Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-08
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



NUNN ON ONE Kameron Michaels muscles in on drag scene
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"Bodybuilder Barbie" Kameron Michaels continually walks the line between strength and beauty.

His real name is Dane Young and he joined the tenth season of the hit TV show RuPaul's Drag Race hailing from the Nashville. His social-media following was massive even before being on television; however, it continues to grow with Instagram, currently hitting almost 400,000 followers.

Michaels races to Roscoe's Tavern with fellow cast member Miss Cracker by her side for a viewing party on May 31, and a performance on June 1.

Windy City Times: You are originally from Ohio?

Kameron Michaels: I was born in Massillon, Ohio, then moved away from the north when I was about five years old. I grew up in Nashville.

WCT: You began your drag career in Nashville?

KM: Yes. I started doing drag my senior year in high school. I was going to the gay bars in the big city. I am from a smaller town in middle Tennessee. I was doing drag on the weekends.

WCT: You have performed at the gay bar Play in the past?

KM: Yes, I was a part- time drag queen. I was a full-time hairstylist and doing drag on the side here and there. I worked at Play once or twice last year.

I was part of the cast there on an amateur show called Glam Squad every Sunday night for a year. Hair then took over my life and I had to give drag up for my hair career.

WCT: How did your social media grow so much?

KM: Well, I still liked to drag, but didn't have time to work art the bars. I delved into doing more makeup and my art. I started on social media to use that as an outlet to get my drag out to the world. It blew up for me.

WCT: Do you every worry about bulking up too much at the gym and not be as feminine?

KM: Too big is not an option for me now, considering that I haven't been to the gym in two weeks. I don't have the time for my lifting schedule. I used to lift six days a week. So now, that's not a worry at all [laughs]!

WCT: Being a muscle queen is a niche for you though, isn't it?

KM: Yes, it is a niche for me. I have to figure out how to keep the body a little bit, because it is kind of my thing. I will, but I am just so busy and have to find the balance.

WCT: Is the name "Kameron" an homage to the Kardashians?

KM: No, not at all. When I chose my name I wanted something androgynous. I wanted a boyish girl name. It's just a random name.

WCT: Where did the last name come from?

KM: There were no other Michaels in Nashville at the time. Many drag names come from the family last name, but I didn't have a drag family. I wanted to differentiate myself from everyone. I had heard Micheals from somewhere in the drag universe. I don't know it was Chad Michaels or somewhere else, but I thought it fit with my first name really well.

WCT: Was it difficult to get cast on RuPaul's Drag Race?

KM: I sent in one audition tape a couple of years ago. I sent it in on the deadline and don't think they even saw it. So unless they got that tape, this was my first year auditioning.

WCT: How did it feel winning the Cher challenge?

KM: I don't know if they showed it a lot, but the other girls were clapping for me when Ru announced I was the winner because the girls know how hard I worked the entire competition and how close I was to winning several challenges by the time it came for me to win a challenge.

WCT: What has surprised you the most about RuPaul's Drag Race?

KM: The attention for me has surprised me. Going back and watching the show, I don't really have many confessionals and not on the air a lot of episodes. So I am surprised about the attention because I am so reserved and shy on the show, which is not how I am in real life. It is definitely my character on the show. I am happy with the amount of attention my character gets though.

WCT: What's a fun fact about you that you haven't talked about before on Drag Race?

KM: I have touched on the video-game thing on the show, but people are learning about it in my outside life. I am such a homebody and a video game player, which I don't have a lot of time for. I am a huge nerd outside of being a drag queen. I don't think a lot of people know that, but they are starting to learn that about me.

WCT: Why not develop your own drag game?

KM: That would be amazing. I actually talked to someone about doing an app before the show came out. Apparently it is ridiculously expensive— upwards of $30,000 just to make a simple app. Maybe not right now, but maybe something in the future.

WCT: I saw a variety of merchandise on your website. Do you always think outside of the box for those items?

KM: Yeah, and people love that. "Bodybuilder Barbie" is a nickname for me, but doesn't exactly fit my drag aesthetic. Fantasy characters are more Kameron's aesthetic. I love that I inspire a lot of people. I want that to always be a part of my drag career.

WCT: Do you have a favorite tattoo?

KM: My whole left arm. It is Jurassic Park and Aliens. When I finish out my left arm it will be all movies and video games from my childhood.

WCT: There's a new Jurassic Park movie coming out.

