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Vaginal Davis

July 30, 2012

Vaginal Davis is a diva, but not the typical kind.

At the heart of the queer-core zine and punk movement, Davis has performed with a variety of talent from Beck to Margaret Cho.

In the 70’s, Davis was a founding member of The Afro Sisters¡Cholita! with Alice Bag (Alice recently suggested Davis as a respondent in her own answers), and Pedro, Muriel, and Esther. She’s even recorded with Steve Albini.

Clearly, performance is what Davis does best. Her brand of “terrorist drag” yanks her audience out of their comfort zone to face the juxtapositions of politics, gay culture, and self. A powerful presence, Davis challenges herself to shake up normative expectations.

These days, Davis lives in Berlin (what she calls Los Angeles’ sister city) and is currently on tour with her latest piece Communist Bigamist – Two Love Stories. She didn’t have time to answer all our questions, but we weren’t surprised. She is a diva after all.

1. What is your hometown?

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  One of the rare LA natives.  Now living and working in LA´s sister city of Berlin, Germany.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Madame DeFarge from Dicken´s A Tale of Two Cities.  I am a modern day Madame DeFarge sitting quietly knitting away a designy pattern with the names of thine enemies waiting to pounce during the revolution. 

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Kara Heyward who stars in the Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom is actually going to portray me in the film version of my life called Magnificent Product that Anderson will direct.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?


5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Dropped Names by Frank Langella, Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel,  The UnInvited Guests by Sadie Jones, and The Astaires-Fred & Adele by Kathleen Riley are sharing rotating space on my night stand at the moment.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

I don’t own an eye pod.  Not one for modern gadgetry as I am too olde school for that.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Golden Eighties 1985 by Lesbian feminist filmmaker Chantal Ackerman starring the exquisite Delphine Seyrig whose voice and screen presence is pure magic.

8. Cat person or dog person?

Neither.  I can barely take care of myself let alone a pet.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?


10. How do you define sin?


11. How do you define virtue?


12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?



Vaginal Davis

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