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  WINDY CITY TIMES

GUEST COLUMN Evolutions
by Angelique Munro
2015-11-11

This article shared 8664 times since Wed Nov 11, 2015
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This Halloween marked my 20-year anniversary of being Angelique!

Yes, the first time I ever dressed was on Halloween 20 years ago. I honestly was a little nervous but deeply excited when my boyfriend ( at the time ) and my best friend ( at the time ) said let's all get dressed up as girls and go out to Boystown. So I went out, bought a wig got some makeup had my friend Debbie made me a dress. Once I was put all together I looked like Ginger from Gilligan's Island.

While out that night barhopping I was in Roscoe's and two of the staff members from the legendary Baton Show Lounge spotted me and came up to me and said "are you Teddy?" I said yes but not tonight. They then began to say you look really good and you need to talk to Ginger Grant to get a guest spot at the Baton.

So the next day I actually went to the Baton ( cause it was a regular thing I did to see all the girls ) and I talked to Ginger and actually she gave me a guest spot and allowed me to be there for two years straight doing guest spots! I truly believe if it wasn't for her I would NOT have had the career I've had.

My drag name started out as Norma Jean. I've always admired and had a connection with Marilyn Monroe, so I thought Norma Jean would be appropriate until one Sunday night, doing a guest but at the Baton, a group of guys approached me after one of my numbers and said "We remember you from Atlanta, but you look a little different Norma Jean" … .

I was terribly shocked when they told me what they did with this Norma Jean and I knew for sure I'd never been to Atlanta and I'd never done those type of things, ever! Obviously I told them "You have the wrong girl" I got scared and went downstairs to the dressing room shaking and Monica Munro asked me what was wrong. "You know I think we need to change your name—you do somewhat resemble this Norma Jean!" Monica said "You're nothing like her, you're very Angel like and quite Unique!"

I went home that night and I kept thinking about what she said and I wrote down "Angel" and the word "Unique" and came up with Angelique! And by now you can probably figure around that Monica Munro became my drag mother and that's how I became a Munro!

The first two years of my drag career, I worked at the Baton doing guest spots and then met some different performers who also did the guest spots; one was named Xviara Snow, who told me about different bars and opportunities. I went to The Nutbush to see a show. I was blown away; it was a very well put together show with huge production numbers and themes. I was so honored and humbled when they asked me to become a member of Absolut Diva, it probably was one of the most fun and enjoyable times in my career, working with such talented creative individuals under the direction of Burt Pitcher.

Over the years I worked all over Chicago at probably every gay bar and branched out to other states, from the states nearby to New York, California and Nevada. I've done TV, was on The Ricki Lake Show, The Tyra Banks Show and on E! Entertainment Television.

The reason I began doing drag shows was because they were my outlet to become accepted as a woman. My life has not been easy being born transgender. I truly honestly believe since age 2, I knew I was born in the wrong body. Unfortunately, I didn't get the love and support from my parents the way some trans kids do today. I grew up in an abusive setting. Every time I would say "I am girl," my mom would say "No you're just a little faggot" and beat me, saying, "I wish I never had you. Ugh, you make me sick." There was a lot of abuse inside the home and outside.

Going to school was another challenge—the kids could be so cruel and mean. They would kick me in my back over and over and knock me down.

I honestly never knew or had heard of "transgender." However, I knew I wasn't a straight male so I must've been a gay male like my mother had told me and beat into my head over all the years.

So I lived the gay lifestyle, and as I got older, I came to realize and learn about this transgender thing and finally things started making sense. I could finally relate. However, I've always been terribly afraid of my mother. So I did not transition until after she passed away from lung cancer in 2006.

On a side note, my mother and I actually became friends, when she and I lived together for two years, because in 1997 my parents divorced. We had long heart-to-heart talks and became close until that damn cancer took her away from me Jan. 13, 2006. Before she died, she looked over to me in the hospital and grabbed my hand and said, "I think I'm being punished for the way I treated you." A tear fell down my cheek and I told her, "Mom I forgive you!"

Side note: She became a huge supporter and went to every show and embraced the community. At her funeral every bar I worked at sent flowers and showed up to be there for me. I was wrecked when she died, however I felt a HUGE sense of relief; I could finally be free.

As an adult, today at 45 years old looking back over my life, I truly feel I am a survivor and hopefully can be an inspiration to the trans youth that may be battling similar struggles in their lives.

I've had many obstacles in my life since I was a child and I believe each one has made me into the strong person I am today! I truly feel I am a good person having my head on straight and I've learned to cut the negative people out of my life and only focus on people who are truly there and love me for who I am.

I finally feel happy, living each day now as who I was born to be!

After working as one of Chicago's most respected top female impersonators for the past 20 years, I am actually still in demand and working now more than ever. I know my drag career is coming to an end very soon, so let's just say it was a good time and thank you for the memories.

As I move forward in my life I'm taking this person that I created, "Angelique Munro," back to television. In May 2015, I auditioned and was cast as moderator of a TV talk show and we filmed a pilot called Transformative The Talk Show. A major cable network has showed interest, not only in the show but in me in particular, so hopefully it will get picked up and air spring of 2016.

Stay tuned.


This article shared 8664 times since Wed Nov 11, 2015
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