Buff Faye

Written by Shane “Mr. Red” Elks

Buff Faye

An interview with Shane Elks

a faye interview picOne of the most genuine and giving queens in the great world of drag resides appropriately here in our very own Queen City! In a scene of glitter and shade, Buff Faye sparkles from under the mascara and shines bright for the children.

SE: What world is Buff Faye from?
BF: Buff was born in the Queen City and is a southern belle of sorts.  

SE: Most queens are born from a Drag Mother and carry their name to represent their house! Is their a house of Faye?
BF: You know my Momma is Sierra Santana. But she is retired and all the queens in Charlotte have inspired me in some way, so I got a big house..  

SE: I do indeed and did she name you?
BF: No I got my name from playing softball and rugby. I tend to be very aggressive in sports and Buffet kind of stuck because I would clean the bases or hit hard. But then I did the rugby fundraiser and had to do drag  

SE: And so was born the Goddess!
BF: So I decided to go with Buff Faye as my long lost sister Tammy Faye was a gay icon in her latter years and she always gave back to charities and so I try to live in her spirit. (lol)  

SE: I love that Buff Faye is a fierce bitch but is a ray of sunshine at the same time! As was Miss Tammy!
BF: I am about gender blending and avant-garde fashion. I try to show anyone that you can project gender in whatever way you choose.. that is powerful  

SE: Do you feel that the gay culture as a whole has changed drastically in Charlotte since your first appearance as a show girl?
BF: I think the drag scene is now more open to a diverse expression of drag a more diverse representation of what drag is all about plus straight people love drag  

SE: Oh yes they do!
BF: I believe if done right it can be a way to share in an entertaining way about other more serious LGBT issues (homeless youth, bullying, etc)  

SE: Indeed!
BF: I have a voice to help others with drag that is different and that people who may not go to a lecture for LGBT rights will go to a drag show.. so it is about reaching people (straight and everyone) with messages that they may not hear elsewhere all the while having fun doing so yes.. I channel many voices.  

SE: I must admit that when I first saw you perform I was reminded of my club days in NYC.
BF: Really? I've heard that before from others.. that Buff is very urban NYC/LA progressive drag  

SE: There was a purpose to your performance...and not just to collect tips like a stripper! I feel that the art of drag is lost among a lot of these pretty queens who take themselves too seriously and lose the power of their gift!  
BF: Well yes.. I try to make people think .. sometimes that can be a challenge.. I have to realize that sometimes they won't get it.. but that's okay..

SE: But conviction is an art within itself!
BF: True

SE: Do you feel it is a duty of Buff Faye to educate younger queens?
BF: Conviction and passion are two words I try to bring out in my drag you know I am only 4 years into doing drag

SE: Age does not define maturity!
BF: So it is all still new to me.. but I try to help girls.. I wish I could do more most call me a camp queen and I am okay with that..but I try to defy labels sometimes I like to be pretty too or hairy and pretty. I love to gender f*ck!

SE: I am proud that the Queen City hosts so many different and incredibly talented people among the LGBT community.
BF: Which means I love to play with the spectrum of gender expression from masculine to feminine in my drag our drag scene is vibrant.

SE: Androgyny has always been one of the most beautiful forms of beauty to me!
BF: Exactly, and if you look at a baby and then look at an older senior you can't tell gender. I think that is life's lesson. And I truly believe if we could get over our gender norms that we would not have such terrible bullying, hate, harassment, hate crimes, etc toward people because of their expression of gender. Who gives a f*ck if a lil girl wears flannel or a lil boy paints his toe nails?

SE: A to the Men!
BF: That is what Buff loves about drag.

SE: Buff Faye the Minister? I think you would have a big church to go with your big house!
BF: Now that would be wild....Sunday Drag School

SE: I'm on it!
BF: lol

SE: Followed by Drag Brunch!
BF: Of course.. you got to feed the kiddies.

SE: What made you begin Drag Brunch? Once again taking a cue from larger cities who embrace Drag Brunch with huge enthusiasm! BF: My sunday drag brunch is over 3 years old now. I got the idea from going to LIPS in NYC, Ed Debevicks in Chicago, and Hamburger Mary’s. I travel a lot.

SE: That is where my friend Peppermint used to work forever and she still does some feature spots now and again! At LIPS that is.
BF: So I thought "I am tired of drag only happening at night late". The brunch was modeled after Chuck E. Cheese where a kid can be a kid....or a queen can be a queen

SE: Love that!
BF: The brunch is a great way to get drag to more straight people (and my queers). I love it! When I retire in 50 years, I will just do the brunch.

SE: Yeah I always spot more straights in the background at a brunch than expected!
BF: One straight girl surprised her boyfriend and brought him for his birthday blindfolded him and brought him in we called him "Banana Hammock Mike" ( because he had a big "personality").

SE: Oh did he?
BF: That's what she said. Hartigans has been so wonderful for brunch... I would love to do more.

SE: I will say that I always know what to expect when Buff Faye is going to be performing and that is to expect a damn good time!
BF: We also do the Queen City Drag Race once year --- Ahhh, thank you. I am still trying to figure out my number for tonight as host at Scorpio.

SE: You are a great child of Miss Santana who I always love! And one Gypsy Starr!
BF: EXACTLY.. love my VIRGIN Grandmamama Gypsy and my Momma (who is now a hairy, bear Sierra Santana).  She is retired but coming back for my Halloween Weekend Drag Brunch and Diner.. we are RESURRECTING her!!!!! Scary!!! (LOL)

SE: My favorite word to spread around is "SPARKLE!" What is one word you would leave as your legacy to the children?
BF: I love Sparkle.

SE: Well you can share sparkle if you would like! Work it out tonight Miss thang!


Shane Elks   Shane Elks

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