My Pride Anthems: Bob The Drag Queen
The RuPaul's Drag Race winner talks us through her favourite Pride tunes from Aretha Franklin and Sam Smith.
By Daniel Welsh
The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, and that includes how we’re all celebrating Pride in 2020.
With huge public gatherings out of the question, we’re asking a range of LGBTQ celebrities and allies for their personal Pride anthems, to help us all get into the Pride spirit from lockdown.
As she talks us through her song choices, Bob also revealed the “ultimate Pride anthem” she has tattooed on her chest and the one question she has for Sam Smith if she ever runs into them...
“This is my ultimate Pride song. I literally have the words to this song – ‘I get up out of bed, I put on my clothes, because I got bills to pay’ – tattooed on my chest, that’s how much I love it.
“When I grew up, it was my mom’s favourite song at that time. I would sit in the bathroom while she curled her hair, and if she was going out with her friends at night, I would sit on the edge of the bathtub and just watch her sing. Now, she has a horrible, horrible singing voice, she can’t sing at all, but she would sing so loudly, and one of the songs she would love to sing was Deeper Love. She would sing into her curling iron and get down with me and sing with me, and we’d dance together. It’s such an amazing song, and it reminds me of her.”
Shea Diamond – I Am Her
“I came into knowledge of Shea Diamond maybe a year and a half ago, with her song American Pie, which is about how marginalised people – specifically Black trans women – want their piece of the American pie, or their seat at the table.
“My favourite song of hers is hands down, I Am Her. The opening lyrics are beautiful, ‘there’s an outcast in everybody’s life and I am her’. That is just so gorgeous to me. And her voice is really sultry and beautiful.
“I recently organised a Black queer town hall, with [fellow Drag Race star] Peppermint, and she was one of the performers, which was really exciting.”
Todrick Hall – Color
“I really, really love Todrick Hall’s music, but if I’m going to pick one of his songs, I’m going to pick his song Color. I really like it, because it’s a love song where a queer man is using male pronouns.
“A lot of queer people write music but leave out pronouns, you know? Or switch them to make them more mainstream, to make straight people more comfortable. But Todrick leaves in ‘him’, ‘I like him’.
Sam Smith – HIM
“This is a really gorgeous song. And again, naming your song HIM is really poignant, and a big message to the queer community at large. I think it’s really impactful that they chose that as the title of the song, and that they chose to literally put it in all caps, H-I-M.
“It’s such a great song, but there’s a weird line in it, where they go, ‘I walk the streets of Mississippi’. And my first thought is always, ‘what the fuck are you doing in Mississippi?’. Because I used to live in Mississippi… so I always just wonder ‘what the fuck is Sam Smith doing in Mississippi’? If we ever run into each other, I’m going to be like, ‘something’s been bothering me…’.”
The comedy special Bob The Drag Queen: Live At Caroline’s is out now.