Sam Kunz: Well, thank you for talking to us here at Baltimore OUTloud.
Let's get right into it. How did you did you get your start in drag?
Miss Mahogany: I went down to Masquerade and was watching a drag back in 1978. It was a little club down on Boston Street. It's no longer there. They all moved up to Mount Vernon.
SK: Where was your first show?
MM: My first show was at that club Masquerade. I did about 10 shows there before I did one down at Frankie and Ronnie’s on the corner of Boston St. and Patterson Park Ave.
SK: So, Please tell me about your first title?
MM: After I was doing shows at Frankie and Ronnie’s and I met Norman Fisher who was the current Ms. Frankie and Ronnie’s. Well he was stepping down. So I decided to run. So I asked if I could run. Well lo' and behold I won. After I won that, I ran for Julian’s. Then it was called Numbers. I won that. Grace Lindsay had that title at the time. Then, Christ I don't remember what was next. It was the 80's it was me, Jill Monroe, Stacy Maxwell, Champagne Douglas. Just a good time. We used to do shows a lot down there. We used to do a show every Sunday down there, Jill, myself, Kelly Stevenson. There were quite a few queens I used to do shows with down that area. That really was the gay community in Baltimore at the time.
SK: So, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Where did drag t its start in Baltimore?
MM: As far as I know. It got started with Norman Fischer. Who ran for the real Miss America. He won. Then got disqualified for being a man. So I would say back in the 60's. I just wanted to be a part of that world.
SK: How has drag changed since its inception?
MM: Used to be fun to do drag. Now it’s like a business. Everyone wants money to do shows now, something that was started out of love and fun has been turned corporate. Everyone has their hands out. It’s very sad. The most we made back then was if there was a door cover and we split that for gas. I like to do it for fun. Not to have my hand out like these new drag queens in Baltimore. I just see it that way. These new queens that come out and perform to three songs then cry when they don’t make large sums of money. It’s ridiculous. They don't respect us anymore. We started this; they are disrespecting the culture of it. It's all about money now. That’s not what we started.
SK: How is important is the Family structure to being a good performer?
MM: I don't think it is. All of my nieces and nephews (drag) all got them on their own.
SK: If you could change one thing about drag in Baltimore, what would it be?
MM: I would want these new queens to have more fun than they have been doing.
SK: As an old-school Girl, one who is very talented, who do you see as your equal today or even just as someone who is talented?
MM: That’s a good question. I would say my daughter Kelly St. James and your niece Champagne Douglas. But Norman Fischer was the one I most admired.
Well, I am Miss Mahogany. Everyone used to call me M R. I am still here, alive, still willing to perform. I guess I have been away so long. Anytime they want me, Honey here I am. We are not dead. Your elders are still waiting to teach you young drag queens a thing or two. That's about it. Hope to see you all out and about!