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Gay Times December 12 - Issue 413

Sharon Needles

Darren Scott speaks to America's spookiest drag star

"Christmas is so fucking gay, I just like Halloween.”
Sharon Needles is on fine form when GT catches up with her. For the winner of the fourth series of RuPaul’s Drag Race it’s the start of a busy day prepping for a public appearance that evening.
“I’m on top of the world!” she proclaims. “I’m drinking a Heineken at 10 in the morning at the W resort.”
Why is she drinking that early in the morning?
“Because I’m famous,” she deadpans. “Actually no, I’m just trying to wipe off last nights hangover before a long photoshoot.”
For GT it’s almost the end of the day – our hangover has been eaten through and we’re about to start again.
“Alcohol’s like Pringles,” Sharon states. “Once you pop you can’t stop.”
Sharon – real name Aaron Coady – turns 31 next month. Since being crowned America’s next drag superstar on Logo TV’s runaway (and runway) hit she’s been living the dream.
“Life treats me pretty brutally but I can’t complain. Gave up my favourite drug called sleep and I moved into a beautiful new apartment called every airport in America. But it’s great, I consider this to be like a thank you note. My mom always made me write my thank you note before I was allowed to keep my birthday and Christmas money. So this is pretty much my thank you note, just going around America and embarrassing myself in front of a live audience every night and basically the same thank you for letting RuPaul know that I was the one who wanted to hold that crown. I think without the online presence and without the social media involved in this process I probably would have been packing my bag earlier than I did.”
Indeed, Facebook and Twitter played their part in fans being able to let the show makers know that they were backing a – some might say – less traditional Drag Race star. With that success comes fame – globally, given that Drag Race has a hardcore international following, despite not being available in some territories (“I love it. The people in Britain STEAL the show and that shows the real devotion to this because in America you can just watch cause it happens to be on but in Britain you have to fucking steal it…”) But how is life for Sharon in the limelight?
“I always knew that I’d be famous,” she states, “but the weird thing is I didn’t know what fame it was going to be. I’m 30 years old and I’ve had a pretty seasoned life and I have a pretty good idea about how the world works but I was totally naïve and childish to what I thought fame was. I thought it was something that erased a lot of pain, I thought it was Vicodin, I thought it was a band aid, I thought it was a million dollar check and it isn’t. It’s more of a microscope on your own insecurities and it’s also very overwhelming to be a beacon of light when you’re such a dark person for these youngsters. You hear the sad-ass stories every single day and unfortunately they don’t bounce off you, they go right through you and they remind you of your shitty growing up. Every night.”
Although Sharon doesn’t go into too much detail – we get the impression she doesn’t really dwell – it seems her early years stood her in good stead.
“I was bullied pretty bad throughout school and my naïve sensibility was to wear fetish clothes and wear vinyl and wear lots of makeup and colour my hair. I got bullied so bad that it got to the point where my student advisor said that my physical appearance was distracting to others’ education and I was basically asked to leave my school. But that’s fine because someone once said ‘Everything you need to learn, you learn in kindergarten’ and I consider myself one smart cookie for never going to school. I always say I got my degree from fuck you.”
Did she identify as being gay from a young age?
“Oh yeah, I remember seeing John Stamos on Full House, at the age of five and I knew I wanted to fuck him. And I still do!”

To read the full article, pick up the latest copy of GT out in all good retailers, online and downloadable on your iPhone or iPad.

Words: Darren Scott
Image: Austin Young

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