May 9, 2012
I first saw Kiki Durayne perform a simultaneously humorous and tormented rendition of “Total Eclipse of The Heart” almost twenty years ago. The performance has stuck with me. There is something brilliant about a drag persona who, rather than being the youngest, most beautiful girl in the room, is an aging, drunken vamp — all raw emotion on the outside. There is a dash of Norma Desmond in JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND’s (born 1963) Kiki. Director Victoria Leacock helmed a music video of Kiki singing this song with the ever-faithful Herb accompanying on piano:
This was just the start of Bond’s long and wonderful career: V’s talents are many. The transgender Bond has gone on to bring many riches to audiences, including a starring role in John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus, and the album Dendrophile, about which V says: “A dendrophile’s a person who gets an erotic charge out of nature. I am one! This is a record for the tree-hugger community. I do Bambi Lake’s ‘The Golden Age of Hustlers’ on it, and also a duet of the Carpenters’ ‘Superstar’ with Beth Orton.” Bond has recently published a memoir, Tango: My Childhood Backwards and in High Heels, whose Ginger Rogers-referencing subtitle is, in this case, an understatement.
READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the Original Generation X (1954-63) and Reconstructionist (1964-73) Generations.