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[whitespace] Drag King and Queen It's Good to Be King, Too

By Sarah Phelan

WHILE THE No. 1 requirement for drag queens is bitchiness, for drag kings--women who dress up as men--throwing about their inner male on stage rules. To find out how to be the perfect king, MSC spoke to Vegas Jake (Jen Shockey) and Roxanne de Leer (Jessica Hooks).

"Anybody can do it if they have the nerve, not just gays and lesbians, but straight people, too," says Vegas Jake, who wore a pinstripe suit, white tie and spats in "his" last performance, stirring up the crowd by throwing them a fistful of fake dollars, which they then eagerly stuffed into the garter belts and cleavages of the drag queens on hand.

Meanwhile, Roxanne confesses that "he" started his drag career as a skinny, miniskirted go-go-booted drag queen to get into clubs under age. "People would be poking at my breasts, saying, 'Great implants,'" he says."I was athletic at the time, not to mention that I didn't eat much. But to go on dressing like that would have been to emulate myself from 10 years ago."

Thirty pounds heavier, and in need of a new identity, Roxanne began playing a king as the Argentinian from Moulin Rouge.

"Drag is often about emulating a fantasy, but I've never really identified with any male stars," says Roxanne, who grew up in Southern California, "where everybody is a little bit of a clone and picks out clothing on the 'no one will look at me in that' basis."

Billed as a "devil in disguise," Roxanne hit Club Dakota's stage last month in a bright red suit and horned red hat. As he puts it, "Doing drag, I can throw my shit out there, without taking all the repercussions or being judged or categorized as If I'm a social aberration."

Jake and Roxanne's Five Steps to Being King

1. Change your hair

"Slick back hair with gel and use fake hair to create sideburns and a mustache," says Vegas Jake.

"I'd be stereotyped as a Santa Cruz dyke if I cut my hair," says Roxanne, who tucks his long luxuriant tresses under a hat.

2. Bind your chest

Depending on your body shape, binding can make you look like a man or a woman, says Roxanne. "Luckily, I have a boy's kind of beer belly, and my dad and I have the same kind of legs and belly, so much so that my mom can't tell us apart when we go skiing."

"I use ace bandages and hide under a wife-beater T-shirt," says Vegas Jake. "It's uncomfortable. So remember, you need to be able to breathe."

3. Pack a sock

"I use a sock or soft-feeling penis to create that special manly bulge," says Vegas Jake.

"I use a dick that one of the boys made from a sock, which I stick in my pants, unlike when I was in college and used a dildo, which was incredibly vulgar," admits Roxanne.

4. Think silhouette

Says Roxanne: "I have the silhouette I want in mind, and I try to come up with an outfit from my wardrobe or the thrift stores. And I get photos of the person I'm trying to look like and I do a makeup chart, using shading to get the facial hair and bone structure."

"Thrift stores are good, and Closet Capers has been awesome in catering to the gay community," says Vegas Jake.

5. Grab your crotch and flirt

"I want to throw people off and keep them guessing, I can be faggy, too," says Shockey, stepping out of character for a moment. "My girlfriend likes it when Vegas Jake jokes around with her as if I'm her boyfriend."

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From the May 15-22, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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