One of the most influential (and curvy) figures in the history of modern drag culture, Lady Bunny hops in from New York City this weekend for a three-night run of her new cabaret show Pig in a Wig playing Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Oasis. She spoke to SFist for an exclusive interview in advance of this all new one-woman show, though she notes “I’ve been eating a lot, so you could go with one-and-a-half woman show.” Pig in a Wig features cabaret numbers, wigs of outlandish dimensions and Lady Bunny’s signature song parodies in the spirit of her little ditty “Drag Race Hoes” seen below.

Bunny is best known for founding Wigstock and for her appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Sex in the City and the Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson, and she will not reveal her real name (“I have few creditors who are also seeking that information,” she says). But she does identify as a she. “You can call me a ‘she’”, Ms. Bunny tells us. “People have gotten so politically correct that they refer to Dick Van Dyke as ‘Penis Van Lesbian’.”

While Pig in a Wig is a slapstick cabaret drag show, it’s also a social commentary on the runaway gentrification of San Francisco and subsequent watering down of gay culture. “San Francisco’s going through the same thing that New York City is going through, which is that everything is corporate and everything is deluxe,” she notes. “The Castro doesn’t even seem gay. I live in Greenwich Village, home of Stonewall and the birth of gay rights. It really isn’t gay either, it’s so yuppie.”

“There is one large gay club here now,” she says. “There are three Disney shows. So New York City is hopping if you’re five years old! I definitely feel the same thing going on in San Francisco.”


Lady Bunny points out that gentrification has a tragic social impact beyond the rising rent costs. “There are not many safe gay spaces in the country,” she worries. “I realize that the younger generation doesn’t feel the need for them because people are more accepting of gays and they’re hooking up online. I tried Grindr, but I do better on Brindr.” And then she laughed at her own joke, as she pretty much always does.

“I don’t want to see what's unique about these cities being lost,” she continues. “It took hundreds of years to develop this culture. When it recedes, it may not come back.” Indeed, we’ve seen recent episodes of violence against trans people and gay-bashing at Pride as San Francisco becomes wealthier and less outwardly gay.

“Somebody that’s gonna bash you in an alley because you’re trans is gonna bash me if I’m in drag, and a gay man as well,” Ms. Bunny says. “I just wish we could stick together and stop quibbling about words. I’ve dressed as a woman to go to work for 30 years.”

The easily offended are not encouraged to attend a Lady Bunny performance, as her humor is both graphic and usually taboo. “I grew up being told not to say ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’, but I said ‘Fuck that shit!’,” Lady Bunny declares. “The things that I laugh at the hardest are the things I’m not supposed to laugh at. I just try to find a way bring it into the public, so we can all have a laugh. With the world literally exploding, we need a fucking laugh.”

If you need a fucking laugh, Pig in a Wig runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at The Oasis (298 11th St.) with 7:30 p.m. shows each evening. Tickets are available online.

Image: Billy Erb