'Halfway there' GLAMAZONIA and Lily celebrate five years
 

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posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 16

'Halfway there' GLAMAZONIA and Lily celebrate five years
by Anthony Greer - SGN Contributing Writer

GLAMAZONIA and Lily Armani, two of Seattle's most famous and accomplished drag superstars, celebrated their five-year anniversary on April 15. Now, for the first time in any publication, the pair discusses their relationship as both Gay men and as drag performers, and from how they first met to how they've loved and supported one another on and off the stage ever since.

HOW GLAM MET LILY
On the night of February 4, 2006, an out-of-the-frock GLAMAZONIA walked up the stairs to the second floor of Purr and found herself attracted to a guy in a baseball cap whose friends were calling 'Lily.'

During their conversation, GLAM discovered that she was speaking to Lily Armani out of drag. Curious to see if Lily knew who she was, GLAM tested her by asking if she'd ever been to Gay bingo. Lily said she went once and thought the performer, GLAMAZONIA, was really gorgeous and a great host. When GLAM came out to her, Lily found it hard to believe.

The two flirted a little, and after a trip to The Cuff with friends, GLAM drove Lily home. Lily gave her a peck on the cheek before getting out of the car.

After their initial encounter, their friends connected the two through emails, and while GLAM found herself learning about Lily's performances and her blog (which has since been retired), she failed to see Lily's post the day after they met, 'Sufferin' Sappho,' which recalled Lily's impression of her. Lily then suggested that she and GLAM go out to dinner, and although GLAM was interested, she didn't realize that it was an invitation and didn't call Lily back.

'GLAM has since admitted to being a goober and not connecting the dots of the email or the blog,' Lily said. GLAM's 'gooberness' didn't end there.

'I ran into [Lily] a few weeks later at the Honey Hole. I said hello and told her that I've been meaning to come to one of her shows, but I had a date,' GLAM said, hitting herself in the head.

They met again on April 15 (a date the pair now observes as their anniversary). Lily had gone up to the bar at Purr to get another round of drinks when she ran into GLAM and started another conversation.

'We just kept talking,' GLAM continued, noting that Lily never went back to her booth, 'and we've been inseparable ever since.' Their true test, however, came that following Friday, when GLAM went to see Lily perform.

'I was a little nervous. 'What if she sucks?' GLAM recalled. 'Fortunately, she came out and blew me away. She was funny and beautiful and her timing was great. She dedicated the last song to me. It was 'Time After Time.' She was in an evening gown and she handed me a white rose. She'll probably say that I cried like a baby & they were tears of relief that she didn't suck.'

When Lily gave GLAM the white rose, 'I stroked the back of his head, smiled, and he began to tear up,' Lily said. 'I thought, 'What a pussy!' So this became our song.'

THE DUO AS DIVAS 'Recently I asked GLAM - mid-bra attachment while we were trying on outfits from that day's shopping trip - 'What do regular boyfriends do? I mean, if were weren't shopping and fitting and fussing in front of a mirror, what would we be doing?' We both laughed,' Lily said.

Being both Gay men and drag queens in a relationship could've gone either way for Lily and GLAM. 'In most cases, being a drag queen can be another layer of 'coming out,' Lily explained.

'We respect each other as performers. We kind of have an unspoken rule where if we have an issue or a fight, it's not projected on show day. When we have to focus on work, we give each other the place to do that,' GLAM added. 'Because we both do the drag, we both understand everything it encompasses. Before and after. It's time-consuming & people don't really understand that about drag.' GLAM likes to give herself four hours before her call time to get ready for a performance.

When the two return home after a show, they both describe their process as 'shedding.' GLAM even went as far as to call it a 'drag explosion.'

'We hurt, we ache, we moan,' Lily said, 'I swear that if this were the '90s and there wasn't a GRINDR, the 1-900 numbers could make a killing off our sound effects when we reach home after a gig. Back in the day, folks paid a pretty nickel to hear sounds like that!'

Despite being in a relationship for half a decade, it was only when the two agreed to co-host showings of the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race at the Lobby Bar that they found themselves collaborating on a consistent basis for the first time, thus putting their abilities as both performers and as a couple to the test. Luckily for them, because of their very different drag styles, they've found that they complement each other quite well.

'I feel like I definitely have a physical presence,' GLAM, who is roughly seven feet tall (depending on her pumps), said. 'I tend to always have the command of an audience even when I'm not talking. & I also think I'm good on a microphone when reacting to an audience.'

