When it comes to alumni from RuPaul’s Drag Race, there are few queens with as much personality and character as Tammie Brown. It’s hard to believe that Brown, also known as Keith Glen Schubert, only actually appeared on three episodes of the show. She was eliminated second in the very first season of Drag Race and in the very first season of RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race. But it was perhaps her appearance on the season one reunion special that sticks out to fans the most, when she got in a kerfuffle with Ru and uttered the infamous line about “walking children in nature.”
Ten years after her first appearance on the show, plus 10 more in drag prior, Brown is still around and kicking. She’ll be celebrating her 20th anniversary at Hamburger Mary’s Long Beach this coming weekend and releasing her third album on the same day.
“The new album, Schubert, comes from my last name making it sound more European with the ‘t’ being silent,” Brown says. “My other two albums are more pop and folk with a dance lounge feel. This one is ’80s disco but new and fresh. You will get you off, in dancing.”
Some of Brown’s famous drag queen friends including Kelly Mantle, Milk, Jackie Beat, Esra Tualo and Sherry Vine will join the celebration, and the performer will close the night out with a special live performance of Schubert. “People who are attending the gala will be expecting to see some of the best performances,” says Brown in her signature simplistic and terse way. “Lots of dancing the night away with the best of the boogie disco DJs from Hollywood.”
It’s a rare feat for anyone to have staying power in the entertainment industry for 20 years, let alone a drag queen who started before it became more mainstream thanks to the success of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and this isn’t lost on Brown.
“Drag now has become mainstream,” she relates. “You see, when I started doing drag, it wasn’t popular to be a drag queen. It was fun but not popular. I’m glad to see how far it’s come. Thank you to all the pioneers such as Jackie Beat, Lady Bunny, Coco Peru and So Cal Dolly Levi, who will be performing as well at the gala…And of course, RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
And speaking of the TV show, Brown says fans continue to remember her for the now infamous nature line as well as her other wacky word combos and comments such as “See you in the magazines!” (now the title of a song on the new album), and “Change your costume, change it around!” In many ways, Brown laid the groundwork for all the famous drag queen catchphrases that would come to be on future seasons.
As the innovator and legendary queen she is, would Brown return for another season of All Stars like Manila Luzon and Latrice Royale just did? “I would be more than happy to go back on All Stars just for the fans,” Brown says. “And of course, publicity.”
In the meantime, the local performer is going to focus on doing what she does best: living her best life unapologetically and remaining true to her zany, kooky self in the community where she first got her start. “The 20th anniversary is like my wedding. It’s a gala celebrating me and my accomplishments surrounded with my favorite entertainers and guest DJs,” Brown says. “There will be the best of disco, loved ones and friends from the industry. You see, I started my career out here in Long Beach and now I’m bringing it home. ”
Hamburger Mary’s Long Beach: 330 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802. (562) 436-7900, hamburgermarys.com/longbeach/.
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