Graeme Houssin, known as Contessa Lestrange as a drag queen and Visconte Lestrange as a drag king, is the founder of Drag in the Peg, a podcast that explores the lives of drag personas in Winnipeg. The podcast started out as a school project while Houssin was completing their diploma in Creative Communications with a major in advertising at Red River College.
“I was beginning to fully own my identity as a femme non-binary person, and drag queens are kind of these beacons in the queer community of gender fluidity and lavish indulgence of femininity, so obviously I was intrigued,” they say.
“I knew our city had a drag scene, and I wanted to know more. I thought the best way for me and for others to really get to know our city’s drag performers was through long-form interviews, but I’m trash at editing video, and I know people usually aren’t motivated to read thousand-word-long written interviews, so I thought podcasts would be the most effective way for them to share their stories in their own words.”
Houssin is currently working on production for season 2 of Drag in the Peg.
“That means 16 new, feature-length interviews, airing January 11, 2020 and releasing every Saturday!” they say.
“Another super exciting thing I'm doing is a panel-style discussion series, called Queeries (also under the Drag in the Peg brand), where every month, four drag performers will come together to start a conversation about some of the most contentious or interesting ideas surrounding drag culture today. Episode 1 of Queeries – called “What is drag?” – is going to be released on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019,” Houssin says.
Houssin emphasizes the importance of a queer-centric media project receiving an accolade from their community.
“Our drag scene has been hustling for so long, and it’s about time they’re seen for all the effort they put in,” they say. “I’m proud of the work that I’ve done, and I’m proud that it’s resonated in my community.”
Published in Volume 74, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 28, 2019)