GLAM also tends to return to the '80s. 'I love that music. Rock Lobster ['80s music night] at Neighbours is tailor-made for me. I grew up with that music. I love it, I embrace it. Because of my circus background, I'm kind of more drawn toward the costumes, props, characters & anything that helps in creating a visual nugget.'

While GLAM harnesses her strengths with her size and love of the '80s, Lily is a master of pop culture references and monologues. 'She just thinks so quickly and has such a broad knowledge base,' says GLAM. Her recall is amazing. She scans all of the blogs and her entertainment knowledge is unsurpassed. She also mixes her own music. I can't do all that.'

After three months of banter, monologues and musical numbers ranging from GLAM's 'It's Not Easy Being Green' to Lily's 'Living on a Prayer,' both Lily and GLAM said that they'd gladly work together again if signed on for Ru Paul's Drag Race next season.

LIFE OUTSIDE OF DRAG Despite what Facebook would have you believe, GLAM and Lily's relationship goes far beyond snapshots, makeup tips, and public appearances.

'When we do get the chance to just hang and be dudes, we like to shop (we share a passion for thrift/antique stores), both love to read, and movies are great, especially with Netflix,' Lily explained. 'One of the things we love, love, love to do is YouTube stuff together. Either on the couch or in bed, we surf YouTube for anything and everything you can think of. Our favorite: news anchor bloopers!'

In addition to being both in a Gay and drag relationship, the two are 17 years apart in age. While such a dichotomy can be problematic for some couples, the generational gap hasn't affected their relationship in any negative fashion.

'I have always been attracted to older men,' Lily said. 'They are sexier and, for the most part, more distinguished - notice I didn't say older men are more mature; maturity is based on a helluva lot more than the date on your driver's license!'

GLAM agreed with Lily and said that mentally and aesthetically speaking, she is very mature for her age. Lily also still challenges her, and when they perform, that age gap is even smaller. 'When we're in drag, we feel the same age. Lily's persona and package purposefully skews a little older.'

After five years, Lily and GLAM have defied and surpassed what many would consider relational boundaries. Relationships in themselves can give birth to a plethora of complications, but while some people might see their commonalities and dissimilarities as potential weaknesses, Lily and GLAM have made them their strengths.

GLAM emphasized that some of their best attributes as a couple have been their respect for one another and their ability to communicate proactively.

'People tell us all the time, 'Oh, it's five years - that's like 25 years in the Gay world!' like it's a major hurdle. It is major. I think five years is significant, but I don't know of anybody that has a relationship that's always easy. Even though we can't legally get married, I have made a commitment to this relationship, and I don't give up on things easily. I think that it just takes making that commitment to yourself,' GLAM explained.

While GLAM plans on using such logic in her and Lily's future endeavors, Lily had a different approach in conveying what she thought the future had in store for them.

'Any time you ask someone about their hopes for their relationship in the future, you get a bunch of mush,' Lily said. 'You end up inviting your lover to be a guest star on your show, and wear stupid shirts that say 'I Love Brad!' He then fucks and runs off with an orphan collector. You are left watching a stupid rerun of this on MyQ2 on a Tuesday night, with a bucket of chicken and a carton of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food.

'Eventually you're listening to Nancy O'Dell ponder hidden meanings of your endorsement deal for SmartWater, debating whether or not there was enough happy water that could have 'saved your marriage to Brad?!' She's polling viewers on whether or not you are going to die alone. This fades to a promo of an upcoming story about Snooki flashing her Cheeto-colored puss to the paps while getting out of a car to buy a pack of Camels and a Vanity Fair, of which you are on the cover.'

On a more serious note, an ongoing phrase often murmured by the two is that they're 'halfway there.'

GLAM added that while it is something silly, she also likes the concept of the term. 'The 'halfway there' thing is something that Lily was saying even on our one-year anniversary. If we keep saying 'halfway there' each year, then I guess, exponentially, the relationship will have to go on forever.'

For family reasons, Lily was out of town during the day of their actual anniversary, leaving GLAM to host RuPaul's Drag Race alone. GLAM mentioned that this past week has been one of the longest times the two have ever been separated. In honor of their five years as a couple, she took the microphone and performed a number that has an indefinable amount of sentiment for her: 'Time After Time.'

The two are currently making belated plans for their anniversary.



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