A kiki with Obsinity
Let’s have a kiki!
This month is a special, as we talk to Obsinity. She is well known for her incredible impersonations of country superstar Reba McEntire, and for always wearing incredible costumes guaranteed to leave the audience gaging. She is a former Miss Nashville Gay Pride, and now is actually the organizer for the pageant. This lady always stays busy, but even with all her success, she still remains very humble. Time to sit back and get untucked, as we learn all the deets on Reba’s doppelganger.
How would you describe your childhood as a homosexual?
Childhood was kind of tough for me. I knew that was different from the other boys at an early age. I had a crush on this guy in second grade. I adored him! That is until someone dared him to lick the toilet seat and he did. Crush was over!
Not only did I always have a little bit of a feminine side, I was also kind of a husky kid. And I was very much a loner. I had friends but I would have a friend from this clique, and a friend from this clique, and so on. I never really felt like I fit in anywhere, and it depressed me. I was sad a lot as a kid.
I never felt unloved by my family, but in some ways I still felt separated. I knew I was gay, and I was so scared that I wouldn’t be accepted that I actually pushed them away for a few years.
Did you face a lot of hardships coming out?
My family was great about my coming out, but I still grew up in a religious family, and they often made negative remarks towards gay people. I think they were so great when I came out because they were like, “He finally figured it! We’ve always known.” It was more of a relief for them.
I’m a very lucky person and I have an amazing, loving, and accepting family. My mother is one of the best! She’s always there for me and supports me in everything I do. I’ve even gotten to perform with my mother. Obviously, we did The Judds!
What sparked your interest in drag?
Growing up, I would dress up in long t-shirts and put on a belt on and perform The Judd’s music for my family while they played cards. I loved entertaining, even then. I think it stems from that part of my childhood. It was almost like destiny!
I saw my first drag show at twenty and instantly fell in love with the art. I loved the illusion, the characters that each performer became. I mean, I had been doing that all my life, these people were doing it onstage and it looked a lot more fun that way!
How did you become a performer?
For years I only attended the drag shows. I got to know several of the entertainers and would often travel and go on road trips with them. I knew I wanted to do it, but I was terrified at the thought of being on a stage in front of total strangers. It wasn’t until I was dared to do drag for a friend’s birthday that I even attempted it. I called on a couple of friends to paint me, I borrowed a wig, bought a dress at TJ Maxx, and I was set. I hit the stage that first time, and I knew that’s where I belonged.
I was still hesitant, and it did take some coaching to get me to overcome my stage fright. I’m so glad that I overcame that fear, and even though I’m much more comfortable onstage now, I do still get a little stage fright from time to time, but I don’t let it stop me. I know that once the spotlight hits me, I’m home.
How did your family and friends feel about you becoming a drag queen?
My friends all knew how much I wanted to do it so they encouraged me. My family didn’t find out until I had been doing it for a few years, had won a few pageants, and was actually making money doing it.
When I started drag I made a decision that I would keep it from my family as much as possible until I knew if it was something I was going to be serious about. My grandmother was the first to find out, and she thought I wanted to live as a woman. It took a lot of convincing for her to believe otherwise, especially after I got my ears pierced and my eyebrows were completely shaved off.
Now they’re all supportive. I’ve had lots of my close family and extended family come to see my shows. They all love it! Once they see the art of the illusion, they’re addicted. Not just me, but all the girls in the show!
Who is your biggest inspiration as far as your drag career?
Definitely my drag mother, The Goddess Raven. She was the definition of a showgirl: Big feather costumes, head pieces and back pieces galore!
My first drag show ever, she walked out dressed as Wonder Woman, then later came out and set the stage on fire. I was hooked! I didn’t miss a show for almost two years.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a performer?
For me, it’s the audience. I love watching people’s faces from the stage. It’s so much fun when they’re into and singing along and dancing. And just knowing that you can affect their mood, bring a smile to their face. I’ve had people come up and tell me “I didn’t want to come out, but my friends made me. You made my night!” Things like that are what I find most rewarding: knowing you can bring a little bit of joy to someone’s life or even just a smile to their face.
What has been your biggest achievement as a drag performer?
Performing with my mother! A few years ago my mom and I were asked to host a monthly bingo game held as a fundraiser for Birmingham AIDS Outreach. It was the Mother’s Day edition, and my mom was already well known in the Birmingham community, as she came to my shows and Gay Pride events with me.
I asked my mom if she would want to do a duet for the event and she said yes. We did a medley of The Judd’s greatest hits. Halfway through our performance, I looked into her face and realized not a lot of entertainers get these kinds of experiences and this was something I needed to cherish. I thought to myself, “Never forget this moment. Never forget her face right now.” It was truly magical for me.
After that she developed a fan base and they gave her a stage name, momSINity.