Centre stage rarely sees glitz quite like this

ROCKHAMPTON drag queen Peter loves the nightlife.

When he's not at Demedios Cafe Bar socialising with his friends or at university studying education, he is taking the stage in glitz and glamour.

At 18, Peter (who does not want to be identified for safety fears) is one of the youngest drag-queen performers who charms crowds of more than 70 at the Post Office Hotel.

Dressed in sequins, glitter and dazzling wigs and make-up, he takes the form of his stage character Veronica Darling.

"I started performing in the drag shows in January this year after finding out about them last year at a friend's 18th birthday,'' he said.

"It's a monthly show that attracts between 70 to 100 people and the crowd numbers are growing.''

Having only performed in Rockhampton so far, Peter said it's an exhilarating feeling to hear the crowd cheer and sing along to his Kylie Minogue or Beyonce Knowles performances.

"The hours before the show are pretty intense because we start getting ready from 4pm for our 9pm show,'' he explained.

"We are constantly forgetting and running out of things and so some of the performers race through the shopping centres with their make-up on and we get a few stares.

"Once I'm on stage, not even my friends recognise me.''

Peter said he came out in November last year and said it had been tough living as a gay man in Rockhampton.

He said there was still a stigma that people could not accept them.

"The hardest thing is not being able to go out in public with my boyfriend, particularly at the clubs,'' he said.

"One thing I have noticed with the drag shows is that some of the people from the main bar come in and view it because they are captivated by the music.''

Gay Pride Rockhampton will hold its monthly drag show "Glitter Kings and Queens'' at the Post Office Hotel today from 8pm to 2am.

For more information phone Natalie Rogers on 0412?123?042.



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