SNAP- Year of a Queen

SNAP- Year of a Queen (40 minutes)
Director: Parker Sargent, 2018

Every year the members of the Arts Project of Cherry Grove come together on Memorial Day Weekend to crown their Homecoming Queen for the summer season...it's a position that comes with great honor and great responsibility...and a whole lot of drag.

SNAP documents Emilio "Ginger Snap" Deluca's journey as HCQ in 2017, racing around Fire Island in platform heels to open shows, cut ribbons at community events, perform at fundraisers and doing it all with his own unique flare.

Parker: Hey Lady, thanks for joining me to spill some tea on the documentary we made, SNAP. I feel like I've barely seen you in the last few months.

Ginger: I know, I'm trying to keep up with everything that I've been working on and getting to see my family. I've been crazy busy and the days seem to pass so fast. But it is strange how we were together all the time, and now we just bitch at each other on the phone.

P: It was a very fast paced few months of filming your reign as Homecoming Queen. Was it strange to open yourself up to being filmed in this intense of a capacity?

G: I will admit it was little weird having you and you are crew chasing me around every weekend, in and out of drag, it was very exposing. I remember one of the first days of filming; I was playing "the part" and saying all these one-liners. You stopped the camera and asked me why I have such a hard time opening up and being myself. It was very powerful, and as we see in the film, it really set me off into thinking about my own issues and I think it changed the way I experienced being Homecoming Queen. So maybe, if you weren't capturing all those intimate moments I might not have been inspired to be so open.

P: Homecoming Queen was a goal you'd had for years, but you decided to compete at a time when you were thinking about ending your drag career. Why were you considering killing off Ginger Snap?

G: Girl, I've been doing drag a long time and while I'm lucky to have a great stage at Lips to perform on every week (to hundreds of people), at that time I felt like something was missing. Maybe I had done all I was meant to do. Maybe I wasn't feeling fulfilled. Maybe I was just tired. But I wasn't sure what I was contributing to my community and what my future was going to become. I was truly at a crossroads.

P: Clearly you didn't quit doing drag. Have you found a sense of fulfillment?

G: It was always there, I just had to find new ways to make it happen. Over the past few months I've performed for several LGBTQ youth groups, many of whom have become homeless simply because their families kicked them out for being gay. Having had a lot of issues with my own family dealing with my gender exploration, I can really relate to their struggles when we talk. But seeing how excited they get about the show and about my drag career, it inspires me in a new way. So don't worry, Ginger Snap is here to stay.

P: I've also been really touched by young people who've told me how much your story meant to them and I'm hoping queer kids all over the internet world will get to see this film and see themselves in you.

G: We always think that we are the "only one", so when we finally realize there's a whole fabulous gay community out there for us, we get very excited. That's why Grindr is so popular.

P: Grindr? You posted on Facebook last week you wanted to get married. You're not gonna meet that guy on a hook-up App.

G: Excuse me, isn't that how you met your partner?

P: We're talking about you, not me!

G: Well, find me a husband and I'll get off Grindr.

P: I've heard a lot of drag performers say its hard to find a partner. Do you agree?

G: Listen, I've been a boy, I've been a transwoman, I've been a drag queen. It's always hard to meet people and its even harder to have a relationship. All the hair and makeup and tucktape can get in the way for some people, but I truly believe that there's someone who can see past the costume and see Emilio.

P: Oh ya., that's your name. I forget that sometimes. Even I'm guilty of seeing you as the character. Does that feel dehumanizing?

G: Drag is a huge trend right now and plenty of gay guys love to come to the shows, but they think drag is beneath them, so they don't want to date a performer. Which means my nights are spent at the gym, hooking up and online shopping until three in the morning.

P: Online shopping?

G: Yes mama, I am addicted to Amazon Prime.

P: I know, I've seen your drag.

G: Shady bitch. I don't see you for weeks and this is how you treat me? If there was tea in this cup, I'd throw it in your face in a dramatic Joan Crawford move.

P: But seriously, I see you busting your ass. Are you enjoying it?

G: I've been very blessed to have my career going so well and I don't want to disappoint everyone who supported me all these years. But I'm having a ball and I'm very focused. When my little nephew tells me how excited he was to see me on Watch What Happens Live, it makes me understand what all this hard work is about. I want to make people happy, that's really all I care about when I get on the stage at Lips or I'm doing a show in full drag on a sweltering hot day in Fire Island.

Does the audience leave with a smile on their face? If so, then I've done my job as Ginger Snap.


CONTACT: parkersargent@earthlink.net