San Diego Drag Kings Ten Year Celebration
Published Thursday, 16-Sep-2010 in issue 1186
Lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual or straight, no one can deny that the event this Sunday evening at the Flame will definitely be worth attending. The San Diego drag kings will be celebrating their ten year anniversary and everyone is welcome. Favorite faces from the past such as the popular Tommy Salami, Jonny O and Randy Shaft will be traveling to San Diego to perform in this event. The event will also be hosted by some familiar and local drag members. Local members will perform new numbers and include old favorites, which we have not had the opportunity to enjoy for a while. Some of these performances will be hosted by Rudy Ramrod, James Bondage, Drake Bottoms, Trouble, Dragon, Whiskey and Smokey. Drag queen, Regina Styles (Richard Poole), who they endearingly refer to as the “hostess with the Mostess” will be announcing performers and performances accompanied by their original DJ Arson. The night will be filled with a series of great performances and prizes. The San Diego community can only imagine that this dynamic combination of personalities from past and present will be an event that will certainly make a fan of any attendee.
This talented group includes members from every end of the spectrum. The group is a close knit club. Several members are founder Chest Rockwell ( Kelly Harper), El Pachuco (Margot Kelly) , Tommy Salami (Tom Paul Jr.), Jonny O (Rebecca Olachea), Drake Bottoms (Amber Smith), Will Hung (Wendy Bartel), Regina Styles (Richard Poole), Evan Longwood (Evan Pugh), Trouble (Katina Anthony), Randy Shaft (Mel Johnson), Whiskey Dick (Alex Williams), Smokey Gonzales (Yvette Ortega), Gary Indiana (Jackie), Dragon ,“Dre” Johnson (Camille Wells), James Bondage and Rudy Ramrod (Drina Lickert). The drag king performances will keep you on your toes ranging from slow smooth rock and hip hop to hard core dirty rock.
Not only are these guys charismatic, entertaining and outgoing but they are also extremely giving. The San Diego drag kings have hosted a number of charitable events that include, but not limited to, the Imperial Court and benefit events for the transgender, gay and lesbian communities. The SDKC support their community with their presence and talent graciously, performing at Long Beach, San Diego and recently Palm Springs Pride. They have hosted shows at California State University San Marcos, and SDSU. The San Diego drag kings are an extremely diverse group. They are an entertainment group that are not afraid to include anyone and are not limited to any social stipulations, especially where gender orientation is concerned. Diversity among this group ranges from not only lesbian performers; it includes Drag queen Regina, Evan Long (Evan Pugh) Whiskey Dick (Alex Williams) Tommy Salami (Tom Paul JR.), who are transgender and the San Diego Drag King James Bondage who is straight and now married. The diversity in this group is not only something that can’t be overlooked it is also history in the making.
The San Diego drag kings are a self contained group that use their own proceeds from performances to support and fund future events. With a little more local support the sky is the limit for this group of “stand up guys”, and their talent has proven to be boundless. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Beth Smith, the PR director of the SDCK and Rudy Ramrod, who has a very Marlon Brando look and personality, which is serious and deliberate. Rudy Ramrod is one of the first members of the Kings Club. When I spoke to him I asked him if the SDCK ever had ambitions of guest starring on television or in movies. Rudy responded with “I believe that it has been one of the main objectives within the group since the beginning.” In 2009 the Kings almost achieved this goal when they were contacted by a talent show and gladly participated, almost accomplishing televised stardom.
The Kings were founded ten years ago by Chest Rockwell and since then have been expanding and gaining recognition and popularity, not only among our communities but surrounding areas. When the group was very young, entertainer Tom Paul Jr. and Kelly Harper helped catapult the clubs growth and popularity through persistent promotion and open forums. Since then it seems the San Diego drag kings have become immortalized. Several of the original members such as Tommy and Chest have since moved away but have shared their performances, inspiring and founding new drag clubs in their new homes in Portland and Oakland. This has resulted in a movement that has spread like wild fire and this talented group of entertainers has left their impression everywhere they have performed
They are able to maintain their memberships through open forums which are held the third Sunday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Flame. For those who are interested you can contact Rudy on Facebook at “The San Diego Kings Club.”
The Sunday evening ten year anniversary will begin at 8:00 p.m. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. at the Flame which is located at 3780 Park Boulevard. Entry to the event is $7 per person.