A Kiki with Giselle Nicole
We all know that doing drag takes a lot of work, but what we don’t always hear about are drag husbands and all the work they do behind the scenes. Just like supportive partners in any relationship, they stand beside and support their queens by helping pack bags, make costumes, and many other things that make their queens’ work easier.
Giselle Nicole is one of Nashville’s best up-and-coming performers. She was featured in the feature film, Boulevard, starring Robin Williams, which will be widely released this spring, and she performs on the Play rising stars cast and is a Tribe Warrior in Nicole Ellington Dupree’s Monday night cabaret show.
She is also a performer lucky enough to have a strong relationship with her husband, Bradford. With her drag husband’s constant support, Giselle continues to break boundaries not only in Nashville but all across Tennessee. This very versatile queen does it all, from acting to singing, and with an upcoming video release she is sure to take the world by storm. Find out all about Giselle and what it takes to “stand by your queen” in this latest edition of Nashville Untucked.
When did you start doing Drag?
I actually started doing drag in high school: we had a Ms. West High pageant and I entered and won. My name was Diamond, then, though!
Who inspires you most in your Drag persona?
Who inspires me the most? I will say me, first, ‘cause it takes my dedication and drive to create her, but I take from the women in my family, especially my mother, my grandmother, my sisters, and aunts… Everything I know about being a great woman I learned from them.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment in drag?
My biggest accomplishment, I think, has been just doing drag! It helped me gain my confidence back in all areas of my life. It gave me to the courage and strength to do some things that I thought that I had to let go of. [My drag persona] inspired me creatively, giving me another view, a different perspective, which has allowed me to grow artistically and individually.
How many pageant titles have you held? Is there one you are most proud of?
I have 3 titles, and, truthfully, all of my crowns are near and dear to me heart. Plus I am still the current reigning Knoxville Newcomer, Ms. Valentine, and Middle Tennessee America. I never gave up my titles, because I was the last to win all three crowns that I have, and to me that is so special. I truly believe it’s something significant in my life.
Bradford is really supportive. When did you meet, and what are the benefits of having a “drag husband”?
I met Brad three years ago, and we have been together ever since. The biggest benefit [of having someone supportive] is that they are usually your number one fan, and they get to see your dreams and goals unfold with you.
Where Bradford helps me the most is he never lets me second guess whether I am as great as I see and think that I am. He pushes me to be the best, whether that’s drag, my music career, or acting. He vindicates, he confirms, and he supports me.
Does he make it to all of your shows?
No, Bradford doesn't make all my shows, but I am fine with it! I know he's with me in my heart, the times that he is absent.
Do you and Bradford plan to legally marry?
When the time comes we will cross that bridge. Do we talk about it? Yes, we talk having kids too. Right now, I am so focused on my singing and drag career that we just take everything one day at a time.
Has another queen ever tried to come between you and your Bradford?
Ummm, describe queen, ‘cause you know that don't just mean drag [giggles]! Have they tried? Let’s just say, I see them trying to give him googley eyes, smile at him, and strike up conversations with him in hopes that they can somehow magically or seductively “take him.” I laugh ‘cause I am secure enough with myself and my relationship to not even sweat it. That’s all a part of the business. Now if our foundation wasn't built on something real and solid then this would be a whole different kind of spill. But to answer, the thirst is real, yessss!
Not being originally from Music City, how would you describe its drag community?
The drag scene here is challenging yet rewarding. When I first moved here, I had no clue about expectations and barely knew how to paint. Where I came from, I was the “dancing girl,” and I never understood professionally what it took to be a true success. I came here and the drag system here challenged me to be better, do better and to stretch my limits as an entertainer!