5 min

Who cares what they think?

Paul Wolowidnyk goes where his desires take him

Credit: Xtra West files

This child has been rocking Vancouver for a while now doing his own thing, not giving a shit what small minds think. He is a huge talent who has done lots and continues to do so. Aside from opening the city’s hottest new hair salon, he is also busy making all kinds of art and living the life he designs.

Michael Venus: Would you like to tell me what is going on in your life and why have you been so busy?

Paul Wolowidnyk: Well I’ve been taking a break from my alter ego, Evil-Lynn, to open up a hair salon. We opened in March and it is going really, really well! We are very busy and it’s called The Red Room.

MV: What brought you to open your own place of glamour and beauty?

PW: I think it was just a natural progression and a career move. I had thought about it for a long time and realized I could probably do it. I knew it was something I could accomplish … and I did.

MV: I have worked in salons as well and know there can be a lot of inside politics and bitchiness. Is that another reason?

PW: No!

MV: You’re lying!

PW: No, I just really wanted to do it on my own; also I have such a great staff, there is no prima donna bullshit. I started shampooing hair when I was 15 years old at a hair salon in Gastown, just kind of as an after-school job, but I picked everything up and it came really easy and all went from there.

MV: Tell me about your time in New York.

PW: I lived there for a while and worked at Patricia Fields and had a really crazy time. Pat Fields is the stylist for Sex in The City. She is kinda crazy. She is about 3,000 years old and nuts, totally hilarious! She would come in every Saturday to get her hair coloured. (Her original boutique has been the club kid/drag queen/rock star hot spot for years.) There were tons of trannies who worked there when I did, like Candis Cayne, Amanda Lepore, Sophia Lamar, Ive, Cody Ravioli, Dana Day and on and on! It was the place to go if you’re in the underground but now, it’s just the place to go.

MV: Speaking of trannies, I know you are also starring in an upcoming locally made full-length feature film. Tell us about that.

PW: We filmed for about six months on Tranny Force: The Movie, a film written by Angello Floresco. It’s a gay super-hero comedy film about three tranny super-heroes who are trying to save the world from everything that is ugly and protect the glamour of the world.

MV: How does the kink factor come into play when you are your superstar alter-ego? How do the straight boys react to her fierce beauty?

PW: I definitely have been hit on tons by the straight boys, but for the last two years I have been happily married. Previously I have met people that way and I don’t think I am 100 percent passable, but there is always someone in a crowd staring and one thing would lead to another (they were staring for good reasons, not bad ones!)

MV: Well, where do you put your dink?

PW: When I’m in drag or in them (we both giggle)? Any place it will fit, of which there are not many (more giggles)! In drag, I just wear my unders and move things around a little; it can get a little squishy!

MV: You have been a Vancouver scenester for years and are known for all your tattoos. Tell me about that.

PW: I have a fascination with Transformers (for those of you who don’t know, they are robots that turn into vehicles and such that were both toys and a cartoon in the early ’80s). I have since 1984. I think I have the biggest first-generation collection in the world. I have a huge original collection and, although others around the world may argue that theirs is bigger, they’re wrong cause mine is! All except for one of my tattoos are also of the Transformers. I always wanted to get them and got my first one when I was 14; it was the worst tattoo that I have ever seen in my life. So I went to a friend named Steve Moore at Sacred Heart and he covered it up with these amazing Hawaiian flowers. It’s an ongoing process, transforming my body into another realm.

MV: I remember hearing people wanting to sleep with you because of your tats; what’s that about?

PW: I don’t know, I always wonder what people say when I’m not around.

MV: Don’t get defensive (giggles). I mean sweetie, when you’re good old Paul you seem very butch and, to some of those pansy Marys, even intimidating. I know you are naturally very dude but then at times extremely fairy Mary LYNN Sherry!

PW: I’m normally very low key; I just be myself. And when I’m dressed as a girl, a whole other personality shines through!

MV: I thought it all got tucked in? Okay, let’s get dirty. What is the weirdest scene you have ever gotten into?

PW: I have met people who seem really nice and you go on one date with them and…!!!!!!!! I had one guy who I invited over to my house and he excused himself to use the washroom. Then I hear the shower running, I was like, “What the hell!!!!” So upon noticing the open door I went and looked, and he wanted me to pee on him. I have had three guys who have wanted that, and I just don’t see the magic; it doesn’t smell good to me. I never like associating smells with sex. I mean like, here, let me rub scrambled eggs on your ass!

MV: You have had some really crazy moments in your past; you were a really crazy kid. You have certainly tamed down a lot; why is that?

PW: Marriage, four dogs, a wonderful little girl, career and success.

MV: You also paint don’t you, you little ball of talent.

PW: I do mostly androids, very big on the android trip. Maybe if I get some free time there will be an upcoming show.

MV: Give people some advice.

PW: I think more people need to let down their walls and do what they want to do in life. I have always enjoyed doing all sorts of things. A lot of folks are too scared to and think about what others would say. More people know what they don’t like instead of what they do. I have heard so many people say, ‘I wish I could put on a dress.’ And when I ask why they don’t, they say they can’t because of what their friends may say, and I’m like, ‘Then they ain’t your friends!’ If you’re fat, skinny, gay or straight, do whatever, be creative. That really got me over the big hump. I’m not in a box.

If anyone wants to check out one of my creative outlets, come check out the Tranny Force film!

The Red Room.

948 Howe St.

Also watch for Tranny Force:

The Movie.

Dec 10 at Cinematheque.

Tickets available at the Red Room

and at Club Card.

Watch the trailer on