Cassie Nova • 03.04.16

CN3-KristoferReynoldsCassie and Celeste go wig shopping

Hey-diddly-ho, gayborinos! I hope you’re all having a fabulous day.

Over the years, I have had a few young queens ask me if I would be their drag mother. For those that don’t know, a drag mother is a more established drag queen who finds it in their heart to help a little newbie in the ways of a showgirl. A drag mother helps their child with all things drag-related: makeup tips, wigs, lets them borrow clothes and costumes and sometimes lets them use their last name. There are quite a few O’Haras, even more Davenports and even a few Summers babies.

But alas, there are no baby Novas running around annoying the masses. Nova is just not a great last name for anyone but me. If I did have a drag child, I would want her name to be Bella. She would have to be funny, but not too funny. Pretty, but not too pretty. She would have to be a smart ass without being a cunt. Edgy, but still true to the art form. In other words, I am barren because of my high standards. I’m not going to let some little sissy-boy walk in and ruin the good name Nova.

I had a few queens help me along the way but only one I would call my drag mother: Celeste Martinez. In the early days of Cassie Nova, Celeste taught me to do hair, let me borrow clothes and taught me some valuable lessons, but most of all, she always had my back.

The timing for us to be friends was perfect. She needed a roommate and I needed a place to stay, and we got along, so for me it was a match made in heaven. Looking back, I feel sorry for her. I wouldn’t wish me on anybody. I was messy, loud and annoying. Thank God I have changed (I’m not as messy now).

I remember once when Celeste and I were going to pay the rent. We decided to stop in the wig store that use

d to be across the street from where Whole Foods is now. It was very uppity, bougie and way overpriced. The lady that ran the place looked like an Asian Tammy Faye Bakker but spoke with a Russian accent and had on a long blonde fall o

n the ba

ck of her head, while her bangs were teased up and out. From the moment we walked in the store she was on us. She looked down her nose at us and was very rude. “Whatchoo need?” she demanded. Celeste asked if she could see this lovely long brown wig that was up on a shelf; that bitch replied, “Dat one iz berry expensive.” Celeste looked at me like, “did this bitch really just go there?” I looked at her like, “Oh no she better don’t.” Then Celeste got this twinkle in her eye that said, “Watch this!” Celeste reached into her bag and pulled out our rent money. Yes it was all in cash, as we were on our way to get a money order. And you know coming from two drag queens it was a huge pile of bills. It was a few hundred dollar bills, a shit ton of twenties, tens, fives and ones. We looked like we was big pimpin’ and Celeste told her that money was no object.

The woman’s whole demeanor changed and she was suddenly our best friend. “Ooooh, dis wig look good on yoo skin tone. Dis one highlight yoo pretty face.” Celeste said we would take them all. Miss Bitch got so happy, running around the store almost dancing getting us whatever we needed.

We get up to the register and the bouncy happy bitch starts to ring the wigs up when Celeste said, “Hold on. You know what?
Never mind. We are going to go down the street to Lemmon Wigs and get this same shit cheaper and without the bad attitude, but thanks. Bye!” Celeste put away the wad of cash and we sashayed away out of there. If

looks could kill, we both would have been vaporized. It felt very Pretty Woman.

Here’s another memory. Every year, Caven Enterprises — which is the parent company for the Rose Room and the surrounding clubs — would have a huge Christmas party. The first few years I worked for Caven we had the party at the Lizard Lounge in Deep Ellum. It was always a blast — free food and free liquor. Celeste and I went one year out of drag. Just a chill night of fun was what I was hoping for, but No… I had to go and get in a fight.

It was a festive atmosphere and I was walking around, mixing and mingling. I stopped to talk to a group of friends and strangers and casually inserted myself into the conversation. It was just some light banter, nothing too serious. Then Valerie Lohr walked by with her husband Johnny, I yelled hello to them both and waved like some weird fanboy. I turned back to the group and said, “Oh my God, I love Valerie Lohr.” This one guy, kind of tall and good looking, had this look of disgust on his face. He said, “Gross, I hate drag queens.” I immediately got defensive and said, “Whatever dude! You don’t even know her, she’s…”

Then BAM! He punched me in the face.

