Sharon Needles quotes and sayings
November 28, 1981
Not to be rude to my sisters, but I don't listen to drag music. I listen to everything from punk to Italo disco to Appalachian country music, but I don't know what their records sound like. I hardly listen to my own records. I'm like Cher!
It's a pleasure to join the ranks of Debbie Rochon, Linnea Quigley, and Heather Langenkamp as one of America's most recognizable Scream Queens!
I found my first picture of Amanda Lepore online in fashion magazines. It was the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen in my life. I thought nothing could trump the perfection of that photograph.
I love what news has become. It's no longer based on facts, it's based on entertainment.
In the entertainment industry women are often judged. They judge bigger women, they judge black women, and older women too. We just don't do that in drag. Drag is open to everyone, regardless of gender, body shape or age.
Drag queens don't work well outside. We're designed for spotlights, not sunlight.
Politics remind me a lot of 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' It's real but it isn't.
The most powerful woman I know is my mother, and she doesn't wear any make up at all.
If anyone ever boos you off stage, that is simply applause from ghosts.
If I had to pick between Heaven and Hell, I'd pick Hell, because I can't keep white clean.
Growing up in Iowa I could have had it a lot worse. My family was more worried about my education and my health than the fact that I wore my sister's dresses.
Monster Mash' is one of those great, throwback Halloween songs.
My house is a mixture of mid-century 'Brady Bunch' and the Addams family, so it's not uncommon to find vials of blood in my house.
I love celebrities, and I love the concept of fame, but it took me getting fame to realize that it doesn't exist, which was kind of a bummer. Fame is great if you're not famous, because it seems like this elusive impossible dream world. And it's not. It's a fancy word that managers and producers make up so they can keep hawking you for more money.
I did drag out of necessity. I had to do it... I had to create this other character because - because she's cheaper than therapy.
Discrimination must always be drawn out, like venom from the wound.
When in doubt, freak 'em out.
Most American adults know what a drag queen is, but as they're portrayed in films like 'Dressed to Kill' and 'Silence of the Lambs.'.
In the past, when I lacked designer duds, I simply relied on my hot glue gun.
Jason Voorhees was a kid who was picked on at summer camp, and Michael Myers was someone vilified by his own family. I think that's why gay people like horror movies, because it's seeking revenge on the privileged.
After I went on 'Drag Race,' I was allowed to do so many things. I was allowed to do theater, commercial work, television work, modeling, fashion design, and it was great. But the thing with reality television fame is that it's got a pretty quick expiration date.
Never feel guilty. Don't hold yourself back by guilt or fear. No other species in the entire world deals with guilt. Guilt is a bizarre emotion that makes you feel bad about decisions that you make.
A man in a dress can get away with a lot.
Drag culture has always been about excess.
I was talking to the great Armen Ra, the world's most renowned theremin player, and he told me, "I don't trust old people that do drugs, but I don't trust young people that don't do them." I think what he meant by that is that you've got to be young, you've got to be adventurous and experimental. I'm certainly not asking any of my fans or kids to do drugs, but I certainly wouldn't judge them for doing them.
Love is a universal, attractive element. And other than death, love is the one thing that binds all of humanity.
I'm kind of a hokey-jokey, campy idiot in black lipstick, but when it comes to my music, I take it very seriously.
The secret to a great Halloween costume, and I can't stress this enough, is in my opinion is to extract sexuality out of your costume.
I don't want to be anyone's role model. My mole models were assholes. My role models are dead. My role models never made it to 30, so I'm a bad person to ask for advice.
I like money but I love performance art and it goes hand in hand. I'm not the 'Titanic,' I'm 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.' I'm not a blockbuster, I'm a cult classic. I think my strong but cult-like fanbase expects me to challenge norms.
I love Halloween. I mean, yes, I consider every day to be Halloween, but it's a very special day for me.
