By Timothy Rawles, June 2020 Issue.
If there is anything this quarantine has taught us it’s that we have time to learn a few new things: Romantic language, a new recipe, or even how to make a great cocktail all by ourselves. Well, almost.
Meet Destiny (her drag name), a drag queen who has turned stay-at-home into slay-at-home by hosting a virtual mixology class on social media. The idea came to her one day while taking note of what her favorite reality shows weren’t doing.
“I love to drink, and I love food and drink shows, and watching all my favorite shows made me realize that I hadn’t seen a drag queen doing that,” Destiny said. “When people think of a drag queen, they just think of a performer. I want to do more than just perform by taking drag to another level.”
Originally from Dallas, Destiny now resides in what she calls the “cold tough city of Detroit.”
She says she has been doing drag on and off for about 16 years. It was her ex, a drag queen himself, who taught her the ropes and some basic makeup techniques. “Another friend of mine knew how to sew, so he helped making outfits for me.” The drag name came from a roommate who was also a DJ, “All of us friends came together, and Diva Destiny was born.”
As with a lot of gay male drag performers they go by the pronoun “she” while in costume. Destiny is no different, “while out of drag I identify as a male, so I prefer ‘he.’” For the purposes of this article, we will refer to Destiny as she because that is the persona being featured.
Growing up wasn’t easy for the performer and like a lot of LGBTQ youth Destiny fell victim to hatred and prejudice in her hometown.
“I was bullied for being gay and since I have a lighter more feminine voice, they used to call me a hermaphrodite or he-she and would write ‘f*g’ on my locker.”
Destiny recalls finally having enough of all the bull and gathering some self-confidence during her senior year. Whether she said it aloud, or it was just a state of mind, her daily mantra was sown: “I’m gay and I’m here to stay.”
“I even took a guy to my prom, and spray dyed my hair blonde. Let me remind you, this was in the suburbs of Texas, i.e. ultra-conservative.”
Today, with self-identity firmly intact, the performer has no hesitation when you ask her where she falls on the LGBTQ spectrum. “I put the G in the LBGT,” she laughs.
Underneath all of the padding, the expensive gowns, and contour, Destiny says she is male and definitively gay. Just ask her husband.
Jeff is a true source of inspiration. They have been married for four years and even though drag isn’t an aspiration for him, he helps with other things, probably the most important part, finding her light.
“He is actually the cameraman, helps with drink concepts and design. He is truly a gem,” Destiny explains, though Jeff’s response to his husband getting into character as a woman is a bit more subdued, “He will also say, ‘you look okay” and I’m like ‘just okay?’ Overall, he prefers me as a guy.”
That might mean different things to different people but for Destiny, it’s about unconditional love, something her hero RuPaul has been saying “Amen” to for over three decades.
So, it’s no surprise that Mama Ru, the “Supermodel” herself is a hero of hers. Ru’s autobiography Letting It All Hang Out has a double meaning, the most important being to express yourself no matter what. The book is something Destiny still holds on to, most likely within reach for those times when a few words of inspiration are needed.
Destiny recites one of her favorite passages, “’If they aren’t paying your bills, pay those bitches no mind.’” She adds, “RuPaul helped me love myself more and made me realize being different or feeling differently isn’t a bad thing.”
But when the world has you tethered to your house for weeks because it decided to have a pandemic, there isn’t much to do but work on yourself. It will probably be the first time in modern history when people are forced to quit pleasing others in public and start examining their own lives.
Which is what Destiny has been doing this whole time. She is putting together a new season of Drinks with Destiny, creating new cocktail ideas, “stoning dresses, and many other things.”
It seems the saying “never drink alone” does not hold true for casual drinkers of 2019. The thirst for projects seems to have surpassed the need for downtime in a normally busy world.
Getting back to mixology, it’s one of Destiny’s passions. She doesn’t want you to be afraid to try new things. Metaphorically speaking, things you think are too different might be the ones you end up loving the most.
“Some cocktails, like rum & Coke, are just soooo boring,” she laughs. “I want people to watch because making drinks can be fun and doesn’t have to be intimidating.”
Dressed in a Louis Vuitton bodysuit, hair teased to the rafters and a homemade Crown Royal facemask, a recent video gave viewers a lesson on making a Quarantini, a libation made from Hypnotiq, lemon juice, and berry flavored Ciroc Vodka all blended together in a gem-encrusted martini shaker. There’s a lot of flair in her deliveries.
“My saying is ‘Life is too short for a boring cocktail.’ I love making people laugh and giving them party ideas,” says Destiny. “I post twice per month on Facebook and YouTube … hope your readers will like, follow, and subscribe.”
As of this writing, the world is getting a little stir crazy and cities across the country are putting some ordinances in place for the public to come out to work — and play — a little. It might not be the same world we knew a month ago, but at least Destiny has a plan once the all-clear is given.
“I want to go out and give all my friends and bartenders a big hug because this has been a hard time for everyone,” she says. “Going through this pandemic has made me appreciate my friends, and family a lot more.”
You can follow Destiny at Facebook.com/drinkswithdestiny and on her YouTube channel.