I swear I don’t remember the next few seconds, but apparently I grabbed him and started to punch him repeatedly in the nose.
Then someone broke us up. I do remember when it was over and seeing blood on the ground. I just knew I was going to be fired, I was never going to be booked again. I was crying hysterically like a pussy, overcome with emotion. I had only been in a few fights growing up but I had never been punched in the face. It was shocking to say the least.

My friend Celeste was there telling me to calm down, everything was going to be okay. I looked around for the douche that popped me and realized the blood on the ground was not mine. We followed it to the front door, they had thrown him out and I figured I was next to be escorted out. Then I saw Paul Lewis, our big boss. He was my bosses’ boss and what he said was law. I saw him and started to cry again. He was a father figure to a lot of people in our community and I feared and respected him. He came up to me, put his arm around me and said, “I think you broke his nose.” Then he started to laugh. “He started it, you finished it. I tell people all the time, you don’t mess with a drag queen.” Then told me, “Let’s go get a shot.” And we did and all was well.

The dillhole that punched me was apparently some random dick dancer. I did break his nose. His ex-boyfriend still comes out to the Rose Room and tips me on occasion and every time he gives me a dollar he says, “Remember that time you broke my boyfriend’s nose?” and I always say yes, I remember.

My favorite part about this story is something I did not see, but which many people have told me: That when I got punched, my good Judy, Celeste Martinez jumped over a table and ran to the action to help me out. Just like Wonder Woman ready to kick some ass. There is no better feeling than knowing someone has you back. Celeste and I are not as close as we once were, she is off on a great adventure, but I will always consider her one of my best friends and my drag mother. I love that bitch!

Remember to always, love more, bitch less and be fabulous. XOXO Cassie Nova

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 4, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Ask Howard • 02.26.16

How to do the wrong thing right

Howard-RussellDear Howard,
I’m a pre-med intern — typically overworked, underpaid, with no spare time to cook for myself even if I had some leftover energy to. My fellow slaves and I, of which I’m their token, barely-accepted “homo” in this physician-wannabes’ posse, are all regular/repeat customers at practically every greasy spoon within a quarter-mile radius of Baylor; fractiously, I’m the sole one of us who bothers considerately tipping our equally overworked, underpaid servers. I put myself through undergrad waiting tables. I know first-hand exactly what sorts of rapacious vengeance gets served upon cheapskate “regulars” once the undertone snickers of “fudge-packer,” or some similarly expressed ilk, get overheard by any waiter maligned by snarky customers. Sweet karma, I secretly smile, is always such a delicious bitch, though, don’t you agree? — Stuart

Dear Stu,
Indeed, I deliciously do: Kudos to you, too, Stu, our future medicine man miraculous, for somehow resisting any comeuppance temptation to point out the so-simply obvious lesson still yet to be learned by your disbarment-worthy medical profession colleagues to whom you’re homophobically shackled: Perhaps we should just keep it our jizzy little secret that it’s solely due to your regular dining companions being flagged as nefariously-inexcusable bad tippers that they’re getting to enjoy that extra added squirt of sweetly flavorsome, creamy “secret sauce” on their burgers and in their beers — freshly homemade, daily, by the very adeptly practiced hands of their regularly stiffed, albeit graciously smiling “fudge-packer” servers themselves.

Dear Howard,
I’m mortified to ask this question: My fly boyfriend is super-stoked into “water sports” hardcore. In all SM honesty, man, this fetish is about the only bedroom burlesque I just do not at all twist into. But “Randy” laid all down on the table with me from our very first date, spelling out exactly what he enjoys doing most behind closed doors; miraculously, even I bit my toxic tongue for once about slinging Dallatude by not, oh, snarling, “What a coincidence! I’m also a total water sports’ enthusiast — you know, Michael Phelps and I even train together at the very same pool; trust me, too, those size 14 Aquaman flippers on him don’t lie, either —wink, wink!”

