Chicago, IL -
Chicago drag queen Trannika Rex is hosting the next edition of Trannika's Most Wanted, a monthly drag showcase at Boystown's Scarlet Bar
, in honor of Phil Robertson, the controversial star of A&E's Duck Dynasty
After Robertson's recent comments in a GQ
interview that have been condemned as homophobic and racist by many while defended as free speech by others, Rex went so far as to pen a letter to Robertson inviting him to "Tuck Dynasty" this coming Monday, Jan. 20.
"The 'Tuck Dynasty' pun just came to me a couple of months ago and when the anti-gay scandal happened I knew we had struck gold," Rex told ChicagoPride.com. "It's timely, it's gay and it's kind of offensive, so it fits perfectly with my brand."
Writing to Robertson was a suggestion from Rex's mother, who the performer describes as the inspiration for her "inner stunt queen." In the letter, which was also sent to dozens of LGBT news publications across the country, Rex offers to pay for the reality tv star's plane ticket to Chicago to attend the event in his honor. She closes with a "see you soon, girl" and a postscript offering to explain the tuck pun in person).
"Despite your recent comments in GQ
about gay people ("Start with homosexual behavior and just morph from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.") and our anuses ("It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus"), as well as your comments about how black people were happiest in the Jim Crow south ("no one was singing the blues."), I still think you're great," Rex writes. "An inspiration even... "
"... It seems that you're very educated in gay culture so I'd like you to come see our interpretation of your culture in all of its beauty," she continues, asking. "Do you know a place to buy reasonably priced pink camouflage by the yard?"
(The full letter is published below)
Rex hails from Florida, so she's no stranger to the types of comments that Robertson expressed, but her position at Scarlet and on the Boystown drag scene gives her the power to take her frustration and channel it into creating a fun satire, which Rex predicts will result in the most popular Trannika's Most Wanted yet.
"The real shocker was that he made it this long without dropping these bombs," she told ChicagoPride.com. "The show does a good job of focusing on bumbling hijinx and not Phil Robertson's beliefs, as he told GQ
, that blacks were happier in the Jim Crow south and that gay culture is going to lead to bestiality. Having grown up around this kind of bullshit, my response is a long and hearty eye roll. I'm not going to change the old Southern ideals, but I can make them look stupid in a public forum."
Rex has yet to hear back from Robertson, less than a week before showtime, but says she never expected an actual response ("he's busy running a duck dynasty," she jokes).
"I know that someone's paying attention though because RuPaul's Drag Race
just released a teaser poster for their new season that reads 'Tuck Dynasty' and features their cast in photoshopped pink camo outfits (as mentioned in the letter)," Rex said. "Honestly, RuPaul ripping me off is actually more rewarding than hearing from Phil Robertson."
Trannika's Most Wanted, as described by Rex, is a monthly show at Scarlet Bar featuring seven of Chicago's most outrageous drag queens, a crowd of rowdy twenty-somethings and lots of shots of Fireball Whiskey. The upcoming "Tuck Dynasty" edition on Monday January 20, will feature all that and more "with Gretchen Wilson songs and illiteracy jokes."
The event starts at 10 p.m. on Monday at Boystown's Scarlet Bar, 3220 N Halsted St., featuring performances by Shea Coulee, Kim Chi, Ivory, DiDa Ritz, Ruby Dee, Kahmora Hall and, of course, Trannika Rex herself. Calendar: Trannika's Most Wanted: TUCK DynastyOpen letter to Phil Robertson, by Trannika Rex
Dear Phil Robertson,My name is Trannika Rex and I'd like to cordially invite you to my drag show, "Trannika's Most Wanted: Tuck Dynasty" this Monday, January 20th at Scarlet Bar in Chicago, IL. This month's theme is a tribute to your glorious television show and my biggest drag inspiration, Duck Dynasty.Despite your recent comments in GQ about gay people ("Start with homosexual behavior and just morph from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.") and our anuses ("It seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man's anus"), as well as your comments about how black people were happiest in the Jim Crow south ("no one was singing the blues."), I still think you're great. An inspiration even.I'd like to personally extend an invitation to you to attend my drag show and hell, I'll even pay for your flight to Chicago, IL (the city that Obama claims to be from). It seems that you're very educated in gay culture so I'd like you to come see our interpretation of your culture in all of its beauty. Do you know a place to buy reasonably priced pink camouflage by the yard?The show features cast members Kim Chi (she's an asian), Shea Coulee (she's a black), and Ivory (she's Puerto Rican) along with guest stars Dida Ritz (also black), Kahmora Hall (another Asian), and Ruby Dee (some kind of Mexican something). I'm white so don't worry, we'll have something to talk about (besides our anuses lol). If it makes you more comfortable we can open up the front picture window and have the people of different races perform outside so you can feel safe inside.If you're interested in taking me up on the offer, here's where you can RSVP:https://www.facebook.com/events/1413750535533169/?notif_t=See you soon, girl,
Trannika RexP.S.: I'll explain to you what a tuck is in person.