There She Is, Murray Hill and Ms. Lez


Murray Hill, Glenn Marla, Sequinette, Lanuza Luza, and A’Squirta VatinaPhotos: Tim Murphy

The seventh annual Ms. Lez competition took place last night in Williamsburg, and, with everybody’s favorite Catskills-evoking drag king, Mr. Murray Hill, as host, it was bent on finding the most fabulous lesbian, transgendered, or otherwise “queer” woman in New York City. Judges including longtime drag queen Linda Simpson and Rose Troche, director of the nineties indie-dyke classic Go Fish, evaluated seven contestants who proved that lesbians could be just as potty-mouthed as men. The winner was Miss I Heart Brooklyn, a fake-ditsy, bikini-clad bombshell who made “summer water safety” her platform, tossing dental dams out to her hoards of female fans. “If you’re drowning, just take out your portable dam — and you’re not even in the water anymore!” she chirped. Before the show began, we chatted with some of the major players.

MURRAY HILL, founder of Ms. Lez competition
So you founded this competition seven years ago. And this year is the best because we have the biggest dressing rooms, more drink tickets, and seven contestants instead of five. What’s this competition all about? The gay men have every festival in the world, but the gay and trans women don’t get anything. I used to go to Wigstock and no gay women went. We needed something fun, campy, and apolitical. There’s no political message? Not for me, but I have a feeling we’ll get a lot tonight. Did you invite Bloomberg? I invited Hillary, but since she’s a lesbian she can’t make it. She’s nervous.

GLENN MARLA, 24, Clinton Hill, performance artist/unemployed
You’re the outgoing Ms. Lez 2006, has it been a wild year for you? I’ve learned a lot. I’m New York City’s hottest fat go-go dancer. Says who? There’s no other fat go-go dancer, so it’s not stiff competition. My platform was backfat as the new cleavage. What’s this competition about? Breaking the rules, radical queerness, and kind of strutting your stuff, whatever that may be. Let’s define fabulous on our own terms. What’s that quality every Ms. Lez has to have? A willingness to go there, whatever that means.

SEQUINETTE, 22, East Village, drag-couturier employee
You’re not competing tonight, so why are you all done up? I’m in the final number tonight. I also always dress like this because I’m a drag queen and refuse to leave the house with anything less. What exactly is this contest tonight? It’s a queer beauty pageant that parodies Miss America. I’m planning on competing next year. What will your platform be? To repudiate the notion of a female drag queen, a term I find problematic. What’s the difference between that and being a she-male impersonator? She-male impersonator is funny and campy. Drag isn’t about a man dressing as a woman, it’s about a transformation. What’s the most extreme reaction you’ve ever elicited? I used to live in Missouri and get stuff thrown at me.

LANUZA LUZA, “It’s not so nice to ask woman her age,” Park Slope, “surrogate mother for very wealthy lesbian couples”
What’s your exotic accent? I’m Romanian-Hungarian. Are you performing tonight? I will be myself. I am in very many pageants. But what will you perform? I’ve been in very many pageants in Romania, and I always win so I am not so scared. Do you perform baton? What’s that, sex toy? I will be good, don’t worry. What are your chances of winning tonight? If I don’t win, it will be mutiny. I will kill other people.

A’SQUIRTA VATINA, “ageless,” Howard Beach, “actor-slash-slash-slash”
What are you doing for your talent tonight? I can’t tell you because it’s part of my platform, but I’m going to make the girls feel really nice — give them some edumacation. It’s gonna be wet and pssst pssst. [She points to her button, which reads “Pussies Squirt, Too.”] What do you offer beyond the PST factor? I’m probably the only drag king who’s become a drag queen tonight. My head is spinning. What would you do for New York if you were made Ms. Lez? I’d continue with my cause, which I will illuminate in my platform. The PST. What high-ranking politician would you enlist in your cause? Hillary Clinton, absolutely. She needs a good organism. —Tim Murphy

There She Is, Murray Hill and Ms. Lez