Because of the business I am in I work or have worked with most of the queens in Florida, and especially in South Florida. However, Velvet and I have a special relationship that goes back 25 years. Because of our relationship, I am aware of all the community work she does and how many people she helps. Therefore, you can only imagine how excited I was when I found out she was chosen to be the Grand Marshall of Palm Beach Pride Parade. This is definitely a well-deserved honor, and I realized it was time to interview Velvet, and it would be appropriate for it to appear in the Palm Beach Pride issue.
What was the first drag show you saw and tell me about the experience?
It was Erika Norell at Heartbreakers, and the experience was amazing. That night I met Melissa St John, who told me I was a pretty person, and I should be doing drag.
When did you decide you wanted to do drag and when did you realize it would be a profession?
Melissa talked me into it and I did Janet Jackson at Heartbreakers. That night I made a lot of money, and the reaction from the audience made me realize that this was something I could do.
Who is your drag mother and who is your favorite queen other than your drag mother and why?
Melissa St. John is my drag mother, and my favorite queens (I can’t pick one) are Tiffany Arieagus, Erika Norell, and Electra. Those three entertainers are amazing and very professional at what they do. They are also very creative and are always inspiring other to do better at life.
What’s your favorite number to perform and why?
I would have to say Janet Jackson’s “If,” because even before I started doing drag, I would play around as if I was her. If it wasn’t for Janet Jackson, I don’t think I would be doing drag. Impersonating her got my career started.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you in drag?
There are more than one; the first thing was landing a job at Lips that I have been at for 14 years. The second is becoming a Miss Florida F.I. at Large (I dreamed to be in this sorority for a long time) and the final thing is the love and support I get from the fans each and every night I perform.
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What differentiates you from other Queens (makes you unique)?
My motherly spirit to love everybody equally and treat everybody equally. I will always be honest with everyone, and I think that’s what makes me different. Also, I am always on time!
You have been a part of Compass’s Palm Beach Pride since its inception, why was this so important to you?
To be honest I lived in my car for six months when I moved to West Palm from Fort Pierce and Compass was the first place that opened their doors to me, along with a club called 502. Compass saved me and still to today they are a big part of who I am, and therefore as long as god lets me I will be a part of Pride every year.
How excited are you to be the Grand Marshall of the Palm Beach Pride Parade this year?
I don’t think words can express how excited I am. I am very honored, because I don’t think of myself as a person that deserves that kind of honor. However, to know that they think of me like that makes me realize that this will be one of the best experiences of my life.
You have been married for 15 years. Tell us about your husband and do you think being so stable helps your career?
Michael was an angel sent to me to help me become the person I was supposed to be. Its hard as a drag queen and even more so as a Trans person to find somebody that allows you to be yourself 100% in life and has no judgement and supports you completely 1000%.
You have a lot of Gay kids, how did this come about and what do they men to you?
It was Deja Devonier (god rest her soul) who got me to become a mother as I was always taking care of her. I have always had a motherly type of spirit anyways as I raised my siblings since I was the oldest of 6. In addition, I decided I didn’t want anyone to experience what I did being on the streets, and I wanted everyone to feel loved for just being themselves. Now there are 76 of us.
What does the future hold?
I will continue to work with the youth as they are important as they are our future. I have two more goals in life that I want to achieve. I want to have a big wedding and to continue to open doors for others.
Here are some of the venues you can catch Velvet performing:
Lips – Wednesdays for Bitchy Bingo, Thursday for Glitz and Glam,
Friday – The Pub for Fierce Firdays at 9:30pm
Saturday, Lips for 2 seating’s and then she hosts the Taboo Show (dirty Show) at midnight
Sunday – Dragalicious brunch for 2 seating’s
Also, you can catch her in guest performances all over town.
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For more information on Velvet, follow her on Facebook.com or Instagram.com/VelvetLenore