s still expecting him to drop out and turn his run into a reality show about how to prank the press. He is, she says, a “jerk spouting nonsense.”
But the anger Trump has tapped into is real, she adds: “People are angry. We’re told the recession is over but people are still working two jobs and are still on food stamps.”
After eight years of Bush and eight years of Obama, she says, most of the wealth is going to “the 1 percent.”
She criticizes Hillary Clinton for voting for the Iraq War, something Bunny believes was a disaster. “I’m a drag queen and she has access to secret dossiers,” Bunny said. “She has the foreign policy of a Republican.”
Bunny says she has a 75-year-old Republican aunt who lives in the south who’s voting for Bernie because “the Republicans are clowns and she doesn’t trust Hillary.” Bunny’s advice? Get involved.
Oh, and support Resource Center by coming to Toast to Life. Bunny promises it’ll be a blast.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 26, 2016.