No, instead, my backfired cocky-comeback retort was, “Proper hydration is my passion!” which Randy sleazily interpreted 100 percent at face value. It totally whirlpooled me, like, urinal-drain deep smitten with him instantly, and now, every morning since I’m awakened by my boyfriend smarmily, seductively spooning me with his forked tongue flickering in my ear, whispering, “Tonsils, baby, or tush?”

Usually, I just sigh and choose “tush” because, well, morning pee isn’t exactly what the FDA labels a sunshiny day draught of orange juice, identical in color though it damned revoltingly is; ridiculous as this sounds, it’s just a lot less bothersome, hygienically, for me to wear old man’s incontinence underwear at work through noon, ’til my back-end leakage finally drips dry, than it is to guzzle down my boyfriend’s proud, fresh, hot homemade “breakfast” to his last yummy drop every morning, instead. Howard, how do I stop this, gently, what I’ve absurdly started? — John Hancock

Dear J-Cock,
You can’t. Not unless you’d rather belong to a different boyfriend, which you clearly do not: Listen, Johnny Lavatory, the man laid his deal-breaker fetishes at your back door from the absolute start, to which you delivered before him a big wide slutty smile of enthusiasm. On the hunk-o-meter scale, 1-to-10, exactly how far into the red zone beyond 10 does your needle quiver for this “fly” boyfriend? He surely must be some more off-the-charts specimen of filthy fine man flesh in your eyes because of his water sports’ obsession, truth be told, is all I can tell you; otherwise, morning piss from anybody (be it up the gut or down the gullet) is worth neither the medicine cabinet of Alka-Seltzer one must keep fully stocked, nor the man purse full of Depends one must pack every morning for the office; fortunately, if you indeed love this “Randy,” urine is hygienically sterile: Think of the relationship more in terms of you perhaps being, oh, goldenly-showered lucky — after all, stud, there exist oodles of lovesick bedroom fetishes far less [ahem!] . . . tasty.

Dear Howard,
This isn’t really a question so much as it’s a “light bulb” revelation I wish to share: Last week, my youngest son of three exemplary boys, who is only 16, “came out” to me. Hesitantly, tactfully, concernedly, I asked if he was sure he’s gay — that it didn’t matter to me, at all, I only wanted him be happy — but how was he certain he knew already? He lobbed back, “Dad, when did you know you were straight?” I blustered, “Well, son, but I’ve known all my life” . . . and suddenly then I got it, my “illumination” moment: I truly hope Paul meets a wonderful man down the road to fall in love with; I’ll be just the happiest, proudest father in the whole wide world! — Michael.

— Howard Lewis Russell

Do you have a question — about etiquette, love, life or work — that needs an answer? Send your problem to and he may answer it

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 26, 2016.


—  Dallasvoice

Editorial Cartoon • 02.26.16


—  Dallasvoice

A Couple of Guys • 02.26.16


—  Dallasvoice

Cassie Nova • 02.19.16

Time for more dragvice from Miss C!

Cassie_8433-FINALHello, my lovelies. Just FYI, my birthday is next week (Feb. 27!) — Pisces in tha house, and I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that I am getting old. It’s a bitch. My laugh lines are becoming laugh canyons. My metabolism is slowing to a turtle pace, and all I ever want to do is take a nap. People say you are only as old as you feel. Well I have days when I feel 25, then I have days when I feel 85.

I miss the days of going out, dancing and drinking and still getting up early and having a productive day. Not anymore. Now, if I overindulge too much with the drinking, I am worthless the next day. For every hour of fun, I now need a day to recover. It’s just not worth it.

On the upside, I have never been happier with who I am or with life in general. I find myself taking life as it comes and enjoying the moments more. Youth really is wasted on the young. Those ungrateful fuckers.

