Who are you/ what’s your project?
So my name is Mr. Dandy Issues, I am a drag king known locally as the Bearcub from
Bournemouth. Currently I produce GOD SAVE THE KINGS: the UK’s digital drag king show
(GSTKs) which brings drag kings from all across the UK (England, Scotland, Ireland and
Wales) onto a digital stage as well as a few other things bits and pieces of online digital drag
What’s your gender identity?
My pronouns are he / they and I identify as queer through and through, both with gender and
in sexuality. Whilst I know many don’t choose to reclaim to the word, for me it gives me
power and flexibility over my gender and sexuality
What’s your art?
I am known online as a digital drag performer, producer and adviser, meaning a lot of what I
do is online! This can be anything from writing blog articles, creating music video style lip-
syncs to producing full on drag shows for people to view at their own leisure! I also do a lot
of work behind the scenes helping either new talent getting a head start with creating digital
drag; to also helping show producers take their live stage shows to a digital format. Whilst I
do perform at bars and hope to one day takes my online content to stage, I think currently I
am better known for my digital drag content!
How does your queerness influence your art ( if it does)?
Queerness influences a lot of what I do. A lot of my drag is inspired by Drag kings who come
before me and ensuring the next generation of kings have the resources and support that I
never had starting up. When I started drag, I did it alone in my room after coming out of a
bad place mentally and I promised myself that I would help new talent the same way all the
old school kings who had been doing this for 10+ years have helped me. I believe the drag
king scene is built on a sense of community and support for one another. It’s something that
shapes a lot of who I am as a person as well as my drag.
How has lockdown/ quarantine influenced your artistic creation?
For me, lockdown and quarantine actually allowed me to find my footing as a drag artist. It
gave me a reach that wouldn’t have been possible before Covid and would of taken years to
build up. The same way many performers start off their drag careers with open mic slots with
on stage shows, I did the same thing but digitally. I was lucky to book some large gigs such
as Drag Punk, Mothers Meeting and a couple of shows produced by the queens of Drag
Race UK, which allowed my name to be seen on a larger scale in a variety of locations
compared to what I would have been doing otherwise.
Lockdown also got me thinking about my drag more than I ever did before. When my show
first started, I was forced to think creatively and consistently as GSTKs was every two
weeks. For each show I had to have new looks, performances and when unexpected things
happened such as last minute drop outs or technical difficulties, as a host I would have to
think on my feet of not only how to fix this problem, but also how to fix it in a digital way. This
was a big jump considering I had only performed a hand full of times in the 6 months prior to
lockdown but it was fun to find ways to always pushing yourself creatively.
How would you describe what your art is about or what the purpose of it is ( if there is
a particular one)?
My drag is always changing but recently I’ve decided to go back to my roots which involve
using it as a way to express how I feel at any given moment. A lot of times growing up, I was
told that I shouldn’t “be this” or “do certain things” as it wasn’t considered normal or what is
expected as a girl. This led to a lot of internal frustration, anger and at times shame over
things which may be nothing more than a polite two second interest. Dandy has given me an
outlet in exploring different aspects about myself, challenging the expectations which were
put upon me as a person, whilst taking everyone else with me on that journey. I like to think
that at best, what I do can be used as a way to help other people be true to them, and then
at worst it’s just lost to the cyberspace known as Instagram algorithms haha!
When is your next event and how can we watch it?
So GSTKs is wrapping up for 2020 sadly on the 10th of October being the last day you can
buy tickets for our current show which is a fund raiser for Gendered Intelligence, which is a
charity that deliver trans youth programmes, support for parents and carers, professional
development and trans awareness training for all sectors. We did this as a royal eff you to of
some rather unpopular opinion from a certain children’s author who shall not be named. I
have one more drag show planned possibly for this year which won’t be GSTKs (and could
be the first of its kind in the UK), but I can’t reveal more than that at this stage sadly!
In the meantime, I have a few more shows coming up with officialhausoft and
machomachomendrag you can catch me at throughout this month and I have also just
dropped my first “non lipsync” digital drag video on my Instagram page, which is properly the best place to keep up to date with what I am doing and
producing! You can also catch me on twitter where I’m normally shouting
into the void and sharing what I like to think are some very funny drag memes if I do say so