This Friday, Blow Pony returns to Denver. And per usual, they aren’t alone as they bring some fresh faces to our neck of the woods. This month, The Compound will be filled with beautiful, bearded ladies as Grace Towers and Ursula Major take the stage.
We chatted with Grace Towers before she hits the Mile High City…
Who is Grace Towers?
Let’s see … Grace Towers is a San Francisco based queer culture promoter and curator. I produce a lot of events in the city that are focused on queer exchange and intergenerational bridging through different forms of art. My style is a mixture of a very soft and sexy feminine persona mixed with this muscular, hairy, bulged out character. It’s very genderfucked.
So, every Wednesday night I host one of the only remaining drag shows in the Castro called Dick @ Nite at Moby Dick. Then on Thursday’s I host an underwear party at Powerhouse in Selma called Bulge. I do a dance party as well called Night Sweats, and also hold a safe space, sexy vibe kind of party called Slumbersexual, which is a party that focuses on sexual and body positivity. I’ll also host a lot of events in the city for special occasions such as Pride and Folsom.
I’m also a creative producer for Queens of the Castro, which is a non-profit that provides scholarships for LGBT youth in the state of California. That’s really my focus right now. Moving into the philanthropic side of things is my new focus. Nightlife has been amazing and great, but there is something to be left behind if you will.
What sparked the change to make the move?
I’ve always done some kind of charity work for causes that I really feel passionate about. So when the opportunity for me to start something of my own popped up I decided to start curating rather than just performing at these events. Everything that I do funds the scholarship program that I’m a part of in the Castro. Now I’m starting the Grace Towers Scholarship for the Arts, which focuses on providing scholarships to queer people of color.
I want to give opportunities that create positive change in people’s lives.
How did you get started as a queen?
As you’ll hear from a lot of other queens, I started on Halloween about six years ago. Everything just kind of started rolling from there. I went to this restaurant called Lips to go see a drag show, and they asked me to audition so I did. So I went from doing drag for the first time to doing it five nights a week. It was a really dramatic business and career change.
But I was always a performer. For almost 10 years I was a dancer in San Diego before I moved to San Francisco. So I just started incorporating gender binary themes into my own productions and what I was doing in the company. It was just a natural progression for me.
It was just a few years ago that I moved to San Francisco to start my own show, and fell into so many other opportunities.
Where’d the beard come from?
When I first started out I would always shave my face, and deliver pretty standard drag. My drag has always been very movement based and the topics have always been more risqué. As I continued to develop my dance movement and repertoire for my dance company I started playing more with hot topics like gender binary and the gray scale that lies in between male and female and it’s construct in our society. So it started in the dance and theater space and it eventually moved on to nightlife.
Did you face any backlash?
Of course I did. San Diego is a very conservative city. It’s Southern California, so there’s hot bodies, everything shaved, very white and if you don’t fit in then you get a lot of slack. It’s actually why I left San Diego and came to San Francisco. The city was not productive or nurturing to my creative process and I moved away to get shows, and start my own.
When there is not a space out there for someone, all they have to do it is make it. That’s what I did.
San Francisco, however, is very unique. It nurtures the fagotry that has a lineage of counter culture. I feel accepted and celebrated here as a hyper masculine, hyper feminine performer. San Francisco has been so accepting to my style of drag. It’s a very small community when it comes to the faggots here, despite how big the community is thought to be. The only thing I have had to worry about is the competition from other events.
What’re the reactions when you travel?
It’s truly beautiful. I learn so much when I come into cities that don’t have a representation of what I’m offering. It’s pretty clear that they don’t have what I do in their city or else I wouldn’t be getting booked. People come out not knowing what to expect, and there have been times when I walk out and see an entire crowd not knowing that they are looking at. But by the end of the nnight, these are the same people who are tipping me $20s.
It’s a very visceral and visual trajectory of going from curious, scared, and disgusted almost to an appreciation. People are taught to be followers, to be sheep. So when I come out and give them this mixture of masc and fem it starts a conversation. That’s why I do what I do.
What should we expect from Grace Towers?
Expect a lot of boundaries to be pushed. Come with an open mind not just for what you are seeing, but what you are taking home. What can I have you question about yourself? I really like to create those long lasting links.
Come out and have a good time with us on Friday!
Grace Towers presents BULGE Every Thursday night at Powerhouse Bar. Nominated BEST GAY EVENT IN SAN FRANCISCO. Battle of the BULGE. Winner takes $100 cash. Thank you to our slutty and amazing sponsors MrSLeather, Steamworks Baths and 9x6Lube. #IndulgeInTheBulge????????????????
A photo posted by Grace Towers (@thegracetowers) on
Grace Towers presents dickATnite | who’s show is it anyway? Every first Wednesday I bring together some of San Francisco’s nightlife curators. This week’s lineup is everything! Performances by the incomparable @bebesweetbriar @pattymcgroinsf @frightengale @mercedez_munro and your host @thegracetowers!! Show at 11pm. Moby Dick Bar. photo | Magnus Hastings
A photo posted by Grace Towers (@thegracetowers) on