It has come to my attention recently that I have been neglecting my duties of having an “advice” column. Well the truth, is I don’t get as many questions as I once did.
Apparently I have solved all of your problems and you no longer need me in that capacity. Just kidding, I still get people asking for advice every once in a while, so I will get back to my roots and help my peoples. So you asked for it.

Dear Cassie,
I have had some really bad experiences with past relationships. Six months ago, I met what seems like a really great guy! He accepts me and really cares about me. We have really bonded, but I have been offered a tremendous promotion in a new city. So you can imagine how awkward this makes me feel. Should I stay or should I go? Reminds me of that song. Thanks, TCG.

Dearest TCG,
I would say to follow your heart and do what you feel is right but your wording, “what seems like a really great guy” makes me think you are not sure about him. I understand that past relationships seem to have made you jaded or weary of this new guy but you need to do what is right for you. Long distance relationships can work but only if the feelings are there on both sides. I need more information before I can give you a legitimate answer. Are you in love? Do you get butterflies? Is he worth the effort or are you using him as an excuse not to jump on this great opportunity with your job? Life is not always a romantic comedy, sometimes you have to move on and hope that the relationship follows. Good luck, Cassie.

Dear Miss Nova,
I have always considered myself to be an ally. I know that I have made mistakes along the way, but I have always tried to learn from them and to push myself and other allies to do better. Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine about allies. The topic came up of what made someone an ally, and what made someone a bad ally. We couldn’t come to an agreement, so I thought I’d ask you. What makes someone an ally? What makes someone a bad ally? (I know it seems like a bad ally isn’t an ally at all, but that is part of the question, can you be an ally and be a bad one, or does it just make you not an ally at all?) Respectfully, Forrest.

Hey Forrest Hey,
It sounds to me like you and your friend were having a competition to see how many times you could say ally. So now it is my turn. I think an ally is an ally, good or bad. My idea of a bad ally is someone who only aligns themselves with others for personal gain. When you’re talking about straight people being an ally for the gay community it really depends on intent. Many times it is just a matter of educating folks on what is right. In this age of being so completely politically correct, a person’s intent can be overshadowed by their wording. Find out what they truly mean and educate them on what is right and why. Oh yeah, ally, ally, allied ally and ally. Good luck my friend, Cassie.

Miss Nova,
Girl, my husband of four years has decided he wants to try his hand at a cleaning business. He has become very successful and does a magnificent job cleaning other people’s stuff. Meanwhile, meanwhile … did I say meanwhile? …. our place could use the same attention?! I work 50 hours plus at a nonprofit kitchen and work 20 hours part time and he is finally making some coin. Do I steal his money or gag him with a mop? I wanna know! Thank you in advance, Miss Lybarger.

Ok Miss Lybarger,
Calm dafuk down. If he is making good coin maybe you should hire someone to clean your house. I bet he probably knows someone. No one wants to come home from a hard day of working and do what they have been doing all day. Hell, when I get home from a show, the last thing I want to do is be entertaining and charming.

My husband gets asked on the regular, “Is Cassie always fun, I bet she is always a good time.” He tells them point blank, “Nope! At home she is boring as fuck.” I save all my energy and sass for the show.

You did say “our place” so maybe y’all could both clean the place together. Tell him you will do all kinds of nasty stuff to him if he does the dishes or vacuums. Try a little positive reinforcement. It works for training a puppy and most men are at least as smart as a puppy. Good luck! Cassie.

Dear Cassie,
Let me start by saying I love your column! I usually get at least two laugh-out-loud moments and I smile the entire time I’m reading it. We recently moved back to Texas from Minnesota and chose Oak Lawn because to leave a place as blue as Minnesota and move to almost any place in Texas other than here might cause my head to explode! You validate our choice every week.

Have you ever thought about doing a “How to Become a Diva” class for us middle aged white ladies? Every time I get dressed to go someplace special I feel like I could do so much better! Sending love and light your way and fuck those cracker bitches in Walmart and Ted Cruz and Donald Trump… I mean that in the nicest way. Smiles! Suzy.

