Here’s a new twist on the “cops at Pride” debate — the San Francisco Sheriff's Department has a deputy who moonlights as one of San Jose’s most prominent drag queens, WooWoo Monroe.
Today is the last day of Pride Month, and the U.S. Supreme Court did their best to ruin it with a ruling that declared businesses can legally discriminate against LGBTQ customers. So would it improve the end of your Pride Month to see a KPIX report about SF Sheriff's Department deputy George Dowens, who by night transforms into one of San Jose’s leading drag queens, WooWoo Monroe?
KPIX took a tour of WooWoo’s “drag room.” and got the lowdown on the highly unusual arrangement of being sheriff's deputy by day and a drag queen by night.
“I’ve been working for the Sheriff’s Department now for twenty-plus, 23 years," WooWoo told KPIX. "I have mixed reactions. I’m very proud of my service. I’ve always wanted to make a change in my community and the community at large. San Francisco is probably one of the most inclusive (sheriff’s) departments around. I’m very proud of where I work and my track record as a deputy sheriff.”
WooWoo Monroe also received special commendation at a March San Jose City Council meeting, at which she belted out “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.
“We need to let the world know that anti-trans and anti-drag legislation and movements are not only wrong, but harmful to so many," WooWoo said at the meeting. "When you live in a world where you cannot express you true self, you become a prisoner. These segments of society, now more than ever, need our non-LGBTQIA+ allies to stand up so that everyone knows that it is wrong to suppress people who are trying to live a life of authenticity.”
A 2016 Bay Area News Group profile of WooWoo Monroe notes that Dowens created the WooWoo character around 2012, and that Dowens had “been to the more alternative drag shows in San Francisco, and we didn’t have anything like that down here” in San Jose. So Dowens started a monthly drag show called Cirq-Us at the San Jose queer nightclub Renegades.
Did WooWoo Monroe successfully iterate on a subversive, SF-style drag show? “I ate a pig’s heart on stage one time,” Dowens told the News Group.
Sure, go ahead and make your “pig” jokes, those of you who don’t care for police at Pride celebrations. But for those of you who dig what WooWoo Monroe is doing, Cirq-Us is still running at Renegades (501 West Taylor Street, San Jose) on the fourth Saturday of every month. Show starts at 10 p.m., admission is $5.
Image: WooWoo Monroe via Facebook