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Season 2 of "Call Me Mother" is coming to OUTtv on Oct. 26 and with it comes diverse and eclectic queens, a brand new judge (noted drag king and Dragula winner Landon Cider) and of course, activist, actress and stunning drag performer Miss Peppermint.
As Miss Peppermint prepares for "Call Me Mother" to premiere, she is also preparing for a brand-new tour and continuing her trans advocacy, along with dosing out a heavy dose of fierce love on "Call Me Mother." I sat down to chat with Miss Peppermint about her new tour (with Jujubee), why Season 2 of "Call Me Mother" is a game-changer, and the space drag kings are carving out for themselves in the drag world.
Michael Cook: Season 2 of "Call Me Mother" on OutTV is coming. What do you think you wanted to make different during the second season of the show?
Miss Peppermint: There wasn’t really too much that was “wrong” with the last production, I wanted to build onto it. The biggest thing that I wanted to be different was that I wanted more people to watch it. It was the most watched show on OutTV which at the time, was strictly a Canada-only network, and people in other areas did not have access. Now they’re moving into the US markets and more people can enjoy it more easily, and that is the biggest change that I am excited about. As far as the show, the piece I think that is the most different is the addition to our judges' panel. We have a new judge and expert in Landon Cider, the world-renowned drag performer and last year’s reigning winner of Dragula, which was super exciting. Landon brings a different perspective as a king, and it was great because we have kings, queens and non-binary performers on the show. The judges' panel should reflect that.
MC: Drag kings still seem to face their own share of discrimination in the world of drag at times. What do you think some of that is due to?
MP: Realistically, I think it’s complicated. First of all, we live in a patriarchy and people are obsessed with masculinity, even in the gay community. The patriarchy is sometimes perplexed, fascinated and sometimes threatened by people who identify as men going outside of the boundaries. This is the same reason why people are so obsessed with what trans women do, but not nearly as much as what trans men and trans masculine people do, and that is a problem. On the other hand when we talk about drag, many times we think of glitter, glam and excess. For certain styles in the past, when the think of men’s performances, we don’t think of those things in the way that we think of femme performances. There is a certain amount of fantasy that people automatically attach to a “feminine” performance that they wouldn’t automatically attach to a “masculine” performance. Drag can incorporate all of those things though. We see drag kings wearing glitter beards, wearing wings, and even wearing a dress; it’s like “whoa” (laughs)! There are so many variations on what can be done.
MC: So performers like drag kings are essentially shaking the system up and really changing the game with what they are doing.
MP: What I love is when a performer feels empowered enough to think outside of their own box. If they are a queen or present femme, maybe they will do a masculine presentation and maybe drag kings will get in femme drag. I like that shifting of it, especially in the context of the competition of "Call Me Mother." I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the flip side of that, people being obsessed with what happened to masculinity. People are not very concerned with queer women and queer people assigned females at birth who are performing as drag kings and the discrimination that comes into play when we talk about making space for performers backstage who are coming to perform right next to the queens. I think that is why some people are not used to seeing drag kings. I remember some clubs in New York where you could only come through the door if you were a male, they were really not letting trans people in. The only time femme-appearing people could enter was when it was a drag queen, who was still a man in their mind. So everyone there had to be a “man” in their mind and the “women” could be performing. That didn’t leave any space for drag kings.
MC: Do you think you are giving a voice to an entirely new and fresh group of queens that simply didn’t have a voice before?
MP: Absolutely. I think with the popularity of drag and how it ebbs and flows, and the age that we are in, drag is as popular as ever. As independent artists, we are getting access to larger platforms and reality television, like "Dancing With The Stars" and movies and Shea Couleé, is even doing Marvel! Our wings are spreading. For drag, there was a day and age when to see drag, you needed to go to New York City or a large city, not even a small town. Now that people have access to our community online, we are being reminded of all types of identities and drag presentations. I think that should be represented on all of the mainstream shows that feature drag.
MC: You mentioned both Shangela on "Dancing With The Stars" and Shea Couleé staring in a Marvel production, but you are also doing big things with your own tour kicking off shortly!
MP: The tour starts Nov. 2 in Seattle, opening night! I am really excited, we are putting the finishing touches on as we speak. We have some live musicians, and it is Jujubee and I co-headlining the tour. We have some opening acts that just signed on that will be announced shortly, and I am so stoked. There are so many larger tours happening, and we had that option, but this is not the type of drag performance you can catch at nightclubs. This is an R&B live music jam where the vibe is Lauryn Hill, H.E.R, R&B, Neo-Soul, live/jazz club type of feel. That feels very imitated and we are going to be talking about some of the joys, pains, and emotions we have had and I know that that is new for some people. Some people when they see their drag, want the drag queens to throw some glitter in the air and dance around to Whitney Houston songs, but this is not that. This is artists who do drag, but also present in femme attire; I will be singing as a trans woman, and I won’t be doing drag. For some that may be confusing, but all the things that I wanted to talk about all the things that inspired me to pick up a pencil and write 12 songs, that is the feeling that I am going to have at this show. People get a chance to see the real Miss Peppermint, not the glitter, Whitney Houstonremix one, which is fun; but no one is just one thing. This is a much more intimate side of Miss Peppermint and Jujubee with live music singing about some things that come from within about love, life, happiness, and joy to our favorite type of music, which is R&B.

MC: When you were running around New York City, working at Barracuda and being the toast of the Big Apple could you manifest a world where you would be living out your dreams in this way?

MP: Certainly when I was working in the clubs, it turned into my career. When I got my first show, I was just so excited to just get a show, I didn’t know if it would be one week or a year. Of course, after many years of working in nightlife, I started to get a reputation and opportunities to travel. That is when it started to sink in that I don’t know if this is my lifelong career, but it is allowing me to travel and meet people and get paid to perform. That is the definition of a professional performer and that is what I wanted to be, regardless of whether it was in drag or not, in New York or not. A few years into working in the New York City nightlife scene, I turned around and saw that I was getting paid to perform what I wanted to perform, my bills were paid in one of the most expensive sixties in the world; my dream has already come true.

MC: Call Me Mother is a show like no other; what is one word you would use to describe Season 2?

MP: Deeply entertaining.

Follow Miss Peppermint on Instagram @peppermint247.

"Call Me Mother" returns Oct. 26. Follow OUTtv on Instagram @outtv.