It has been long established that the cannabis culture lifestyle is not just about heterosexual men gazing longingly at ladies taking bong hits in bikinis. Cannabis is also a major part of life for women, many alternative cultures and the LGBTQ community. And since it is a huge staple of queer culture, cannabis and drag go hand-in-hand. After all, what better way is there to relax before going in front of a crowd, ease the pain from wearing pump heels and generally set a good vibe?
Lady Sativa, also known as Damien Dane, identifies as male by day, but by night, often slips into the drag persona of a tough but lovable chick who adores herb and wears her hair high. In honor of February being about all things sexy, CULTURE spoke with Denver’s resident drag queen Lady Sativa about drag, creative projects and her enthusiasm for cannabis.
How did you get started doing drag?
Shaving. That’s how everyone should get started! Just kidding! For me it’s all about music. I started doing mixes for the local girls I admired. I had always wanted to perform in drag, but was enamored and blown away by the talent in Denver. It was daunting. Then I realized that I had something different. I’m a singer, songwriter, pianist and music producer. I figured with that, plus drive and passion, I would be able to impress my own crowd of fans as well.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
The singers and live performers. Adore Delano, Courtney Act, Alaska [Thunderfuck] and of course RuPaul.
How do you describe your style?
Maladjusted Motorcycle Mohawk Mom. Like Cher in Mask, just with a lot more paint and a lot less dirt. My paint would be more described as “the blind stabbings of a lucky loser.”
How do you feel about the drag scene locally and nationally?
I wish I could say I paid more attention to it. I honestly have learned a great chunk of peace by not letting it affect me and not trying to affect it, locally or nationally. I’m focused on people more than drag queens, and I think that’s why I’m truly happy with my drag.
“ . . . cannabis literally erases the anxiety out of the creative process, thereby opening the doors, the windows and sometimes the roof of my creative energy. Anxiety is fear. It is the killer of art. Knowing that, I believe cannabis saves otherwise unrealized art.”
What are your plans for 2018? Anything you’d like to announce?
Porno: The Musical will be finished this year. I’m finished writing the music for this project, which has been bubbling for two years, and now having found an amazing scriptwriter, I’m elated to get it finished and see it produced and performed! I’m in a movie too. I have a great mentoring show idea, but that’s all I’ll say right now. It’s going to be a big year of very unexpected evolution.
How has cannabis affected your life and/or your creative process?
I smoked right before I made the shaving joke! But, truly, cannabis literally erases the anxiety out of the creative process, thereby opening the doors, the windows and sometimes the roof of my creative energy. Anxiety is fear. It is the killer of art. Knowing that, I believe cannabis saves otherwise unrealized art.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Is there anything you think could be done better or differently?
To quote Hillary Clinton, “I just don’t want to move backwards.”
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
It is the focus of many of my songs, indeed! “What You Need is a Blunt” gets requested quite a bit!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I just want us to focus on what makes us the same rather than what makes us different, in the drag community and in the world. George Carlin does bits about what makes us the same. They are hilarious, but they are great reminders. Have you ever gone into a room and you have no idea why you’re in there? Of course you have. We all have. That’s because we’re all the same. I’m no better than you; you’re no better than me. I’m Lady Sativa and so are you. Nugs and kisses!
Don’t Miss Lady Sativa’s Lingerie Lounge Competition Drag Show. Occurs every fourth Monday at Herb’s, 2057 Larimer St., Denver.