QX Meets… Stella Meltdown
She’s lost her phone but she’s got your number!
Like the popular Gabriella Cilmi song, Stella Meltdown is a WOMAN ON A MISSION. But if Stella saw Gabriella Cilmi at a party, she’d probably make fun of her hair, steal her boyfriend and make her cry. Not even necessarily in that order.
Stella is the wig whipping, drink spilling, phone smashing creation of publicity guru and former nu-rave kid, Drew Jerrison. A drag disaster with a penchant for straight men and synthetic narcotics, she uses a Gilette I’m Your Venus razor to shave her legs, and a limited edition baby pink Motorola Razr to conduct her hookups. We’ve heard Luciana HATES her.
We’re a bit obsessed with Stella, because basically she storms around being a fab slut, and that’s what we’re all about here at QX. She also epitomizes what we think the LGBTQ scene should be all about – having a good ol’ laugh!
We invited her to the office, cracked open a bottle of Echo Falls, and had a chat about celebs, drag, the gay scene, and all sorts of other stuff. Please drink responsibly.
RIGHT Stella. Let’s talk.
I feel like I’m in a job interview.
Who IS Stella Meltdown? What are you bringing to the table?
It’s just me in a wig and a pair of heels, being a slut. But no, there is more to Stella than that. I’ve got a club night.
You started doing drag in a really saturated environment, the London gay scene. How’s that been?
It actually started when I was at uni years ago. It was all very nu-rave, so I’d wear a lot of makeup. I always had a full face on. I was promoting club nights. It was never with a wig and heels, but I still pulled the straight boys.
Was that like…the Jeffree Star era?
Yes! Oh my god Jeffree Star! And Skins and Myspace, I was obsessed. I used to always be as trashy and slutty as I could, as a boy. Then over the years I added a wig, a pair of heels…to the point where I just thought ‘fuck it, I might as well do it, everyone else is.’ I’m still working out how much I want to do with my drag though. I want to pick and choose what I do with it, rather than do it all the time.
Good, because that’s what I do.
But you DO do stuff as well.
Yeah! I have my Meltdown night. But I want to take drag outside of gay spaces. I’d love to do a night that’s not in a gay venue, with a kind of alternative, really mixed crowd.
I think we’d be doing young alternative straight people a disservice if we assumed they weren’t ready for stuff like that.
Or if we said, ‘you need to come to OUR space to experience this.’ Why not go to their space?! Also, the people most receptive to Stella are straight or curious guys. And then their girlfriends will suddenly pop up out of nowhere and be like “OH HI SO WHO ARE YOU?”
When do you have the most fun in drag?
When I’m walking the streets. It makes it feel dangerous. People in The Glory or wherever, they won’t be shocked if there’s a drag queen. I love when I’m in a newsagent and everyone’s like ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?’ And I’m just like, buying a can of baked beans.
Have you thought about the relationship between Stella and your own gender, or is that not a thing?
Nah, it’s just drag. I’m a he. A guy in a dress. And to me that feels rebellious. It’s almost like taking the piss, and I really enjoy that. I love that element of surprise, and people trying to work me out.
Putting people out of their comfort zone.
Yeah. For me, that’s the heart of drag. When you see John Waters films, Divine at the end of that movie eating the dog shit, it’s not that scene that’s the most surprising thing for me. It’s when she’s walking down the street, and people are just looking at her. At that time it was really dangerous for her to do that.
Yeah. And people do shout at me, but they’re not saying anything new. I’ve heard it all before. And it’s good that I’m still getting a rise out of people. I thrive on that.
It’s good as well, because people might learn from it.
Well last Pride I was in M&S, and there was a woman with her kids and she said “say hello to the lovely lady,” and they were really shy, but it was really sweet.
We need that kind of thing. Homophobic attacks still happen regularly in London.
Yeah…when homophobia’s verbal, I don’t care. But also, why do you feel the need to say something?! The amount of times I want to pipe up at like, a loud person on their phone on the bus and say “SHUT THE FUCK UP” but I don’t do it because I have human decency. Why would you attack someone because of how they’re behaving or how they look?!
Has it happened to you a lot?
The other day in Crystal Palace I was walking along, and this woman yelled “GAYBOY! GAYBOY! GAYBOY!” at me.
I couldn’t stop laughing and she went “OH HE’S SO GAY, HE’S LAUGHING NOW!” It was hilarious. Oh and I’ve been spat on before as well, in Brixton by some woman. I spat on her back. Just gobbed on her.
Do you think drag has changed?
When I grew up, drag was always just some rough old guy in a sequin dress. And now it’s like FASHION, STYLE, FIERCE.
Drag now is unrecognizable from drag twenty or even ten years ago.
Yeah! Before, it was like your dad dressing in a frock with some loo rolls stuffed down his chest. I love that there’s still some of that drag around in London, and I never want it to disappear.
What you think about Pride?
It’s good for the industry. Keeps bars open. It’s about making money isn’t it, nowadays.
It’s an excuse to get drunk too.
Well in that case, I live Pride every day.
Stella Meltdown’s next appearance is at DEBBIE at Eagle London this Saturday 4th August. Her legendary Meltdown night returns to The Glory on August 10th.
Keep up with her on Instagram @stella_meltdown