Ready for the biggest queer summer street party in town?
Sharon Needles – queen of kook and cornfields – headlines 2017’s Big Gay Day, one of Australia’s most loved and iconic festivals.
The winner of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season four is keen as a bean to meet her fans, perform her killer tracks, and celebrate the LGBTI+ community.
“It’s gonna be a rough day,” Sharon says. “So it’s good I love Australia, and I love to perform for my fans here. I’m on my two-week Australian tour, and after Melbourne, I fly directly to London for twenty hours, and then fly directly back… If that doesn’t show devotion to my Australian fans, I don’t know what the hell will.”
As well as her sharps kit, Sharon will be bringing a mixture of old and new material. “Of course, my older songs like ‘Call Me On The Ouija Board’ and ‘The Club Is A Haunted House’ tend to be fan favourites, but also songs from my new album ‘Taxidermy’ will get their piece of the pie. Usually I’m contracted to do two songs per show, and I always feel I’m ripping people off for that, so there’ll be at least six great songs and twenty terrible jokes. [And if people don’t laugh] there’ll be applause from ghosts.”
2017 marks the 17th year of Big Gay Day, and while the charity event is a fantastic initiative to assist the LGBTI+ community, Sharon says there’s still more to be done.
“I think it’s ass-backwards Australia has such an open culture, and from the outside, it appears to be accepting, but you still live in the dark ages when it comes to marriage equality. You’ve got to keep fighting for your rights until you get there. And like I say… I support gay divorce because we all deserve our alimony cheques, we all deserve our time in court!"
“With my lifestyle, I’m surprised I wake up alive…so I never look too far into the future. I’m just happy to be performing in front of a queer audience outside of America. It’s dark times right now in the States, so it’s a form of escape. I mean, the great thing about Big Gay Day is that it literally can’t get any further away from Washington, DC.”
While Big Gay Day features a stellar line-up that’ll put a swagger in anyone’s step, Sharon has other ideas of who she’d like to collaborate with.
“God, I mean, all [my idols] are so offensive. They’re all terrible people... But the one drag queen I’ve never gotten to work with is Marilyn Manson. And I totally consider Manson a drag queen. I’m the queen of Halloween, and he’s the king of shock. I can’t believe he hasn’t reached out! I’ll have my people call him.”
After Big Gay Day celebrations, Sharon’s got her eyes set on a prize in Pittsburgh and will attempt to plan for the impending doom of celebrity status with new music.
“My new record comes out in about two months…Since ‘Taxidermy’ was my love record, this will be my hate record. It’s going to be the most aggressive and darkest album I’ve created so far. [But] let’s face it, fame is designed to be disposable and temporary, and I’m shocked my success has lasted this long.”
“I’m just ready to put the gore in gorgeous, and I hope everyone comes down to have a good time to celebrate this rare opportunity we get to have. Sharon Needles is a washed-up diva, a reality TV star alcoholic, but they love me!”
Big Gay Day takes place at The Wickham in Fortitude Valley on 12 March.