Michelle Visage on being gay in America under Donald Trump's regime, turning 50, the ageing process and plastic surgery

The glitz and the glamour is beautiful, but for me it’s about the integrity, tenacity and spirit.

Almost all these kids come from broken homes, or they’ve been thrown out by parents or had parents try to make them straight with conversion therapy or religion, so we go on a journey with them.

Why do you feel an affinity with the LGBT community?

It comes down to acceptance. I never felt welcome in the heteronormative groups.

I was never pretty enough or cool enough. I was the class weirdo, but I didn’t own that weirdo moniker until much later.

When I moved to New York, the gay community welcomed me with open arms and told me how beautiful I was. I will never turn my back on them.

RuPaul caused some controversy earlier this year over whether trans women should be able to go on Drag Race. What’s your opinion?

Everyone has always been welcome, and trans women have always been a part of the drag spectrum.

What made you take on a role in the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie?

Literally everybody was talking about it, and I thought it was a lovely story with some great music.

It’s very of the now, especially with what’s going on in America with our regime that’s ruining our good, fair country.

We’re guessing you’re talking about Trump…

I was on a gay cruise [when he was declared president] with 300 queer people, as well as my family [husband David Case, a screenwriter, and daughters Lillie, 18, and Lola, 16].

I’ve got a queer daughter, and she was sobbing. It’s scary for her. We were frightened to death.

He’s trying to erase everything our brothers and sisters have fought so hard to make happen.

You’ve just turned 50. Did you look forward to it?

It was amazing. Fifty is just a number. What’s your other option? Death.

There are people who wished they could have got to 50, so we can’t be shallow.

How do you feel about the ageing process?

I try to stay on top of my game.

I do a little Botox, but as you can see, my face moves.

I feel like ageing gracefully is beautiful, but I don’t mind getting a little top-up here and there.

It’s very difficult to be fully accepting of who you are when you’ve got that superficial world out there. Who am I to say don’t do it? I had my boobs done at 21.

Are you still pleased you did?

No, I wish I hadn’t. I love my boobs – everyone knows me for my boobs, I show them off.

But if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t put this toxic, artificial substance into my body.

Do what you want, but know why you’re doing it.

BTW

Michelle is a big fan of Minstrels, and told us how to melt them in the microwave before putting them on popcorn. Sold!

She’d love Michelle Obama to run for president in 2020.

She eats cucumber sushi rolls every night before the show.

Watch Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre (Everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk).

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