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Monday, June 6, 2016

I AM YOUR QUEEN: Phatima Rude

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge JOE ARENAZ
  • Joe Arenaz
Welcome to I AM YOUR QUEEEN,  recurring feature on the Exhibitionist that gets uncomfortably close with luminaries from the Bay Area's drag scene, to the point where not even light can escape.

"Drag can kill," says Phatima Rude. 

She is the subject of last year's short documentary, "Ladies and Gentlemen: Phatima Rude," by Paul King and Joel Landfield. You can see her coming because of the severe arch of her eyebrows, and you can see her going because she has eyes on the back of her head — literally. (The posterior of her cranium is tattooed with eyes like Divine.) SF Weekly chatted with Phatima about her origins and her shyness — and for a few minutes at least, nobody died.

click to enlarge MUTHA CHUCKA
  • Mutha Chucka
What name(s) do you perform under?
Phatima Rude, reTarded Panda, Taffi 3.14.

Where do you perform?
Many places. The Stud, a lot.

How long have you done drag?
Since 1989.

Does your Phatima Rude have a back story?

I grew up in a Fergus Falls, Minn. My mom worked at a State mental hospital, so I grew up there ... and a lot of my characters were from there.

click to enlarge JOSE MARIA GENER
  • Jose Maria Gener
Do you have a theater/performance background?
Is realness important to you? Genderfuck? Something else?
Various things. Being genuine is far more important than anything. 

When you were starting out, what was the biggest hurdle?

Fear and being extremely shy. 

What do you love most about drag?
At first, it was about not being Kevin. Now, it's therapy.
Assuming she is among us, does your mother know?
She passed in 2004. She is where I got my sense of humor and of the absurd. 

Have you had any trouble with Facebook's "real" names policy?
Yes I have had two profiles disabled.

What's your day job?
Not anymore. I did do makeup and hair for a long time.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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