You’re known as “The internet’s first superstar.” Why do you feel you hold that that title? The answer is staying power. I had the unique privilege in the 1990’s to be one of the general public to be on the Internet before the hordes of society got online. Back then it was just beginning to morph from this place for super geeks and hackers to a place that was a little more user friendly for others. I was young enough to have no life and old enough to begin building my own domain to showcase who I was. We had “camwhores” back then who were very popular, but nobody ever crossed over to television, to the “real” world of celebrity. I intended to get there. I was different than the camwhores. I was Chris Crocker and Jeffree Star before they probably were old enough to be on the Internet. The difference being in my day “no one got online” and in their day it was becoming dead common. The difference between me and the other Internet superstars I grew up with is I didn’t give up. My dearest friends shut down their sites and rolled up the carpets when people like Chris and Jeffree came around. I may not have been the first, but I was one of the first and one of the only who actually stayed. I’m still here on your Internet! Find me one artist from 1995 with a personal site who is still doing it today. Find them because I don’t believe they exist anywhere and because it’s probably an old friend I’d like to say hello to. Can you tell us a little bit about the process of going from small town misfit to the fabulous Artist D? You have to be a misfit if you’re going to grow up to be fabulous. Adding the small town into the mix makes it all the more challenging. A glamour-minded child stuck in a small town wants nothing more than to get out and be appreciated in The Big City, especially after growing up not appreciated by the people and society surrounding me. It’s a driving force to be something more. Not only did I know how I wanted to present myself and who I wanted to become, but also I knew I had to get people to witness it all because it would change their lives. I knew the Artist D would change their life for the better. I am fabulous and I spend the rest of my time getting everyone to pay attention to that fact because it’s an important template. You have often had to split yourself into one person “by day” and quite another “by night.” Some would completely understand this while others would say you are not being true to your entire self. Do you ever feel like separate people living separate lives or have you learned to assimilate all of “what” you are into “who” you are? Culture gives people living double or triple lives such a bad name. Growing up
I was Chris Crocker and Jeffree Star before they probably were old enough to be on the Internet. watching all of the old school talk shows they would guilt these sorts of people into such shame over it. As I grew I created my own life with many different levels and learned there is absolutely nothing wrong with split personalities. You can’t help mix a little bit of who you are at night with who you are during the day, but the culture we live in does not allow us to be ourselves. Everyone has to tone it down or completely be something they aren’t to get along in this ridiculous world. It’s true that it’s wrong for us to stifle ourselves just to fit in, but on planet Earth it is status quo.
host a talk show. It would get very boring to me. I love variety and every time I try a different level of art I adore the challenge to succeed in it.
You’re paintings are quite powerful. What inspires you to create in this way? My paintings are channeled through a part of me that is rarely accessible. I have to channel a very unique place within myself to paint anything meaningful. If my paintings are powerful I can only imagine it is because they are so very far and few between. I go years at a time without touching the canvas. It sits on the easel in my living room and What do you think of gender rules in gen- stares at me blankly until suddenly I know eral? What do you hope to accomplish exactly what goes there. by remaining simply “D”? Gender rules are bullshit. It is the society You’ve published several books, includand culture that have made gender too im- ing collections of poetry as well as your portant. I think the research of people like Al- “life so far” story. What prompted the leap fred Kinsey, along with simple logic, proves from internet star to author? Which of your there are very few people with black and published works is your favorite? Why? white gender (and sexuality). No one is one Before any other medium, I was a writer. way or the other on anything. Everybody is Drawing and writing is the one thing that a little bit of everything since we come from came to me naturally. That is, as far as what a little bit of everything. I did from birth and kept on doing. In grade Gender is perhaps one of the silliest school, I was light years ahead in English things we get hung up on and I can say that class. Writing projects were the only easy without demeaning the transgender com- A+s I could get. I loved writing short stories munity. The need to transition is still valid in and then as a teenager it morphed to poetry. a gender fluid world. There are still people When I started my journey on the Interwho were born with the overpowering desire net, I had blogs and wanted desperately to and need to be the opposite gender. How- be noticed most for the things I wrote about. ever, there are others who wouldn’t care at It was always my goal to write books and all about their gender if society didn’t care. I was thrilled when self-publishing became We could walk around dressed the way we more readily available to do my own thing. want, talking the way we want and acting our I never tried to send my work to a big New own way, no matter what our bits and pieces York publisher. I had no time for that game dictated. We’d feel fine because we’d have and why bother when I could do it myself? been able to be ourselves. I remain “D” to Most artists (especially writers) will tell be androgynous and I will always love that you their latest book is the best and all othpeople call me by him, her, and it. ers before it were garbage. I think similarly and would recommend my latest book In “Camwhore,” painter, radio show host, Bed With Myself among any others. fourculture’s mastermind, photographer, and author to name a few; you have cov- What does writing give to you personally ered almost every avenue of creative ex- that some of your other artistic endeavpression that one could think of. What ors don’t? Does each have its own little drives you to continue evolving yourself niche to fulfill? and your self-expression? It’s a much lengthier form of expression. It’s both a desire to create more and a I believe writing is artistic thoughtfulness on challenge to go in directions I have not yet a maximum level. It takes the most time. gone. I never back down from the fear of Each type of art I do does have its own niche embarrassing myself in order to better my because some people only read, some only creations. I don’t know if I could be just one gawk, and others just listen. If I didn’t do it all kind of artist. I couldn’t just sit around and I may miss an important audience. write books. I couldn’t just paint or model or
ART, MUSIC, LITERATURE AND COMPELLING SOCIETAL VIEWS THAT LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE BOX