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Monday, June 13, 2016

I AM YOUR QUEEN: Sue Casa

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 3:30 PM

click to enlarge SUE CASA
  • Sue Casa
Welcome to I AM YOUR QUEEN, a puked-in clutch purse of information about the usually insane, occasionally inane drag personalities that light up San Francisco when it's otherwise under darkness. We turn our attention today to one of the chattiest, the always-delightful Sue Casa.

"One of my favorite moments in drag was the time I did "Playboy Mommy" by Tori Amos," Sue Casa says. "I obviously dressed as a Playboy Bunny and started the number falling down on my pregnant self, forcing a bloody bunny out my ass. The best part was that Tommy Lee ended up coming to the show and I remember thinking, 'This can't be the first time Tommy Lee has seen a Playboy Bunny fall down and force out a baby. That man has lived.' " 

What name(s) do you perform under?
Sue Casa

Where do you perform?
All over town! I am one of three hostesses every Thursday at The Edge for The Monster Show. It was started by Cookie Dough and DJ MC2, and it's the longest-running drag show in the Castro (11 years!). I am also often at Oasis doing Mother or other special events, such as a party with Thorgy Thor I recently hosted along will LOL McFiercen, and an annual SUEper Bowl Party.

Currently, I am playing Carrie Bradshaw in a production of Sex and The City Live. One of my favorite places to perform is at The Stud for SOME THING with Glamamore and Vivvyanne Forevermore. I am also thrilled to be part of many of the Peaches Christ Productions. Besides being on stage, Vivvy and I have a podcast called Calm Down Queen that we put our every other week. (It's fun to say that I'm available on iTunes.) 

How long have you done drag?
As a hobby since about 1998, but didn't really start performing until about 2009. But, let's be real: I'm pretty sure I glitter-bombed my mother's uterus on the way out.


Does your Sue Casa have a back story?

Yes, a lot of people don't know the story of Sue Casa. Much isn't known, even to me, about my early years. All the information available is that I was actually born in Sioux Falls (which is something I do often) and was left in a paper bag outside of Party City. I haven't really gone too far from my roots: I've pretty much been an orphan my whole life.

When I first found drag here, I very quickly had a lot of cousins and some wonderful sisters. I like to think of Suppositori Spelling as my crazy aunt. She gave me a home and a place to grow. I was also very quickly adopted by my Tranma, Mutha Chucka. She did a lot for me and I love her dearly. During my rebellious years — which might still be going on — I did run away from her, and you can see how that played out. At this point I see us all as one big, happy, messed up family and I love it. Although I do miss my sister, Aurora Switchblade. She moved to Germany and it makes me sad.

When I first started doing drag, I was still sorting out my identity. I played around a lot and even searched for my true name. Originally my father named me Betty Fitzwell (true story) and as much as I tried to live up to the name I failed, and it just didn't fit. In 2004, as part of a celebration of the temporary legalization of gay marriage, I got "married." It was along with an event known as Guerilla Queer Bar and we took our gay selves to the Marina, me in my "by-the-pound" thrift wedding dress and my "husband" in his blue tux. Being in a sexless marriage, we searched for men to go home with. I took on the name Sue Casa and he took on Chez Moi — get it? your place or my place — and we made the front page of a local rag. Seeing Sue Casa in print made it stick, and I was officially born.

On a serious side note about drag in general: When it first began for me in 1998 it was a fun way to play along with a dear friend of mine named Tom. We waited tables together and then would get dressed up and go out. We were meant to take some drag down to L.A. one weekend. I was ready to go and couldn't find Tom anywhere. I sadly discovered that he had relapsed, overdosed, and died. It, in part, fell to me to clean out his apartment, and I inherited all his drag. I began putting it on more often as a way to be with him and then just found myself really liking it.

click to enlarge SUE CASA
  • Sue Casa
Do you have a theater/performance background?
Simply, no. High School drama fag, but that's it. Oh, and acting straight for 20 years. I didn't get an Oscar nomination so I gave up and came out.

Is realness important to you?
I don't understand the question. I'm real, so it's all realness.

Genderfuck? Something else?
I guess something else. I see myself more as a comedian than a drag queen. I'm not interested in the gender aspect as much as I am the exaggeration of things. Just another clown, I guess. I wanted to join the circus as a kid. They rejected me, drag didn't. I do suppose it's important for me to maintain the trash aesthetic. I hate shaving , tucking, wearing pantyhose, etc. I think it's important that my balls and hairy ass are often visible to folks. That's how I keep it real, or keep the realness.

When you were starting out, what was the biggest hurdle?
It was about seven feet, but I'm a pretty good jumper so it was no problem. Other than physical hurdles, I think the biggest one was believing in myself. My friends imagined me doing things long before I could. Now they don't want to imagine what I'm going to do.

What do you love most about drag?
Watching people laugh, have fun, escape from the hard parts of life for just a little while. Community.

Assuming she is among us, does your mother know?

Oh, Mrs. Casa has done drag karaoke with me. She's constantly giving me ideas and making me laugh. She says she sometimes can't get through watching a whole YouYube video of mine. "I'm still your mother you know and I could see where that was headed," she'll say.

Have you had any trouble with Facebook's "real" names policy?

Yes, I was kicked off once, and Lil Miss Hot Mess helped get me back online in no time. It's so ridiculous. It seems like such an easy solution. I have not had the problems others have so I feel grateful for that.


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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Bio:
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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