I love taxidermy. I collect taxidermy. I'm fascinated by the art of taxidermy. But on a more artistic level, I look at taxidermy as pulling something from the wild and taming it, and posing it in a style of your own personal pleasure that will last forever, and ever, and ever.
Sharon Needles is definitely Pittsburgh - always rough around the edges, a little ignorant, a little uneducated. And she's dead. And Pittsburgh is, after all, the zombie capital of the world, a little financially lower class, and just all-around a gritty, rough city.
My concept is drag queens are not a reflection of society, they are a fun house reflection of society where we bend, and twist and manipulate the anxieties we all feel.
I come from what we call the pre-'Drag Race' drag world where I didn't start doing this with aspirations of being a reality television star, or this going any further than the small smoky bars of Pittsburgh.
Some people say, 'Oh you're a weird queen. You're a punk queen.' All queens are weird! I don't care if you're in a sickening gown or dressed as an octopus. You are treating every day as if it were Halloween. You are donning a character and a persona that isn't real.
My mom let me play in her clothes, wear makeup, and I had high heels from a thrift store. My mom tells me that the only reason she let me dress in her clothes is because she couldn't afford any toys, and it seemed entertaining enough and kept her from having to buy me anything, 'cause everything I wanted was in her makeup box or wardrobe.
I could talk about myself for hours!
I was such a bizarre conundrum of everything that makes you worry about a child. I was a bad student. I got picked on a lot. I loved horror movies.
Drag really isn't just about exaggerating and celebrating femininity. Some drag queens want to look like monsters, some drag queens want to look like hot dogs. Really what it is is just dipping your toes in all the swimming pools of identity and allowing yourself. Because society really tries to compartmentalize humans in a certain way.
I function because I am on drugs.
I look spooky but I'm really nice.
I'm obsessed with celebrities and fame. I always will be.
RuPaul's Drag Race' is my favorite show on television, and I've never missed an episode. With season 4, I watched it as if Sharon Needles wasn't me but was just another character.
It seems I am more beloved on a reality show from an extended cable network than I am in social circles in my own city.
I'm the sort of person who wants to wear a wedding dress to a wedding.
I come from regional, small-city drag, where if you won Miss Des Moines, Iowa, and you did something bad, or you were being a role model, your crown was taken away.
I was raised on GG Allen, Divine, Elvira and Marilyn Manson. I was always more interested in those button pushing, transgressive artists and they made a lot of good money doing it.
I don't care how many times I play 'Angry Birds.' When you have the world's cares on your shoulders and you fling those little birds at those rotten pigs, then the whole world just melts away.
A drag queen on time is not a drag queen.
The thing about fame is, you want it your whole life, but no matter how bright you are, no one ever asks themselves why they want fame. You never really know what it is until you have it. You can never tangibly feel your own fame.
When making your ass, always draw the shape of Africa. Or as Latrice would say, the homeland.
Beneath the 30 pounds of makeup and corsets and gowns are real beating hearts of real people and they usually come from a place of pain.
I remember when I wore UFO raver jeans in the 90s. Or my JNCOs! I miss my JNCOs.
I think the reason people are propping up drag queens is because it's popular with the fans that identify with them, so we're great for marketing. We're not allowed to be the Christmas tree, we're just allowed to be the decorations, and I still think we're looked at as clowns by a majority of the society.
Drag can be considered so many dangerous things, which it isn't. But the one thing we're never called is misogynist, which might be the only thing that we truly are. Because no woman looks like this. You have so many real biological everyday women say: 'Oh I wish I would look like you.' They would look ridiculous if they looked like us.
I wrote my first album almost as an entitled child. 'Taxidermy' is written by a much more precarious, untrusting adult.
I never hate my bullies from high school. I actually kind of appreciate them. If it wasn't for that boot camp training of how the world treats gay people and especially drag queens, I don't know if I would have survived as well as I have.
If you were to come in to my house, I have archived every fan letter I've ever been given, boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of them.
