Features & Profiles
Drag Queen Apple Adams: The sassy, quirky performer shows why they are a staple in
the Sacramento drag performing scene
Picture a bubble gum pink librarian with a wig and a bouquet of pink paper flowers, lip-syncing Primadonna by Marina and the Diamonds. This is Apple Adams in their first drag performance in 2013. Flash forward ten years later, they are a seasoned performer and host around the Sacramento drag scene.
Adams was born in Sacramento in 1989 and grew up most of their life in Cameron Park,
California. Drag became a dream at the age of nine and a reality in 2013 when they performed in Miss Susie Belluci Swallow's show, a series of new drag performers competing for a paid spot at the now defunct Sidetrack’s bar in Sacramento. Now, they have found their calling by doing what they love and being celebrated for it.
One of their biggest gigs is cohosting FLTP (F*ck Tuesday, Let’s Party) at the Badlands nightclub. FLTP is a weekly Monday drag show that highlights up-and-coming drag superstars, which Adams has developed a big heart for. It is their favorite show, Adams explains, and brings them lots of joy, as it helps them contribute to something that expresses LGTQBIA+ art and expression. “We're not doing anything groundbreaking, but what we are doing is providing a platform for newbies to see how they feel about drag,” Adams said. “It's a space to try out something new, to polish your outfits and your performances. Some people love having the open space to express themselves, and some use it as a starting point to develop their careers.”
As a host of FLTP, they have become a mentor for upcoming drag performers. So many people have thanked them for helping shape their careers as upcoming performers. “It's been a weird transition!" Adams said. "A decade goes by fast, and the scene is constantly changing and evolving.” Adams is an unexpected role model but also sees this as an opportunity to be the person they needed when they were starting in drag to the current rising performers.
As a drag performer, someone paves the way for their drag style, and for Adams, that is Jackie Beat, Coco Peru, Varla Jean Merman, Lady Bunny, and Wendy Ho. Their biggest drag idol, Taryn Thru-U, showcases the balance of humor, being playfully mean but professional and kind, which Adams embodies in drag.
When Adams is on that stage, whether doing drag Bingo or performing, they strive to present a safe space. As an anxiety-ridden person, they want people to let their guard down and have a good time. "I joke, and I'm often a b*itch, but I am never a fan of punching anyone down,
Adams said. “If I'm making fun of someone, I'm making fun of them in a way that isn't horrendous and gets us both laughing.”
As an almost 10-year veteran of drag, Adams believes that drag still needs more work to benefit the LGTBQIA+ community better. “As with all groups, we can really get sucked into cis, white, heteronormative opinions, and the cis drag queen archetype is still kind of held up in an extremely high regard.” But Adams also believes that drag does a lot of good too. “We provide a space for gender exploration, curiosity, knowledge, and understanding of walks of life that feel unfamiliar,” Adams said. “We are both art and a political protest.”
Adams believes that the future of drag can go anywhere, not just the routine pretty Vegas showgirl look we are used to seeing. The stereotypes of who can do drag are starting to shift now. From transgender men and women, non-binary, pansexual, and even heterosexual men and women taking part in this art form, breaking the boundaries. “We all need to continue this momentum of embracing the new and not clinging onto what we know for the sake of feeling comfortable,” Adams said.
When Adams is not in drag, they are more of a homebody. In a world of always in the spotlight, their personal life is the one thing they like to keep private, as they can regularly create space and boundaries. Also, you can find Adams at the gym or playing virtual reality games for hours on end.
Apple Adams is a performer and mentor that expresses who they are through the world of drag, and they would not have it any other way. Catch Adams every Sunday at drag brunch,
Monday hosting FTLP at Badlands, and at drag bingo at Flatstick Pub and Two Rivers Cider.
One thing Adams would tell their younger selves is not to listen to those who want you to feel small. "The tides are changing, and you will find love, peace, and acceptance,” Adams said. “And your dream to be a fabulously dressed celebrity is possible; it's just not the vibe you were expecting.”