| Amy Tannenbaum
“THAT’S MY GIRLFRIEND!” Angela proclaimed from her seat in the audience, pointing at a drag show performer on the Wall Street Nightclub stage in July 2011. Problem is, she knew nothing more about this performer other than her first name, and that she had somehow found herself running into her over the years and felt smitten every time. Her name was Quyen. “I saw Quyen performing and I thought, ‘I should be with her!’ I had this flashback and remembered that I liked that girl, and she’s still cute, and oh my gosh, she has a beard on!” Resisting her friends’ dares to approach her, they did not meet that night, but she was finally determined to make the connection.
“She actually put in a little bit of work to find me,” Quyen explains, laughing. “She didn’t know how I spell my name.” Angela figured that as a performer, Quyen could be found on the friends list of burlesque performer Viva Valezz. But, Angela tried to find Quyen – pronounced “Wen” – by typing in a “W.” “As luck would have it, Facebook was doing friend recommendations on the right-hand side, and her picture popped up on Viva’s page as a recommended friend,” says Quyen. “She was stalking me!” Angela is quick to clarify: “I wasn’t stalking her. She kept popping up!”
Immediately, Angela’s biggest misconception about Quyen’s lifestyle as a performer was resolved. “The defining factor was that she’s boring!” says Angela. “I thought she would be a total partier because she’s a performer, but, no, she’s boring! Now we’re boring together!”
Angela and Quyen have translated their unique styles into decorating the home they purchased together last summer in Westerville. While they wish they were closer to the city, they enjoy the perks of being in the ‘burbs, including a wrap-around porch, two-car garage, big backyard, big closets, and, says Angela, “a basement that wasn’t creepy.” They also thought ahead about where they’d be in a few years, choosing a home in the Worthington School District. Proclaims Angela: “We decided to make this side of Westerville a little bit more gay!”
“We don’t like true commercialism,” Quyen explains. “We like to present ourselves and our home in a non-cookie cutter way.” Angela continues, “Our most treasured items are things we’ve picked up off the road.” One time they went to Circleville for a desk and had to climb back into the car through the windows!
But at the end of the day, Quyen sums up the dynamics of their relationship: “The drag king is the princess, which makes Angela the butch one!”
“Two weeks into it, I knew I was going to marry her,” says Quyen. “But she beat me to it.” Angela was indeed the one who put the ring on it by orchestrating a proposal during one of Quyen’s drag king shows with the Royal Renegades during the Pride Holiday in 2012. She even went through the trouble of speaking to Quyen’s family prior to the proposal. It was a superhero themed show, and Quyen was the Riddler during a Batman number. Angela had the group arrange the number such that Quyen would find herself blindfolded at the end, and Angela surprised her on stage and proposed! She even flew one of Quyen’s sisters to present the ring. It all happened as planned – and Quyen said yes – except Angela forgot to put the ring on her finger! Drag queen and host Alexis Stevens came out and demanded, “Get that ring on that finger!”
With the proposal and home buying behind them, Quyen and Angela are busy planning their wedding, which will take place this May at Camp Mary Orton. They’re planning a casually elegant and carefree affair, as they will walk down the aisle to Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine. They hope to have their nieces and nephews storm out at the end in a burst of streamers. They’re even bringing back Alexis Stevens – instrumental in their engagement – to facilitate a “Q&A Cocktail Hour,” an opportunity for people from different parts of their lives to get to know them as a couple. The celebration will continue with food provided by a food truck and music mixed by a local club DJ.
After their wedding, they no doubt continue to be “boring” as they describe it – a boring, married couple, that is.