KM: Yes, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom comes out in one month. I can't wait. Whatever gig I have that week I will try to work around or cancel it so I can go see the movie.

WCT: How was your relationship with Chicago's The Vixen?

KM: The Vixen and I had a lot of conversations outside of the cameras. She was always very lovely to me, very warm, and welcoming.

The only tiff we had on the show was when I spoke up when she mentioned that everyone said Eureka was overbearing. I didn't say that. It wasn't really a tiff, I just wanted to speak up and say that wasn't something I said.

We had a very good conversation at Drag Con recently. I have never had a problem with her honestly.

WCT: Is drag about money these days?

KM: It's not about the money. It's about the love of drag in general. Money is nice. Yes we need money to create the things that we want to do for the fans, for the show, and for our careers, but it is not necessarily about the money.

Can you create more with money? Absolutely. That is with everything in life.

I never do it for the money. I am an entertainer and need to entertain to live. Money is not a thing for me.

WCT: What are your plans for Roscoe's?

KM: I am there with Cracker. I actually do some comedy numbers. I haven't done any of them since the show has been released. I might pull out one of my old comedy numbers, because Cracker does comedy. I would love to show I do that as well. I think that would be a great weekend to pull that out.

I am going to start touring with a Cher number this week, which I think is fitting for me.

I pick four songs for one week of travel and then rotate them.

WCT: Your Cher picture on Instagram was amazing.

KM: Thank you. I did that the day before I left DragCon. I realized I didn't have a Cher picture to post and didn't know how big a deal it would be. I painted the day before I packed and posted it.

WCT: What are you doing the rest of the year?

KM: I am on tour across the United States for a 30 city tour and I know we are going overseas as well.

I have been recording some music, but that is on the back burner right now. I may revisit that later. I don't know when that's coming out. We might use what we have done or write some new stuff.

WCT: Many of your fans have crushes on you. Are you single?

KM: I am perpetually single. A running joke in Nashville is, "If Kameron Michaels isn't doing drag, it's because she is in a relationship."

I got dumped last year and decided to revisit drag. I was giving up my passion for these relationships. I couldn't do both so I just chose one.

I sent in my audition tape and here I am. Being single and concentrating on my drag career has gotten me to this point. I think I need to stick with that for a while.

I'm not interested in a relationship right now, but I am not opposed. If it happens then it happens. I am not seeking it out though.

Roscoe's Tavern is at 3356 N. Halsted St., and Michael's performances start at 10 p.m. See the calendar at for more information.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW La Havana Madrid 2019-05-19 - Playwright: Sandra Delgado At: Teatro Vista/Collaboraction at the Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets:; $30-$60. Runs through: June 22 This ...

Gay News

Correct Arts to present All The World's a Stage, evolution of Chicago theater in art 2019-05-19 - Artists examine the evolution of Chicago area theaters from past to present ( including vaudeville stages, silent pictures, live performance venues and motion ...

Gay News

Van Ness, Gadsby at Chicago Theatre in June 2019-05-18 - LGBT celebrities Jonathan Van Ness and comedian Hannah Gadsby will be performing in separate shows at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., ...

Gay News

Youth group hosts gender-expansive services symposium 2019-05-17 - Illinois Collaboration on Youth ( ICOY ) held a day-long gender expansive services symposium May 13 at the Chicago Teachers Union. The day ...

Gay News

Kokandy Productions announces casting for Head Over Heels 2019-05-16 - CHICAGO ( May 15, 2019 ) — Kokandy Productions is pleased to announce casting for its Chicago premiere of the bold new musical ...

Gay News

'Stonewall' exhibit talks, performances on May 22-25 2019-05-16 - Talks related to the Wrightwood 659 exhibit "About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art" will take place May 22-25 at the gallery, ...

Gay News

THEATER The Secret of the Biological Clock 2019-05-15 - Playwright: Andie Arthur At: Eclectic Full Contact Theatre at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: 773-935-6860; $25-$30. Runs through: June 2 ...

Gay News

Megan Hilty sings Smash hits at the Goodman gala 2019-05-15 - Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty has had some unforgettable performances in the past with Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked and as Doralee ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Winter's Tale 2019-05-15 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.. Tickets: $20-80; Runs through: June 9 Why The Winter's Tale? ...

Gay News

IDOC trans healthcare court case continues 2019-05-14 - Litigation continues in a federal lawsuit filed by five transgender Illinois prisoners who say that their healthcare is inadequate with Illinois Department of ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.