That’s French for ‘Absolutely’ btw”
“Trilingual actually, also fluent in gay”
“I see you’re fluent as well, guuurl”
“Flipping my god damn hair”
It’s 3 pm on a sluggish Monday, and this is just the mid-afternoon pick-me-up I need. Suddenly, I’m looking forward to this evening’s interview. By the time 5 o’clock hits, I’m raring to go. I’ve got an hour and a half to get home, de-professionalize, and make it to Firehook Bakery and Coffee House. I run into the house with 25 minutes to spare and begin my daily wardrobe struggle. As expected, I exit my room having lost the battle, decked head to toe in black. I grab my bag and head out the door; my phone lights up.
“I’m on my way Alex. 3 min”
“OMW. black hat, thermal, and jorts”
“What are jorts? More french?”
“Jean shorts. Girl, I thought you were gay fluent”
“This is a different dialect”
I look up as I turn the corner, just in time to see JVee standing in front of Firehook. Unlike the last several weeks, it’s unexpectedly cold and my jorts are not cutting it by any stretch of the imagination. My only solace is that JVee is wearing a sleeveless zip-up hoodie, and we both look absurdly out of place in the hustle and bustle of winter coats around us. We grab coffees and settle down into corner seats, slowly de-thawing.
Alexander: Alright, tell me what your ideal Saturday night looks like.
JVee: Lately I’ve been really content just staring at a wall thinking of something to do [laughs]. My ideal Saturday night, though, would involve meeting a nice boy, going out to dinner, and getting to know each other. I love food! Then going out dancing. I love dancing. It’s been a big part of my life since I’ve was 8 years old [JVee spent part of his earlier life dancing on Broadway]. So dancing, so I could show off – impress the guy [giggles nervously]. You know, anything that involves meeting new people and taking the people that I already know and having a big clusterfuck of fun – integrating the old world and the new world. That’s what I’m all about. So, if I can meet a new friend on Saturday night, while dancing, and my stomach is full, I’m golden!
Alexander: Speaking of making people dance, what’s your DJ name?
JVee: That’s a good question! Oh gosh…I guess I would be DJ JVee/Vicious/Galore/WorkItOut…[starts cracking up]. You know, it would just be a different name every time I spin, and a different outfit. Like, ‘Who’s that guy? He’s the same, but he’s not.” It matches my personality because I adapt well to my surroundings. So if I’m playing really awesome house music, I would be DJ RaverBoy; if I’m playing HipHop, I’d be DJ V-LUV or something like that, you know? I just go with the flow.
Alexander: So you would be like the Madonna of DJs?
JVee: Except without the British accent. [In British accent] No DJ Poppycock. So yeah I can’t just give you one answer for that. What other kind of DJs are there? Well wedding djs…
Alexander: DJ Bat Mitzvah?
JVee: DJ Mazel Tov, that’s kinda cute.
Alexander: Real cute – I like it. Now, what if you were on RuPaul’s Drag Race, what would it be?
JVee: It goes back to that game you played when you were a kid, but it actually works for me. Mine would be Fluffy Roxberry. She has red hair, and she’s very punk rock. I wouldn’t call myself punk rock, but I like that style. So pin straight red hair, obnoxious eyeliner, super skinny, a fierce dancer, and really cool go-go boots…if they made really cool go-go boots. She just takes pieces of fabric, sews them together, and then, throws some glitter on it. She bedazzles everything, like she has her bedazzler with her in her purse at all times, next to the tampons. Bedazzling while plugging it up, you know? Yeah, Fluffy’s my girl. Since I’ve been a wee boy of 8, I’ve wanted to be Fluffy Roxberry. My mom actually dressed me up as her once because she really was a persona of mine. I was 12 years old. I mean we knew very early on I was gonna be a homosexual. It was my favorite outfit to dance in at the time! [blushes while giggling] Cheers!
Alexander: Cheers! Now as a dancer, tell me, who’s your dance icon?
JVee: Wow, ok, I would say Mia Michaels. I did a workshop of hers while she was on the Vibe Tour. It’s with her, Laurieann Gibson, and Shane Sparks – I mean these are all big really really well known choreographers. Mia has a way of expressing words through movement that I’ve never been able to capture before from any other teacher. Even as a teacher myself, I’ve never been able to translate that to a student. When she moves, she tells stories without words; it’s captivating!
Alexander: Damn, I’ll have to look her up – she sounds amazing; never heard of her before. Let’s switch gears a bit, what was your most awkward first date?
