by MK Scott
In 2003, the LEO Party was formed by community member Joe Torres, using his birthday as an opportunity to give back to the community he loves. Sixteen years later, this drag show celebration and fundraiser is back again to support Seattle Counseling Service, Entre Hermanos, and SOMOS Seattle.
The Leo Party XVI was held on Sunday, August 11, starting at 6pm at Neighbours Nightclub & Lounge (1509 Broadway) and continuing to 10pm followed by Neighbours’ Gay Latin Night from 10pm to 2am.
I had a chance to chat with Berry via email about ‘Drag Race’, Britney and the man in the White House.
MK Scott: Derrick, welcome to Seattle! What do you like most about Seattle?
Derrick Barry: Thank you! I love coming to Seattle because I’m from California so the West Coast always feels like I’m coming home. I love the people, the weather & being on the water.
MK: You are in town for this year’s Leo Party. What do you have planned?
DB: I’ll be doing my Britney, of course! It’s a party trick that I simply can’t leave home without. I’ll also be debuting my Mariah Carey for Seattle! I’ve only done her in NY & Vegas. She’s a character that I’ve always wanted to do and it’s been so much fun bringing her to life this summer. Between the fur coat, the beaded gown & the ostrich feathers, I get to live all of my Diva fantasies.
MK: You are known for being on the 8th season of ‘Drag Race.’ I didn’t know that you were also on the 3rd season of ‘America’s Got Talent’, too, as your Britney persona. What was that experience like?
DB: ‘AGT’ took me from the Las Vegas Strip into people’s homes on their television. This was pre ‘Drag Race’ so nothing beat the opportunity to be featured on NBC prime time. David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne & Simon Cowell believed in me & my talent. I learned to ‘show up’ in life. You have to audition to get the part. That works for every profession & is essential in being successful.
MK: When did you know that you wanted to impersonate Britney?
DB: I’ve loved Britney since first seeing the ‘…Baby One More Time’ music video. I used to mimic her singing voice in high school & then first dressed up like her for Halloween 2003 when I was going to college as a theatre major in LA. I got so much attention on Santa Monica Blvd that I knew I had to pursue it as a career. Two weeks later, she & Jay Leno were talking to me in the audience on ‘The Tonight Show’. I haven’t stopped since.
MK: I also heard that you are in Poly relationship with the artist, Nick San Pedro and fellow queen, Nebraska Thunderfuck. How does it work?
DB: Communication is key. Nick & I were together for 5 years & we met Mack at my exe’s house of all places. He was sexy, confident & ambitious. ‘Drag Race’ reached out to my ex for the Season 5 veteran makeover challenge & he passed on it. Mack was pursuing modeling at the time & I convinced him that any TV is great for his resume. Alaska made him over & the rest is history. We’re a household of 3 that pushes each other to be our best & always strive for more. We call it a throuple because we’re just like any other traditional couple, there just happens to be three of us.
MK: Will you do ‘Drag Race All Stars’?
DB: I think ‘All Stars’ is a must at some point. Let’s face it, my brows are better, my hair is bigger & my confidence is stronger than yesterday.
MK: And finally, any message for Trump?
DB: I was taught growing up that if I don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. I’ll reference Mariah Carey’s infamous quote, ‘I don’t know her’. I do believe that people can evolve & change if they’re willing. I know from watching myself on ‘Drag Race’ that I could use some lessons in humility. Apologize when needed & accept an apology when necessary. If you treat others as you’d like to be treated, then we would all treat each other with much more respect.