Queer Conversations: Interview with Courtney Act
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From runner-up of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2013 to this year’s winner of Celebrity Big Brother, Courtney Act has been pushing the boundaries of success for queer entertainers in mainstream media. An accomplished singer, performer and TV personality, Act not only uses her drag to entertain but is a strong advocate for transgender issues, bringing conversations on non-binary gender identities, masculinity and other topics to new audiences in the US and the UK. Amidst the craziness of her first London Pride, Courtney took the time to talk to The National Student about her new chat show, creating space for diversity, life after Celebrity Big Brother and DragWorld. It was just announced that you’re getting your own late-night talk show with Channel 4, could you tell us a bit about it? I can’t give away too much but, basically, we’re working with Channel 4 to make this variety chat show which is really exciting because I’ve always dreamed of that Sonny & Cher era of variety show television. I loved watching those old 70s shows so am looking forward to bringing a bit of that vibe into a 2018 context. What are you looking forward to most about hosting your own show? The musical numbers, I love the idea of doing musical numbers whether that be with a band or costumes or choreography. I feel like I was born to do this type of stuff so I’m thrilled to bring it to the show. Having your own show a big achievement to say the least, along with your win on Celebrity Big Brother. What were some of the reactions you received from people watching the show, especially as the show reached people who might otherwise not have much exposure to drag and the LGBTQ community? It’s been amazing – I remember being in the back of a black taxi one day and he said to me, “I really loved you on celebrity big brother”. I asked what it was that he loved and he replied, “I loved the conversations that you had with people and I loved you and Andrew. Watching the two of you I could tell there was real love there and my wife loved watching that too.”
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