Put away your jar of wrinkle cream, ladies, because we are taking a road trip down memory lane! I grew up in a traditionally Jewish home in the Midwest. My father was a buyer for a high-end department store and my mother was a professional bargain shopper. Her mantra was to always look our best and never pay retail. She often dragged my sister and me from one bargain basement to another. Even after my bar-mitzvah, I had to come along to carry all the shopping bags.
Meanwhile, my father had always hoped that I would become a doctor or an attorney. My Uncle Lewis on my mother’s side was an attorney, and Pop said he could use a good junior partner. At family reunions, he always referred to me as “my boy, Monty, our future attorney”. Or sometimes, talked to friends about Dr. Monty. He never asked me if that was I wanted for my life. I was on my way to being a practicing lawyer with Uncle Lewis, like it or not.
My grades were good in school and I participated in all the right extra-curricular activities that would look good on a resume. My sister and I were always close when we were growing up at home. We shared everything; sometimes, even more than what she knew. Unbeknownst to my family, I had a secret habit of “dressing up”. I secretly helped myself to my sister’s huge makeup collection and some of my mother’s wigs. I had fun and they were none the wiser.
The month before I was supposed to take my law school entrance exams, I came out to my family. I must say that Pop took it easier that I thought he would. Ma said that it must be a genetic thing, because she had third cousin named Francine who went by Frank. The thing that bothered my father more was the fact that I did not want to go to law school.
I am known for my bold and outlandish costumes, and was always looking for makeup that would complement my tastes. Recently, I discovered Lime Crime, an online makeup company started by Doe Deere. I nearly flipped my three-foot high wig when I saw some products on Lime Crime’s website at ilovelimecrime.com the vibrant colors of eye shadow, lipstick, and nail polish that she created. Deere is also a loyal friend of the LGBT community and does a lot for charity. I order what I want online, and it is delivered right to my door. With Lime Crime, this queen is going to be reigning for a long time.
So, I dropped out of school and moved to New York with a few friends. It was the best decision of my life. I got a chance to try out for a drag cabaret and was hooked. I met fantastic mentors who taught me the finer things of style and makeup. I was featured in a lot of reviews on stage and had my first starring role in “The Queen and All His Men”.