About a year ago, I stopped drinking.
It’s OK, it’s not serious, I didn’t have a problem. It’s not a bad thing, though many find it hard to compute a drag queen who doesn’t drink. Showgirls have been at top of the ladder when it came to throwing back the booze. That famous scene in Priscilla when Bernadette takes on the town drinker Shirl in Broken Hill, a sea of shot glasses lying before them, Shirl almost making it, before crashing to the table.
Why do drag queens have this reputation for being big drinkers?  Do you need to drink up to wear the shoes?  Maybe it helps to walk in them?  It could be nerves, so they have a shandy to take the edge off before mounting the stage?
Working in a bar environment opens you up to being around alcohol constantly. Your work has you in a party environment; you’re employed to have a great time and to help bar sales.
Working from 10pm to 3am, from stage to beside the bar, you basically have the beverages sitting on your laps. Patrons love to buy you a drink. I believe it’s my job to get a smile out of as many patrons as I can. So one becomes three, which becomes a whole lot more.
Before you know it, you’re staggering home via Pie Face, waking up six hours later to sausage roll pastry all over the coffee table. You drag your sorry carcass to the shower, put yourself together and do it all over again.
We’ve all seen a drag queen weave down the street after a big night, and the first thing you usually think is “Hooray, you go girl”. I found myself doing this for many years, at least once or twice a week.
Maybe it did help with the shoes — I seemed to forget the pain in my feet and I thought I could walk like a supermodel after a shandy or two.
Working as much as I do, and relying on my voice for most of my work, I found that having booze here and there really took its toll on my voice. “Ladies and gentlemen” croaking and crackling through, just wasn’t good enough. A talking drag queen who couldn’t talk?
By no means am I an anti-drinker. Everything in moderation is great but if you see me at the bar, gone are the days of shots and doubles, I’m a water or Diet Coke girl now. I have to pretend to be a grown-up.

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