In this episode of Here & Queer, Vidalia Anne Gentry is joined by celebrated Chicago drag queen and recent Nashville transplant, Aura Mayari! Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast and more!

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Aura Mayari: So I'm not like a Halloween drag baby or like a Pride drag baby. I was a birthday drag baby. So a lot of my friends would do like birthday birthday events. It's like drag themed. So I went to two of them. And mind you I didn't have any drag experience except for the rent thing. I didn't do my makeup - I had my own makeup artist. I didn't dress myself - I had like costume designers.

But I did a thing, you know like I did my face. I was gorgeous,by the way, like my first time in drag.

Vidalia Anne Gentry: Mama look at the material.

Aura Mayari: Look at these cheekbones! No! But I showed up. I was in this body suit. I tucked myself with no with no pads. It was literally just me tucked…

So I show up to these birthday events at Boystown and bar owners and staff were just like coming up to me and saying what's your drug name? Who are you? Where do you perform? And that's when it started!

My first drag name … because I was feeling my oats, I was totally feeling my oats. I was wearing this like really beautiful blonde wig that I got from a Korean beauty store, and my friend was like "You look like a Courtney, so we're going to name you Courtney." So that one night my name was Courtney. I was like I need a last name. But I was so fucking drunk that night. I was dancing all over the bar. And my friend was like, "Courtney slays, Courtney slays." And that was my first drag name - Courtney Slays was born in 2017.

Photo courtesy of The Dinah

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Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

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