With dance music blaring, Chunky’s wouldn’t seem to be the ideal spot for talking politics. But that didn’t stop drag queen Venice Charles on Friday. She spoke passionately about Hillary Clinton, and how if she were in the White House she’d have the balls to paint it pink. Yet, this registered Democrat said she was unsure whether she would hit the polls. The antics in D.C. have left her with a bad taste. And the budgetary mess in Nassau hasn’t helped, either. “Gulotta, at this point to me, is a loser,” she said. “Whether a drag queen’s word matters, he sucks.”
But Charles does matter. So does everyone else who votes during an off-presidential year when turnout often plummets to less than 30 percent of those registered. As Charles pointed out, she has clout in three distinct groups: She’s gay, she’s transgender and she’s Puerto Rican. And as a main spokesperson for the club-hopping charity fundraiser Long Island Drag Invasion, she has lots of followers in the gay community. Surely, some sorry-ass candidate could have used that support.
But after a rum and Coke, Charles wasn’t exactly enthralled with this year’s voting card. Anybody talk about gay issues? Suffolk Democrat candidate Jon Cooper has a same-sex domestic partner, but Charles didn’t mention him. Her favorite politician, she said, is Suffolk County Legis. Maxine Postal, an Amityville Democrat. As Charles put it, “She’s my girl.”
Charles had no problem remembering Postal’s record on gay issues: grand marshal of this year’s Long Island Gay Pride Parade, a supporter of a domestic-partner benefits bill, a speaker at the Long Island Pride Press Awards. Even the loud music at this Mineola bar didn’t drown out Charles’ spiel about Postal’s “spiritual” qualities. “If she ran for president, I’d be her vice president–no doubt,” she said. “I’d vote myself in, but I’m not politically correct for the scene.”
Chunky’s 267 Mineola Blvd, Mineola 516-739-3009.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 9, 1999