Dear Crazy Ass Suzy,
Thank you for your kind words, I truly appreciate it. As far as having a class to become a diva, it sounds like you have all the sassiness a diva needs, so you are on your way. I would suggest going to see some of my fabulous make-up artist friends that work at places like Mac or Sephora. Go see Chanel LeMasters, Raquel Blake or Daphne Rio St. James. They do an incredible job of making gals like you look mo fabulous. I would do it but I only have one shade of makeup and that’s whore! So if you wanna look like a hard ass street walker, I’m your guy otherwise go see the real professionals. Good luck!

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova

If you have a question of comment, email it to

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 19, 2016.

—  Craig Tuggle

Editorial Cartoon • 02.19.16


—  Dallasvoice

A Couple of Guys • 02.19.16


—  Dallasvoice

Couples needed for wedding apparel fashion show

920x920Dallas Voice is looking for LGBT couples to model wedding attire at our upcoming Wedding Party and Expo. The event, the second that Dallas Voice has hosted since the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision last June 26, will be held March 20.

Mark Stinson-Stokes, the Voice’s conference and events director, said he is looking for “a diverse group of couples/models” to “represent the beauty of the DFW LGBT community.” “Couples” are not required to actually be in a relationship to model as a couple in the fashion show. There is no compensation, other than paid parking and the chance to be a wedding fashion model.

Couples will be interviewed Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Dallas Voice offices, 1825 Market Center Blvd., Ste. 240 (that’s in the Chase Bank building at the corner of Market Center and Turtle Creek Boulevard, in the Design District.). No reservations or booking are required.

A small panel of people will participate in the interviews to choose four lesbian couples and four gay couples for the Wedding Party and Expo, set for noon-4 p.m. on March 20 at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel.

Those who are chosen to participate as models will be notified within 48 hours.

Anyone with question can contact Stinson by email at

—  Tammye Nash

Scene • 02.12.16


Making the SCENE the week of Feb. 12-18:

• Alexandre’s: K-Marie on Friday. Three Drunk Monkeys on Saturday. Chris Chism on Wednesday.

• Brick/Joe’s: Bearracuda featuring DJ Mateo Segade from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. on Saturday. Shy T presents Valentine’s Day Brick Pink and White Party with special guest Just Brittany, DJ Mmeka and Ida Mae Watergate at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

• Changes: The Divine Miss Divas Show at 10 p.m. on Friday.

• Club Reflection: Texas Gay Rodeo Association casserole cookoff at 4 p.m. and Valentine’s Show at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Wall of Food Show at 8 p.m. on Thursday.

• Dallas Eagle: DFW Leather Corps club night from 7-10 p.m. on Friday. United Court of the Lone Star Empire presents Angels vs. Demons benefiting the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund at 7 p.m. on Friday. Discipline Corps club night from 10 p.m.-midnight on Friday. Texas Gay Rodeo Association presents Queen of the Closet from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday. National Leather Association – Dallas club night from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday.

• JR.’s Bar & Grill: Cassie’s Freak Show with Stefani, Nikki, Alexis and Your Highness on Monday.

• Round-Up Saloon: The ManCandy Wig Party, the most hair raising party of the year, with wigs, Jell-o, dancers and retro music and videos at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

• Sue Ellen’s: No Labels Band on Friday. The Roommates opens for Radio Love Bus on Saturday. Kathy & Bella at 3 p.m. and the Marisela Trio at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

• The Rose Room: Rising Star with Layla and Kelexis on Thursday.

• Urban Cowboy Saloon: Emperor’s Red Hot and White Ball buffet at 6 p.m. and ball at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

• Woody’s Sports & Video Bar: Music by Spencer at the Anti-Valentine’s Party on Sunday.

To view more Scene photos, go to Scene Photographers: Winston Lackey and Chad Mantooth.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 12, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Crossword Puzzle • 02.05.16

Click to download this week’s PUZZLE
Click to download this week’s SOLUTION

—  Dallasvoice