DD: Hi. So good to be here. Oh my God. Yeah.
D: What is your name?
DD: My name is Diana Diamond. I’m a drag performer. When I’m not in drag, I go by Magnus. That’s a Danish name. You would probably say Magnus. Yeah. That’s me.
D: Awesome. So you do drag mostly in Copenhagen?
DD: I do drag in Copenhagen. Yeah, I am from Copenhagen. I do also tour around Denmark sometimes, and then I am fortunate. Fortunately, what is it called I get, I get to go here to Vienna.
D: Yeah, so now we’re currently in Vienna, but I just learned something new. It’s not Copenhagen, it’s Copenhagen.
DD: It’s Copenhagen. Yeah, I feel like we will say that. I think people are calling it Copenhagen because they think it sounds Danish, but we call it Copenhagen. So that’s like nothing to do with it. Yeah, but you could say whatever.
D: So how did you get into doing drag?
DD: I’ve always been really fascinated about the drag world. I remember seeing a drag performer for the first time when I was around four years old on television. It was a huge Danish drag queen that did some Anastasia impersonation and from that that time I was hooked. Whenever there has been something drag I’ve been like very interested because it’s just like extravagant and glitter and hair and stilettos and everything. Love it.
D: I’m currently wearing one of your dresses, first of all I have to say. It is pink. It is poofy, it is absolutely fabulous. And, so your drag style. Can you describe that for us?
DD: It’s really just what you said, pink and poofy and fabulous. I’m, like, inspired by those, really by Barbie. And I want to look like a real-life Barbie doll most of the time. Paris Hilton is inspiration, Glinda the Good Witch, Karen from Mean Girls. It’s like kind of that blonde bombshell stupid vibe I give. Yeah, and I love pink.
D: I remember when you first came to Vienna, how long ago was that?
DD: It was, I feel like August 2020. So, it’s just when we had a little break from Miss COVIDina Ninetina. So it’s like 2 and 1/2 years ago, yeah.
D: And you were very different performer. Can you explain like your evolution in that time?
DD: I was a baby queen back then. I’d only been doing drag for kind of a year and then the pandemic hit, so that was not a lot of opportunities for me in Copenhagen to perform really. But I think I just evolved into a more confident performer. I found my shtick if you can say that like, I really like a comedic performance with some – a lot of comedy elements, but still being very beautiful and dumb, and really just stick to that. When I do my mixes at home, I’m like always laughing and I feel like if I find things funny other people would find it funny too, I guess.
D: You did Drag Bingo last night, and something that really struck me was how good you are on your feet, just like improvising, talking to the crowd, bringing them in. How are you honing that skill? Is that like something you practise? You just kind of like have a shtick that you then like roll out? Or are you thinking that stuff up as you go?
DD: I actually I do a lot of improvisation. Is it called that? Yeah. Improvisation. Yeah. Every time I do shows back in Copenhagen as well. I’m fortunately, unfortunate. That’s a word I can’t say.
D: But you can be fortunate, but you just can’t say fortunate.
DD: I’m sorry. I am lucky enough to host a lot of shows back in Copenhagen and drag has kind of exploded back then. I also started a lot of shows myself, so by going out and forcing myself to be on the stage and talking on the microphone, I feel like I kind of learned from that a lot. So, I can pull those skills in wherever I go and I figured out I’m really good at adapting to the audience that I’m performing in front of. And my biggest goal is to make them feel comfortable too, and laugh. So I’m literally just having the time of my life when I’m on the stage and by doing that, I feel like people that I’m entertaining are having the time of their life.
D: I know I did. Yeah. Had a great time. Tell us about the scene in Copenhagen. Copenhagen. Sorry.
DD: No worries it is evolving. It has been very traditional up until I would say around 2018 with the Pageant Queens, but something changed. There was a whole new generation of drag performers being born around that time. Me, myself, I was like late 2019 and then I feel like drag has, it has not become mainstream, but kind of. You can’t really go anywhere in Copenhagen without seeing a drag performer. Drag is everywhere and people are hungry for it, and we are hungry to go out and perform and we just inspire each other. And so it’s a really evolving. It’s a really high quality of drag I would say, and it’s a lot of improv shows, it’s a lot of comedy, it’s a lot of still pageant and songs with like big positive energy and meaning behind them. So, it’s like there’s a lot of different styles of drag and everybody can kind of work together and we just encourage each other to thrive. Yeah.
D: Can you explain what a Pageant Queen is?
DD: My definition of a pageant queen would be like a more traditional Drag Queen that has those really long gowns and is painted for the gods, has beautiful hair and just does a ballet or just being the moment on stage you don’t really need much, but her expressions and her look. That to me is a Pageant Queen. We have some beautiful ones. Go and look up Sasha Holiday. She’s amazing. Yeah.
