Introducing Vancouver’s Empress XLIII, who will be reigning alongside Emperor JJ Nation. Photo: Eric Bonesteel.
For those who don’t know you, who the hell is this whore? Kiki is an outrageous and, some would say, notorious drag queen who is not afraid to show her colourful side. She’s been in the community for more than a deca . . . er, several years. Most people would remember Kiki as the hostess at the door of the Odyssey nightclub, but she’s also produced her own Christmas show, Christmas with the Queens, and taken part in almost every major drag event in the city.
How does it feel to be Empress? I was so amazed at how many people encouraged me during the campaign. I had support from every corner of the community. That support is embodied by the crown on my head. Every time I put it on, I realize it’s not just a crown. It’s a symbol of the trust and support the people of Vancouver have given me. It’s truly very humbling to have so much support.
What does it mean to you? The role of Empress is a reflection of the community on itself. I’m not here to preach to people about what we should or should not be doing. I’m here to represent the community and encourage people to get out and support their community. I love this city so much. To be honoured with the title of Empress was one of the greatest moments of my life.
What was coronation like? What can you say about coronation? It’s kind of like Christmas, New Year’s and the fireworks festival all rolled into one event. I really can’t say enough about Vancouver’s coronation, and I have to give credit to the board of the Dogwood Monarchist Society under the leadership of Emperor 42, Cory Surreal Foxx Carmichael, and president Mike Murrell for putting together such an awesome show. I’d also like to take a moment to congratulate Soraya Dynasty Slim. I think we both ran admirable campaigns, and I hope she doesn’t give up her aspirations to become Empress.
What do you hope to accomplish this year? During my campaign I promised that I would do everything I could to continue the good work the Dogwood Monarchist Society does in the community, and I intend to keep that promise. The role of Emperor and Empress are not just figureheads. We both have to use our titles to improve our community. That’s through events, fundraising and maybe having a little bit of fun too. Vancouver’s gay community is so diverse, and it’s that diversity that makes us the powerful force that we have been and will continue to be.
For more of my interview with Empress XLIII Kiki Lawhore, check out Blitz & Shitz in the next Xtra, out March 26.