I never stop working, I never stop creating. And I never sit around and wait for the industry to need me. I force the industry to want me by continuously creating what I do. And in this age of airplanes and Internet, it's not about where you are, it's more about what you do. But I travel every single day.
I was really into the bimbo archetype that filled late 80s-early 90s TV when I was growing up. You know, women circling the want ads with nail polish, Rhonda Shear from 'U.S.A. Up All Night,' Peggy Bundy.
PG-13' is kind of a scattered, almost movie soundtrack album, with elements of punk and metal and electronica.
Sometimes I'm not even really quite sure why I do what I do - do I do it because I like to show that I'm an educated person to exploit these certain things artistically and, in my opinion, in a very smart way - or am I just a punk rock brat that likes pushing people's buttons and relishing in the negative reaction? I can't tell.
Two people live within me. One's a very savvy businessperson; the other's a party girl.
It seems like no one has friends in New York, they just have collaborators or co-workers.
I went into 'RuPaul's Drag Race' saying, 'I'll never cry.' Because they make fun of every queen that cries on the show. And I did cry, and I did scream, and I did have doubt, and I did have great, victorious moments.
A Scream Queen is a beautiful, bad actress who's really good at screaming, but it also represents standing up for equality and anti-bullying for LGBT youth.
Before my time on 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' Halloween was my favorite day of the year since I was a little kid. It's the day we worship the macabre and live vicariously through the costumes that we wear.
It sounds odd, but it's almost hard to find a piece of negative press about myself.
I represent a kind of underground, punk side of drag.
Gay people in general, I think, like telling secrets because we have to hide a huge secret for the first half of our lives. Why would we want to keep any more?
A lot of people call horror movies 'campy,' and I can certainly see why they think that they are, but being a product of the 80s, I didn't notice that they were campy - I came from a campy generation. I mean, Ronald Reagan is campy. But I don't think they're campy.
I find doppelgangers terrifying... can you imagine two of me?! Now that's scary!
It's like, 'Oh, great, drag queens can excel!' - but then the ceiling is so low. You're only allowed on the first floor; you're not allowed to go play with the big boys upstairs. Even RuPaul, who's a massive success, has been limited to where her music career can take her.
I've always toyed around with creating over-the-top lady characters in my head.
Am I in the Forbes 100? Absolutely not, and I'll never be there. But for the first time I make so much money that I feel poor, like I have to cultivate and protect this fortune. But I never had more than $20 in my pocket before RuPaul's Drag Race so I feel so privileged with money, it's terrible. I bought a $300 beige t-shirt today.
Sometimes when I'm working with RuPaul, I can't even look at her without feeling so emotional about the process I went through, and what was before the competition and what happened in my life after, and what it's done to millions of gay disenfranchised freaky kids.
Once you are in full Sharon Needles mode, you don't feel fear, you don't feel physical pain, and you also don't feel your own moral filter any longer.
You can't open your presents 'til you write your thank-you letters.
I'm obsessed with media and news. I could watch it all day.
Campy films almost create real-life cartoons.
Well I grew up in a small town in Iowa and there weren't a lot of imaginative and fun outlets for kids of my caliber, so pretty much my mom's closet and any large pieces of fabric in the Halloween box were my favorite toys.
Most drag queens dress up as super women, as an over exaggeration of the female form, because we like women, usually powerful women. I think that's why we are so over exaggerated; we are an amplification of the women who empowered us in our youth.
When I wrote 'PG-13,' I had just won 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' all my nightmares had come true, and I was a brat. I was a privileged brat overnight.
Any younger person - let's say if you're over the age of 30, Pride is a great excuse to go day-drinking. But no one forgets their first Pride and how much they felt that they were included and that the future was bright.
I've always said that punk is a time and money thing. You can only be punk if you're poor and you're young. It's for the poor, it's for the young.
I love covers because there's just something I love about replicating someone else's music or taking rare music and introducing it to a wider or a new audience.
Charlamagne tha God
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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