D: Sasha Holiday. So your shtick you kind of alluded to it, but. Could you sort of describe – I mean I have my interpretation of what you’re doing, but I’d love to hear you describe what you try to bring to the stage.
DD: I try to bring humour to the stage that is like basically, yeah. Not all the time but I like to do popular pop songs, pretty much, and like twist them into some sort of, have sort of a comedic element in every song. Yesterday I did S&M by Rihanna, but what she wanted was corn, not necessarily she wanted the sex. But then I do like, twist it to make the whole performance about corn, which for me is really stupid, but when you like, when you commit and you stick with that, it’s going to be really entertaining as well. So that is pretty much what I do. I find something stupid and just to make it into a performance basically.
D: Did you do comedy as well? Because I kind of get a sense that that’s there, that like you’re a comedian.
DD: I do stand-up comedy as well. Yeah, I do. It’s the nearest thing I throw myself into. Yeah, but we have had some shows at the biggest comedy club in Copenhagen. Every other month on a Monday, we started last summer, and I just did one this Monday, actually, and I wrote down like 2 1/2 pages of comedic material that I did like for stand up. And then I finished it off with a comedic performance. So that was basically me on the microphone for like 10-15 minutes just doing stand-up in drag and I loved it. It was really fun, yeah.
D: What do you want people to go away from your shows with.
DD: Just a happy feeling. My intention is that they leave out their problems in normal life. They leave them outside of the room, they go in, they forget about whatever they’re dealing with and they just be in the moment and have fun and laugh and take that energy with them when they leave. Hopefully to stick with that energy because they, to me, that is what drags gives me is like positivity, cool vibes, happiness. And I want to bring that to the people that I’m performing in front of.
D: So we’re in a very particular moment in the political landscape regarding drag. And something happened in Denmark not too long ago. Can you explain what happened?
DD: Yeah, I had a children’s show, a children’s drag show at a public library a few weeks ago. A couple of weeks before we were having this show, people started noticing that the shows were happening and some right wing people, I don’t know who they are, they didn’t feel like we should do these shows because they had all sorts of opinions and thoughts about what these children’s drag shows would include, which means that they posted a lot of things online, a lot of hatred online towards me calling me a paedophile. They were accusing me of grooming children. They were trying to start rumours that I was going to strip for these children. And they really went to basically Facebook and Twitter and posted a lot of hatred and hate speech about me and some – it ended with people sending me death threats. And when I received those death threats, I was like, I didn’t want to. I just couldn’t be quiet about it, so I went to the media, the Danish media with these things that I received. And luckily they took it very seriously. So they cleared out a whole segment that evening for me to come on national television to talk about what I have received, what I was being accused of. Which led to this being kind of – you could say it was a shitstorm because I’ve received a lot of negativity towards the show. The Public Library you have received lots of accusations as well and hateful messages. But then it started sort of a debate throughout the whole country of Denmark, if children’s drag show should be OK. Which means that this included politicians that were both against and for these shows – it was an entire media debate, and I was in every Danish media. A lot of people from both left and right wing, the politicians they were involved in this. There were some mayors involved. And I don’t know if the Prime Minister herself got involved, but it was at that level. But luckily for us, we had a lot, a lot, lots of support. I received so many beautiful messages from people encouraging me to do stuff like this and telling me that this was so important for them and for their children that also like to dress up as princesses. Because what I was going to do for these children shows, it was basically me as a Drag Princess performing Disney songs and blowing bubbles and glitter for the night and having children play with some glitter and stuff, which ended up really, really cute because the show itself and the event itself went really, really well. It was such a success, but it led to, there was a demonstration outside of the library against us, where people were, it was like, really right-wing people that were there. They were thinking that these children were going to change gender, change their gender, when they see these shows. And they really just have no clue what a drag show for children is, but at the same time, there was also a counter demonstration with a lot of people from the LGBT community and just people that supported us gathered and created a really good vibe in front of this library. Also, the children could feel very secure to go in and they were like they were 500-600 people. And the protest against us, they were like 20 people maybe. So we really felt the love and support from so many people. But this has never happened in Denmark before, there has never been anything. Or maybe, yeah, maybe like if we go back to the 1950s or something like that, but modern-day Denmark doesn’t have – the LGBTQ Plus community does not have this hatred thrown against them in Denmark. So it was really an event that actually gathered our whole community, because they were all supporting us also. Because this is, the protesters they were saying that this is just the drag show that their agenda was against, like they were feeling that this drag show was the big problem, but honestly, the bigger problem is that these are a bunch of transphobic people that are, that are just really trying to take trans peoples, trans persons rights away from them.
D: Yeah. And I think that also Drag Queens are a low hanging fruit because they are so publicly and extravagantly gender non-conforming. Has that ever kind of entered people’s speculation around your identity? Like OK, so now you want to be a girl or something like that. Is that something that you’ve had to deal with?
