Sidney Stokes: Delilah LaMont! You are the latest superstar to grace the rainbow walkways of WeHo, so I just have to know….who the hell are you and how did you get in my house?
Delilah LaMont: I heard you were looking for superstars so I climbed in through your bathroom window. I’m really clumsy…so I may have broken a toe.
SS: Oh um….so do you need a band-aid or a glass of alcohol? I don’t know if my insurance covers “drag queen breaking and entering.”
DL: Oh, I don’t drink.
SS: Oh. Would you like some juice?
DL: Sorry…I don’t drink “glasses” of alcohol. I only do the bottle.
SS: Some might see that empty bottle as alcoholism; I see it as a future arts and crafts project. You’re not a drunk…you’re crafty and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
DL: I have become QUITE the crafty lady!
SS: Now tell me, how did Delilah come to be?
DL: Delilah, believe it or not, was born 13 years ago in the southern-most tip of Texas.
SS: Oh my! What was her first appearance like?
DL: I moved out of my parents house when I was 15 years old and moved in with a drag queen that I used to back-up dance and do choreography for. I was hanging out with a bunch of pageant queens from south Texas and once the pageant season was over, I had to find other means of making money. So Michelle D’Marco (who would become my drag mother) forced me to get in drag to start helping out with rent. Michelle had never covered up anybody’s eyebrows, so I was a little rough in the eye area but I was thin enough and the rest of my facial structure helped to excuse that. I was in a beautiful emerald green gown and lip-synced, ever so gracefully, to a Mariah ballad and a Whitney ballad. I made over $100 in tips alone, and I thought, “I could get into this.”
SS: Your “coming of drag” story should be a movie.
DL: It really should be. I actually stopped doing drag when my drag mother passed away, in 2010
SS: What inspired you to come back?
DL: Growing up, it had always been my dream to be a big actor and singer/songwriter. About 3 months into doing drag, I told Michelle: “I need to stop doing drag because this is going to bite me in the ass in the future,” to which she responded, “Bitch, you’re an actor right? (Me: “Yeah.”) Well that’s all you’re doing…acting. You’re entertaining and fulfilling so many people’s dreams that WISH they could be doing what you’re doing.” I’d forgotten that encouragement while I wasn’t doing drag until I was cast in a new play as the lead character, a trans-woman.
SS: How was that show and when did you realize you were feeling inspired outside of the show by the performance?
DL: Well, I was living and working in Chicago when I got cast in the show to be produced here in LA. So I moved back to LA and because of production complications and a LOT of miscommunication, the show was put on hold. However, while I was still in Chicago, I had a promo shoot (in drag) for the play. A few of my (club) promoter friends here in LA saw them and kept asking if I was “back in the game.” I decided ‘yes’ as long as I can sing live. We’re in a new day where so much more is accepted, it only makes sense for me to meld together all of the talents that I have with the easiest stage outlet for me. It helps that over the last several years, I’ve “networked” enough. By the way, “network” means drinking, not a sex thing.
SS: I totally get that and now I’m thinking that maybe your drag movie is a two-parter.
DL: If I’m lucky, and hopefully they will get Kris Jenner to play me in my “Lifetime original.”
SS: What would you say influences your drag?
DL: How do I put this in less than 1,000 words?
SS: Get crafty?
DL: (pours more wine) I truly believe that it is my calling to ensure people’s happiness and to teach them to bestow positivity and the like among others. With that said, women in pop culture that live poetry and are about empowerment and lifting the underdog are who I would say I model myself after. I sometimes try to do some funky, club-kid type of drag but it always ends up just being pretty because somewhere in the back of my mind, my drag mother is telling me that I have to be pretty and not make a fool of myself. Being a role model like my idols: Janis Joplin, P!NK and a little GAGA.
SS: I would find a sugar daddy and spend all his money to see those three people do a concert together. So thank you for keeping them well alive in your inspiration.
DL: You’re warming my heart, or is it wine?
SS: Can’t it be both?
SS: You mentioned you were cast in a play playing a trans character. We find ourselves at a point where trans characters are in the media. Is the “transgender tipping point” a point of passion of yours?
DL: Of course it is! My baby brother is transgender. What’s interesting is that my brother is 10 years younger than me and we tried to keep my doing drag (years ago) a secret. He came out to me as trans around the time I stopped doing drag. I’m a huge advocate for the trans community. In fact, in 2014, I travelled all over the country with my brother to different conferences and conventions with the HRC, meeting some of the most amazing and brave trans-folk.
SS: Wow. I can only imagine that brought you two closer together.
DL: Well we’ve always been close. I’ve always taken a more parental role when it came to him.
SS: Do you think that trip around the country helped inspire Delilah to come “back out?”
DL: Probably. We attended the longest running trans convention which has been in Atlanta for the last 25 years.
