Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Yeah, that’s right. For this month’s drag column, I spoke to Mac or as I like to refer “Big Mac.” He loves him some Buff Faye (of course) — and was eager to sit down for some fixings at my favorite gayborhood diner Dish.
Born in 1968 in Orangeberg, S.C., Mac is a southern gentleman — lots of scruff and tattoos (grrrr). He’s a modern day Spartacus with a heart of gold to go along with it. On stage, he is better known as the drag king Macximus, or as he prefers “trans male performer.”
“The whole reason I do drag is to put myself out there for other trans men. Visibility is important, it puts a face to being trans,” he poignantly explains. “People come up to me and ask questions. I have been able to send four trans men to my doctor this past summer. Drag makes who I am more familiar. Plus, I like to sing live too.”
Mac is a triple threat: a talented performer, an educator and wise soul. He first began doing drag at a talent show at L4 Lounge. He didn’t win his first night, but did donate all his tips to a trans man there to fund his top surgery.
“I want what I do on stage to have meaning… and mean something to others,” he says. “Performance is more of a tool to give back and educate others.”
Mac’s family is from Bamberg, S.C., where his grandmother was Pentecostal and her mother built the church he attended growing up. He fell in love with the church and live performance at a young age, despite the religion-based bigotry faced by LGBTQ people and especially trans people. He recalls as a child hiding under the table before church every Sunday, but not for the reasons some might assume. “I wanted to go to church. I just didn’t want to wear a dress,” he laughs. “Most importantly, I wanted to sing in church.”
Most drag entertainers lip-sync. Mac would rather sing. Maybe the flare runs in the family. Mac’s mom was a beauty pageant queen and his dad a football coach. We joke: it all makes sense now as to why he is so popular in pageant circles. The perfect mix of brawn and beauty. After all, he is the current Mr. Unlimited Leather 2014 at Club Cabaret in Hickory. I mean, just look at his pic.
“I want to be visible to help others,” he shares.
Mac shares how he almost died less than four years ago prior to transitioning: “I had to be resuscitated twice,” he says. “I always felt I had to live my life for someone else. I was in critical care for a week. My doctor always felt I was intersex. My body, my soul was telling me something had to change. I got a second chance to be who I am today, who I am meant to be. Now that I transitioned, I feel closer to God than ever. There are no more walls.”
I pause for a moment letting all Mac has said sink in. Truly remarkable. He simply states: “I am not an expert. I just have my story.” Powerful stuff.
Of course, I had to press on. Next question: “Tell me about love?” Seriously, Mac is kind of, I mean, really sexy. People want to know. Mac laughs and tells me that he identifies as pansexual. Someone who loves another beyond the confines of sexuality and gender — basically soul to soul without any boxes or binaries. How deep, I love it.
“My personal opinion is that everyone is pansexual. I think who I am as a trans man causes people to think and reassess their sexual orientation and affection. I personally try to think of myself as so much more than trans and pansexual,” he shares. And, yes, he does have a girlfriend who he has known for 30 years and they have been together for two years. Bless it be.
Mac shares this advice for drag kings today: “Stay true to who and what you are.…don’t let someone else talk you into being anything else — whether as a performer or as a person. “
Spoken like the true champion you are, Mac. : :
— Buff Faye calls the Queen City her home and performs to get people off Grindr (and raise money for charities). Find her at your favorite bars and hot spots. Plus don’t forget her monthly Sunday drag brunch and regular Friday night party bus. Learn more at AllBuff.com. Follow on Twitter @BuffFaye.
Don’t forget to check out Mac in a new documentary “Finally Home: A Trans Journey” (working title). It is expected to be done next year. Plus if you’re looking for Queen City drag, check out the weekly shows at your favorite LGBTQ-friendly bars!