DD: Not necessarily. Just from, I think from people that haven’t had a chance to witness what drag is as an art form. They could be like oh, but like speculating if this is some kind of, my own identity or if I want to, what is it called – transition. But most of the time people get it really quickly that this is an art form. But those right wing protesters, they have no clue of what is going on – and I don’t know if this really breaks down their whole idea of what the world is or if it’s like something fundamental for them.
D: So the but the paradox is, is that you know the on the one hand, they argue that, you know, gender is this, like, natural thing that you’re born with and it’s fixed. And on the other hand, they think that if you see like a man in a dress, it’s going to change for you. Like what can you do? Yeah.
DD: Exactly, exactly. And the thing is, 95% of the Danish population find this particular situation so stupid because it really is stupid that there are some people that are accusing us of horrible things and sending us hate messages and stuff like that. But I figured out during this time where I had to deal with all of this, that these people – you can’t say or do anything to make them change their mind.
D: I think it’s so interesting as well that your first impulse was to fight and to speak out about it instead of running and hiding. Where do you think that comes from?
DD: I think it’s coming from knowing a lot of people that are sad enough, getting these hate messages on a daily basis, mostly transgender people. And I know that when you receive this, you really don’t have the energy to take it out publicly as I do. But for me, that I don’t receive all of these things – I was like, this is a fight that I psychically also could carry so I really wanted to do that to help these people. Does that make sense?
D: It makes a lot of sense.
DD: But I at the same time I had no idea when I started, or when I first contacted the media, that this situation would blow up as a national shitstorm. I thought, OK, now I spoke my part or I’ve talked about what I’ve received and stuff like that. And maybe it would just fade away, but it didn’t. It was literally the most talked about cultural thing that happened in Denmark, like for years now. Yeah. So like my tiny little drag show at a library was like the most discussed event in Denmark.
D: OK. But the important question is who is your favourite Disney Princess?
DD: Oh my God! I’ve always seen myself as the Sleeping Beauty. What’s her name? Aurora. Because of her pink dress. I love The Little Mermaid as well. Yeah.
D: Aurora’s her name? We have confirmation, yeah. Oh, that’s awesome. I bet that was such a show and so magical. For the children as well.
DD: It was amazing. I wore like, you’re sitting in a pink dress right now. Imagine this, times 20. Yeah, it was huge. I could fit like 5 people underneath the skirt of it. It’s like I’m gonna show you a picture afterwards. But it’s amazing. Yeah, yeah.
D: So where do you wanna go from here? I mean, now you’ve been on national news. And so in that regard, you might be at this moment, the most recognisable queen from Copenhagen? So where do you, where do you want to go from here?
DD: I hope that there are great things happening for me in the near future. I am actually planning on doing a national tour in Denmark with these kids shows because I know that a lot of people from around the country have texted me and told me that they would love if I got to their city, so that’s a first. And then I actually want to do more television, but not in this way. But like ask myself, I would love to host a TV show in Denmark, because I see drag going there – as being like mainstream hostesses of national TV shows. And honestly, just keep thriving and keep on doing what I do. I have a lot of shows in Copenhagen, I love. It I love every opportunity I get and I just wanna go out and perform honestly.
D: Awesome! I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you if you could talk a little bit about Queens Brunch and kind of where that sat in your drag evolution.
DD: I mean, it was really my first big opportunity, I would say when Stephane texted us telling us that he was going to fly us into Vienna from Copenhagen, that was the first time I really felt like, oh my god, I’m kind of a star now. I’m being flewn into another country.
D: You were flewn out, your flewn out is the correct term of it, yeah.
DD: Flewn out. OK. Oh my god, what did I say? What does that mean?
D: You got flewed out.
DD: I got flewed out! I guess that let’s just keep it there. And yeah, it was fun. And it was like also the hardest. First time I felt like, OK, drag is an actual job because I had like 2 brunches in a row, I was in drag for like 5 or 6 hours and we were entertaining a lot of people. And it was just, it was just really fun. And that was at the start, at the beginning of my career I was here. I’d only been doing drag for like 9 months back then.
D: I know you were a baby.
DD: I was a baby back then.
D: Just out of high school, you were.
DD: Yeah. No, but true. Yeah, I was. Yeah, and yeah, it was a really, really amazing experience. And now I’m back for the third time and it’s it gets better every time I must say. But it’s amazing that we have this place here where you just give opportunities to so many performers from around Europe, around the world even.
D: Tell us how we can find you online and figure out where to, you know, come see one of these shows in Copenhagen.
DD: If you’re, if you go to Copenhagen, you’re definitely gonna see a show with me because I literally have shows every week. You can find me on Instagram – my name is @theDianaDiamond. Diana Diamond was taken, unfortunately, but it’s the same on TikTok, @theDianaDiamond and I feel like Facebook you can just put Diana Diamond, but I’m mostly active on Instagram.
D: Mostly on Instagram. Thank you so much.
DD: Thank you for having me.