JVee: I have one, but it’s a little uhm…avant garde. It was less of a date and more of a random website rendez-vous at a certain hour of the night. So I walk up to this huge house (this is when I lived in Orlando), and it was gorgeous. I walk in, and there’s a life-size cardboard cutout of him holding a sign pointing upstairs. I go upstairs and there’s a note that says, “Go all the way down the hall and take the last right.” I tiptoe down the hallway, and it’s super dark. I mean I had my knife with me because… you never know! I open the door and there he is, this Greek god laying naked on his bed in all of his glory. I shit you not, he says, “I have a request. I like other people’s fetishes. If I were a superhero, my power would be to take on other people’s fetishes.” Basically, he tells me to go into the closet and look for five garment bags. Each bag has a different outfit and a different set of instructions that goes along with it. The bags are labeled one, two, three, and so on. The first one is an Easter bunny – not a playboy bunny, not a sexy bunny, but an Easter bunny. I have to hop around the room, and then, he sits down on my lap and tells me what he wants for Easter. I mean, I should have gotten paid for this! I was all for it though, I mean he was hot! Long story short, I was a queen in a cathedral gown, and he was a sick king that I had to nurse back to health; there was a business suit that I had to wear; there was a baseball outfit; and a french maid outfit which I did not like. I never saw him again, but it was great. I mean as much fun as I had, you dress up in a bunny costume and jump around a room, and you tell me what thoughts are going through your head.
Alexander: [jaw on the table] OMFG! I don’t even know how to respond to that – that is epic! So…yeah…uhmm…who’s your biggest inspiration???
JVee: Haha. I know this is going to sound cliche but my mom. She’s the hardest worker I’ve ever met in my entire life. I mean she’s been through 4 marriages, WERK MOM! She’s worked like a dog from 17 years old until now, and she has a certification in just about everything; she can run elections, do medical coding, hairdressing, and is a nursing assistant – I mean this woman has done more than I can tell you. I even taught her how to ballroom dance! She loved watching me dance and she never thought that she could do it. At 45 years old, she learned to dance, and now she’s 55 and a ballroom champ at all ten dances in her age group in West Palm Beach. I’m just so proud and impressed by her.
Alexander: Impressive indeed. Getting back to the district though, what’s DC’s best bite?
Alexander: [erupts in laughter]
JVee: What? It’s fun! I work there! You said go out right?!?
Alexander: No, I said best bite, like favorite place to eat.
JVee: Ooooo, definitely Secrets haha. I eat out a lot. I would say ChopHouse and Freshii. I really like the decorum of a steak house, and sometimes, I just have to let the fat girl inside of me out. My inner fat girl is FIERCE, and she’s large and in charge and her name is Marge. Ok ok, her name is Fluffy. As for Freshii, it’s just always fresh, good for you, good by you, and they always hook you up! It’s in a part of town that isn’t consumed by gay culture; it’s a transitional part of town, and I like that.
Alexander: What about your sanctuary in the District?
JVee: I’m a walker and I can just go walking in the city for two hours and get lost. Some places catch my eye, though, like the fountain at Dupont; it’s just beautiful, sitting there on a sunny day. There is also this one spot at 14th and Rhodes Island, it’s not aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but the interactions between the homeless and not homeless – I love it. I love that some people walk past without blinking an eye, I like that some people stop and talk to the homeless, I like the mix of it all. It’s like a big mixing bowl of DC, not so much a melting pot. It’s a big mixing bowl where people are just thrown in; there’s not a lot of integration, there’s separation, but it’s fascinating to watch.
Alexander: Yeah, a crackhead beat me with a bike lock for my beer there, real fascinating haha. Onto more pleasant things, however: what’s your ideal vacation destination?
JVee: I’ve never been on a cruise, so I think that would be fun because it’s multiple places at once. Then again, I don’t like boats and I get quite seasick so that wouldn’t be ideal, but the thought is interesting.
I actually really like the mountains so maybe somewhere high up in the mountains with a fireplace and somebody that you love and that loves you back. Just being with your most important people – no more than you can count on one hand, though, because otherwise it’s overkill. So like five of my closest friends, locked up in a winter cabin, high up in the mountains with a happy ending. Shit like that usually starts off good, and then the one bitch goes crazy and everyone dies and the sequel is horrendous. So in the mountains with a snow cabin, snowboarding, snow angels, and yellow snow – we love it all!
Alexander: I’m pretty sure that movie is coming out right now, it’s called “Cabin in the Woods” haha. Now finish this sentence for me, “In 2012, I would like to see…”
JVee: In 2012, I would like to see a ring on my finger – this ring finger right here on my left hand. I would like to see a thick platinum band with a floating black diamond or two that add up to a couple carats. It’s not that I’m superficial…
Alexander: You’re just on the market for a husband.
JVee: I mean I would, I really would. I really see myself in some sort of relationship – whether it’s something for the long term like Sonny and Cher were supposed to be, or something that’s going to teach me some lesson and help me grow, ya know? Cause I need to be better, so for 2012, I just want to be like infinitely, exponentially better than I was in 2011. So I want a man on my arm, a ring on my finger, and a little bit more brain juice!
I walked out of Firehook and felt like I was walking out of Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole. It was as if I had just had tea at the Mad Hatter’s. I had spent a good two hours (twice the length of an average interview), cry laughing, gasping for air, and generally being entertained by JVee’s unique take on the world.
Half an hour later I was on the couch with my Monday night gaggle of gays, sipping on a cocktail, and watching the latest installment of RuPaul’s Drag Race. As amusing as the drama was, I couldn’t help but think how much more outrageous real life could be. As the saying goes, “You literally can’t make this stuff up.”