Grace: Glitter Pig is a meeting in the middle between two scenes within the gay scene in Manchester that are quite different but share a lot of similarities. While I'm involved with the drag, dress-up performance side of the scene across the city - Mother's Ruin, Drunk At Vogue - which is my night, Cha Cha Boudoir - Sly Hands is involved with the fetish and rubber side. We wanted to create a space where people could go, dress up and experiment with their fantasies somewhere that maybe they could come true. We didn't want it to be an exclusive fetish night with a strict door policy of "men only"; it's a fetish night with a completely inclusive vibe to it - men, women, gay, straight, queer, trans, whatever your fantasy is, whatever you want to dress up as, that's what Glitter Pig is there for.
Haus: A few months ago was Cha Cha Boudoir's XXX Party, which with the mixture of people dressed in fetish-wear and its own brand of glitzy drag performance, to me seemed to have a bit of a similar theme. Is Glitter Pig going to be a similar sort of night?
Grace: I think Glitter Pig is going to have a different energy. Cha Cha's amazing because it has that whole cabaret feel to it, but this has more of an emphasis on fantasy. Plus, we don't have a set theme, so people can have complete freedom to wear whatever they like. It's not a cabaret night, it's just an open forum for people to meet like-minded people, but also to meet people from other scenes that they might not normally have come into contact with.
Haus: So what exactly do you mean by 'fantasy'?
Grace: Fantasy is all about looking within yourself and looking to express an element of who you are, or who you want to be or aspire to. It can mean many different things to different people, but while we do have a door policy, it's a very open one. It's all about looking inside yourself and bringing something out that you don't normally have the opportunity to express. You can see the full door policy on our Facebook page, but the basic premise is that if it doesn't turn heads in the street, then you can't wear it to Glitter Pig. So no denim! It's about people asking themselves "Who do I want to be? What do I want to be? What creation do I want to bring out?"
Grace: I don't think there is a single person. In the same way that Cha Cha Boudoir and Drunk At Vogue bring in a very eclectic audience, that's what we're aiming for too. People have different reasons why they want to be dressed up and it's all about allowing everyone to have the same freedoms. A lot of fetish nights exclude a lot of people - I, as a trans woman, am excluded from nights like Recon, which I would love to go to because I love wearing fetish-wear and being dressed up in a space with others dressed like that. I was lucky enough to do some charity fundraising at the Rubber Man Festival, which Sly organised and was in The Eagle, and I was the only girl in there, all dressed up in latex! I just thought "Why can't we have this for everybody to be involved in?" It's a very fun atmosphere to be part of and I wondered why some people are excluded from it, especially in a place like The Village, where it should be very open and inclusive to anybody who wants to be involved in it.
Haus: At Cha Cha's XXX Party there was a strict rule about glitter, because apparently it ruins rubber. Obviously you're called 'Glitter Pig' and obviously there will be people attending your night in rubber, so is there a hard rule about glitter there too, to avoid ruining everyone's expensive rubber outfits?
Grace: Well that's a bit of an in-joke. Cheddar Gawjus, who is one of the queens who runs Cha Cha, has a tendency to just cover herself and everybody else in glitter. It's a bit of a misconception that glitter "ruins" rubber, but it started because some of the rubber boys got covered in it and were struggling to get it off. For that Cha Cha, Cheddar declared that glitter was banned for one night only, but that was just a bit of a joke. We're actually going to post a tutorial online of how to remove glitter from rubber. It can be done and it's not difficult at all.
Haus: You had me fooled certainly. I totally thought that glitter ruins rubber!
Grace: I'm sure it's tricky to remove it.
Haus: It's tricky to remove it from anything.
Grace: It's just dirty boys not wanting to cleans their clothes after they get home!
Haus: At the rehab-themed Cha Cha, when Cheddar had been handing out little baggies of glitter, I tipped one of the baggies over my head and I was literally showering glitter everywhere I went for a month afterward.
Grace: My poor husband goes to work all the time covered in glitter. "Mate, why've you got glitter on?" It's part of being in involved with the drag scene - you are going to get covered in glitter at some point.
Haus: So what would you call a collective of 'Glitter Pigs'? A glitterherd? Maybe a glitterati?
Grace: I was calling them my Piglets. My Glitter Piglets. I think it's because of Lady Gaga that everyone's got to name their people, but I was talking to my drag-daughter Violet recently, who's going to be on the door at Glitter Pig, and we worked out that PIG could also stand for "Perfectly In-between Genders", which is obviously perfect for the night too.
Glitter Pig debuts at the Sackville Lounge on Sunday 24th August. Click below for the Event Listing: