An Oldie but Goodie: My interview with Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of I Am Not Myself These Days

Back in May 2006, I interviewed memoirist Josh Kilmer-Purcell about I Am Not Myself These Days. He talks about drag, drugs, love, and, briefly, James Frey. His first novel, Candy Everybody Wants, comes out in July 2008 from Harper Perennial. In the meantime, you can find him on MySpace.

Josh Kilmer-Purcell is not your average drag queen—or even your average former drag queen. The boyishly handsome ad agency exec recounts his drag past in the recent memoir I Am Not Myself These Days, detailing his four-hour booze-filled transformation process into Aquadisiac, or Aqua, complete with live fish swimming in her breasts, along with his dramatic relationship with his crack-addicted escort boyfriend, Jack…

As for the booze, Kilmer-Purcell needed it—specifically, vodka—to contort his body into the corseted, curvaceous image of Aqua. The pain would have been impossible to handle without it. The lengthy process involved pantyhose, panties, wigs, earrings, accessories, and heaping doses of stamina.

Here’s how he describes the switch from male to female: “Grasping my surprised triumvirate in one hand, I pull the whole package backward as I yank up the tight panties with the other. Trapped. Straightening up from the bend, I can feel my lower abdomen stretch and flatten as my precious goods give up and settle into their new hideaway.” That’s just the start, after careful shaving of his entire body.

Next comes antiperspirant, foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, jewelry, and his piece de resistance: the goldfish, which go into a specially tailored outfit, complete with mirrors and tiny flashlights to illuminate them. The corset, which will squeeze six inches of flesh from his waist and make sitting impossible, comes next.

Read the whole thing

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