Student Spotlight: Liam Blanchard as Li Monade

The rise of drag has been sashaying into the media for the last couple of years with “Rupaul’s Drag Race” riding on top, and hits home for one PHS senior.

Grace Lehnick, PaperClip Staff/ Writer

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Drag is an art form based on breaking the boundaries surrounding gender” says, Liam Blanchard, a senior at Portsmouth High School, “If I want to look like a pretty girl, I can, but if I feel like dressing like the Nun, why not?”

G: What are your opinions on the increase of publicity for drag performers?

L: I like the publicity, but now it is making drag too mainstream. Drag is all about being underground, and pushing boundaries, but now that drag is becoming mainstream, people are trying to put drag performers in a box, and I don’t support that. It is an art, and no art should be monitored.

“Li Monade” then begins to explain her performance.

G: How did you know you wanted to perform in drag?

L: I knew I wanted to perform in drag when I watched a video of a queen doing a song by Rupaul and TURNING IT OUT.  I feel like I have a large (and annoying) personality and I feel that matches well with drag performance.

G: Do you remember your first drag performance?

L: Oh god I do. I did Who Run the World by Beyonce, and I was terrible. My wig flew right off and I was practically flailing around and taking one dollar bills from random people. But the next time, I knew what to expect and it went well.

G: How much time and effort goes into your drag?

L: ALL OF MY TIME GOES TO DRAG. I wake up thinking about it, and I go to bed planning my performances and looks. I spend almost all my time sewing, styling wigs, or doing makeup, but I love it. If I didn’t have drag, I have no clue what I would do with my time.

G: How did you come up with your drag name?

L: My friends and I were talking and someone brought up lemonade, and we thought Li Monade (pronounced Monahd) was perfect because so many people already call me Li.

G: How long have you been performing?

L: About 8 months.

G: What is your goal for your drag persona?

L: My goal is to be recognized by someone else and have them know me as Li not Liam.

G: What is your favorite part about performing?

L: I love the audience’s reactions. I think it is so funny to see someone’s face when I do something unexpected or strange. The money isn’t bad either haha.

G: What is the hardest thing about performing

L: Thinking of new moves and bits is the hardest part. There are only so many splits and death drops I can think of.

G: What is your performance? What do you do?

L: I lip sync most of the time. That way I can put funny bits into songs and can be more active in my numbers. Everyone likes having funny things happen to them during a number, but that couldn’t happen if I was singing live.