SS: Are you able to continue your advocacy work today?
DL: Without sounding like I would ever try to patronize any of those amazing women in attendance, I felt like I wanted to give a lot of them make-up tips. This whole move back to LA has been quite the whirlwind and I’m finally in a place where I can de-frag and start to pan things out and piece the huge puzzle that is my life together.
SS: I’m going through a similar change in my career. I’d like to make sure that I’m ready to push forward before I can continue to help people.
DL: I’ve only been in drag again for about 4 months and I’m already booked 3-4 nights a week.
SS: That’s so impressive and yes – the advocacy will always be waiting for you!
SS: Delilah, what does West Hollywood mean to you?
DL: You know, when I first moved here, I thought “I’m never going to live in WeHo.” I thought I wanted to be one of those Hollywood gays or a Venice hipster-type. Was I EVER wrong. West Hollywood is probably one of my favorite places I’ve ever lived. I mean…the city was FOUNDED by gays. It’s more than just a gay city though. There’s a real sense of community and as much as there’s always going to be cattiness and gossip (as with any gay community) people really look out for one another here.
SS: Did you find that even though you left and came back, nothing had changed?
DL: Without sounding negative, one of my favorite mottos is: “Same shit, different flies.”
SS: I have never heard that and I instantly want it painted on my wall.
DL: Your world is what you make it. So as long as I’m having a good time, I deflect any bullshit. That’s really what I want to teach the world.
SS: I’ll have that painted on the adjoining wall. Your attitude is absolutely wonderful. I can see how it would be excellent when you return to advocacy.
SS: Delilah, you have an amazing story for how you came to be as a performer, but how did you tie it all together with such a wonderful name?
DL: Funny story: when I FIRST moved out of my parents house, my best friend who was older than me (cis-female) had been to quite a few drag shows and tried to get me to do drag. I said “hell no!” She kept trying to convince me and I finally said “ok fine. I’ll do drag ONE time…but you have to do an amateur strip contest.” She had huge knockers, and she agreed on the condition that we use the same name. She said, “NO drag queen or stripper would name themselves ‘Delilah!'” Well, she still hasn’t stripped to this day and I think that 2 kids has something to do with that.
SS: Ugh! Kids always get in the way of a good time!
DL: They’re rotten. My last name changed a few times until I landed on “LaMont,” starting with “Renaud,” to “Monroe” to “Devareaux;” but “LaMont” was the name of the most kind-hearted, beautiful and warm-spirited man I’ve ever met. LaMont was the first openly HIV-positive person I’d met with the most AMAZING outlook on life. When I asked him if I could use his name as my last name, he said he would be so honored because I was one of the most beautiful drag queens he’d ever met.
SS: As a Southerner I have always loved how fabulously southern your name sounded, and I’m so happy there’s such an incredible story behind it. Thank you for sharing that with us!
DL: Of course.
SS: Alright Delilah, do you think you are ready for the lighting round?
SS: Who is your gay icon?
DL: Freddie Mercury
SS: What is your favorite song from the 90’s?
DL: “Angel of Mine” by Monica.
SS: What’s your favorite drink?
DL: Tequila, tonic, splash of pineapple.
SS: What is one thing people should NOT do to you at a club?
DL: Touch my hair. I actually almost punched a kid for trying to pull my hair.
SS: Where is your favorite place?
DL: The Boston Commons.
SS: What is your favorite piece of advice?
DL: “It is better to be a hot mess than to not be hot at all.”
SS: And lastly, here at WERRRK.com we believe if you don’t have something to plug cheaply then can you give us some money, and then cheaply plug whatever you have going on that everyone needs to know about.
DL: Funny, I’m actually getting ready to record a project for VERY cheap! I’ve also been cast as a trans-woman in a web series by V.A. Patrick Slade. Go to my Facebook for updates. You can also hang out with me regularly as I’m the resident door-gal at Here Lounge in West Hollywood on Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. #doorByDelilah
SS: And we look forward to seeing you there and beyond! Delilah, it has been absolutely incredible speaking with you today. I look forward to watching your career take off and when we get that movie of your life, I hope it’s a trilogy!
DL: My humblest appreciation.
SS: Thank you so very much! This means a great deal.
DL: Now where’s my t-shirt and mug?
SS: Ummm, I have a sample size tank top and a Raider’s coozie….will that do?
DL: I’ll TAKE IT!
SS: I feel like this is just you trying to get out of the room so you can take my “crafts”, but I’ll totally trust you!
DL: I’d never take advantage of your Southern Hospitality. But yes…I will take your crafts.
SS: They always do. Well, if I don’t see you when I bring you your coozie, thanks so much and see you in WeHo!
DL: Thanks babe! Now I’ll just need a boost back out the bathroom window.
SS: You can use the fron….ok you can use me as a step stool….again.