No drag queens are safe as Lady Bunny hits the road for her new holiday special.
The legendary drag queen and DJ takes no prisoners in her new Christmas show, “Lady Bunny: A Very Blue X-Mas.”
From raunchy rewrites of classic carols to digs at popular drag queens, no topic is off-limits for the New York icon.
“Christmas is a good pocket for me to be in because everybody knows those songs. If you’re parodying a song that you know never took off, like say, something on a Sharon Needles album, then nobody knows what the parody is,” she tells The Advocate Channel.
“Lady Bunny: a Very Blue X-Mas” gives Bunny’s trademark potty-mouthed parody treatment to more than 30 Christmas anthems, with classics such as “Rudolpho the Uncut Reindeer” and “I Saw Daddy Fisting Santa Claus.”
As a lover of music, Bunny shares that her favorite holiday songs include “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway, and “Greensleeves,” which she calls a “gorgeous song.”
As for her least favorite?
“I hate Lady Gaga’s dissonant version of ‘O Christmas Tree’ from a few years ago,” she says.
Bunny’s holiday special includes her own rendition of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” which shades queens like RuPaul, Dida Ritz, Anetra, Trixie Mattel, Jinkx Monsoon, and BenDeLaCreme, as well as other pop culture topics like Matthew Perry, Hunter Biden, and the “Barbie” movie.
She also stars as Scrooge in a skit based on “A Christmas Carol,” which puts her thoroughly-roasted victims right back into the fire.
“You’ve gotta keep it fresh,” Bunny explains. “I mean, this was written by Charles Dickens in 1843 — and I remember when it came out.”
After more than 40 years as an entertainer, Bunny has mastered her “infamous” style of dark humor. While she knows that her edge may not be for everyone, she’s not losing sleep over those who can’t stomach it.
“Dark humor is like food: not everybody gets it. You just develop your own audience, and for those that don’t like it, then they don’t like it,” she says. “Now, where I have an issue is, is that I don’t understand people who want to shut down everything that they don’t like.”
That, of course, includes the conservative lawmakers pushing anti-drag and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country. Several states have attempted to classify drag as “adult entertainment,” flatly deeming the art-form as inappropriate for children. While Bunny’s shows may not be family-friendly, she knows that they still have value.
“Sometimes I don’t think that these Republicans even know that those juicy hips came off of the couch. I don’t think that they know that cleavage is a push up bra and contour. So, they might want to educate themselves,” she says, adding, “If you come out and do a Whitney Houston lip sync, and you look beautiful in a gown, and there’s no curse words in her music — that’s not non-kid-friendly. Now, if you come out like I do and do a Whitney song with a crack pipe, that may be objectionable.”
Bunny says that those who don’t like drag “do have the right to protest what your tax dollars go to,” but that they need to recognize freedom of speech goes both ways. As drag queens are not “mandating” anyone go to their shows, no one should have the right to tell them not to perform.
In fact, while exposure to drag queens definitively won’t harm children, their visibility could instead end up helping those who are searching for a community, as Bunny says exposure to queer artists at a younger age might have been able to help her.
“I’m someone who probably would have gotten a benefit from seeing a drag queen or trans person reading a story to me, because we get negative messages from our church, from our family, from schoolmates that gay or drag or trans is bad,” she shares. “So, (seeing a drag queen) would have made me think, ‘Wow, so everyone else in my world has been telling me that I’m sick, and they don’t understand me. And the school actually hired this person. Maybe I have a future. Maybe I don’t consider suicide’.”
But it’s not just Republicans who are to blame for this conservative cultural wave — Bunny also believes that Democrats have not done enough to support progressive causes, nor done enough to fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
She notes that it’s ironic that legislation negatively impacting the LGBTQ+ community, such as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” policy, seems to draw more attention than proposed legislation that could actually benefit them, such as the Equality Act.
“They didn’t fight for us, and they expect our votes,” Bunny explains. “80 percent of Democrats want a ceasefire (in Gaza), which we’re not getting. 70 to 80 percent have wanted Medicare for all, and Joe Biden said that he would veto it if it passed Congress. A large part of both parties support $15 minimum wage, they couldn’t get that done. It’s like, you’ve got to earn votes.”
Even in cases where conservatives block laws from passing, Bunny still believes Democrats could be much more vocally supportive of the policies they claim to back. One thing she admires about younger generations is their willingness to “hold Biden accountable.”
“I don’t have that much in common with young people culturally. I can’t twerk. I’ve never played a video game. But when it comes to supporting progressives and calling for a ceasefire, I am very much in line with young people,” she says. “I’m so glad to see them holding Biden accountable and saying you didn’t cancel the student debt, you didn’t legalize weed, because that’s the basic principle. It’s the bargain of voting. I run, I say what I support, you vote for me.”
“Lady Bunny: A Very Blue X-Mas” opens in New York City Dec. 7 through the 15. She will perform at the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles on Dec. 20, with two shows at Oscars in Palm Springs on Dec. 21, another in San Francisco’s Oasis on Dec. 23, and finally at Hamburger Mary’s in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 30.
All shows are 18 and over.
This article originally appeared on Out.com, and is shared here as part of an LGBTQ+ community exchange between Q Voice News and Equal Pride.