You can also listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic, Overcast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, RSS, and more. Ms. Conduct's photo is shot and edited by Justin Hutchins.
Supply Chain Analytics by day, drag queen by night, Dakota Conduct defies many of the social mores of working for Fortune 500 companies by living in the duality of corporate daytime professional and gender-bending drag queen in nightlife, embracing being a geek and loving to code, statistics, and analytics. Ms. Conduct holds an MBA in Business Strategy & Analytics from Purdue University, and a BSBA from The Ohio State University in Logistics Management and City & Regional Planning, and has worked for corporate retailers such as Sears Holdings Corporation, Crate & Barrel, and Ulta Beauty. You can learn more about her podcast show, Thots and Shares, on thotsandshares.com.
"I won't ever complain about something without offering a solution. If you're going to sit there, and point out all these problems, that is the easiest thing in the world to do. I can tell you right now all the problems in the country. Solving them is the hard thing to do."
— Dakota Conduct
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Dakota Conduct (guest): I am just a very pragmatic person, doesn't mean it's the right solution, but was like, I just can't complain. So I was like, I want to do something to resist this administration, and for some reason I had always wanted to do drag. I've been following RuPaul's Drag Race since the very first episode. Nina West in Columbus, Ohio was one of the first drag Queens I ever saw and I've always enjoyed it and so I was. This is my version of resisting and so I wasn't good at first. I'm still learning now. I won't ever complained about something without offering a solution. If you're going to sit there and point out all these problems, like that is the easiest thing in the world to do. I can tell you right now all the problems in the country, solving them is the hard thing and that's maybe drag isn't solving it, but it's at least you know, with the administration. I was just like to the government that wants to suppress people like me. This is what I'm going to do.
Simone Salis (host): I am Simone Salis and this is The Hoomanist with today's guest, Dakota Conduct. Supply Chain Analytics played a drag queen by night, the code of conduct, the face, many of the social mores of working for fortune 500 companies by leaving individuality of corporate, daytime, professional and gender, bending, drag queen in Nightlife, embracing being a geek and loving to coat statistics and analytics. She holds an Mba in business strategy and analytics from Purdue University and it'd Bsba from the Ohio State University and logistics management and has worked for a corporate retailers such as sears, holding corporation, crate and barrel and Ulta beauty. You can learn more about her podcast, show thoughts on thoughts and share. Started Come Dakota. I use.
D. Conduct: Is there any other pronoun that I should use? They just assumed your pronouns. You know, it's funny. I couldn't care less about pronouns and I know that they matter and there are people that really care about it, but me personally, he, she that this whatever I get, I'll respond to a lot of things. That's kind of how I feel about your. Like I always wished that there will be a day that pronounced unmet or, and I guess that's the point of having gender neutral pronouns are the same for bathrooms. Right, exactly. Why does it matter? Exactly. So to me, I'll respond to anything to do that. Combining big data analytics and we'll talk about what that is and drag night. How is that going from an energy? Well, I'm really exhausted, tired all the time, both mentally and physically tired and drained, but I love it.
D. Conduct: It's just, that's how I wouldn't have it. So yeah, I, my day job is in data analytics and strategy, so I, I do a little bit of everything when it comes to actually diving in, writing code when it comes to analyzing and coming up with a strategy for how you're going to build a warehouse or a, you know, a database. So that's my day Gig and then my night gig is thrown on wigs and walk it out in heels and in doing that. So are those like the synergistic with each other? The funny thing is, yeah, they're, they're very right brain left brain, but together it's a ying and Yang. So my, it's funny, my past people have asked like, how do you find yourself creative? And I'm like, yeah, I work in analytics and like I say that I think it's creative, but you know, it really isn't, but it is.
D. Conduct: Okay, so here, hear me out here. So why would say analytics is creative is that it's problem solving and it's problem solving to a world that people don't understand it all. So you know, one out of 100 people might actually be able to understand what you're trying to get out and how to do it. And so that's why I considered creative. But you know, the funny thing is that when it comes to drag, that's what people think of as creative. They think of the big colors and the in your face and like the fashion and that all that absolutely is. But it's funny how something as dry as seemingly dry as analytics actually has a side of creativity as well. What do you see? Uh, you know, that's interesting because I see coding as creative to use analysis as creative too because there is problem solving and that's a very good point.
D. Conduct: What is the overlapping creativity part for you in both dragged and analytics? The systems thinking when you're, let's say you're doing your makeup, there is a process and it has to go in a certain order. You can't, I mean you really can develop whatever order you want for yourself, but for like for example, most people end with doing their, their, their lips and so they draw their lip liner and then put a lipstick on us. But that is something that people end with generally. So with, um, the whole routine, you're starting off with shaving first, then you're putting it on something called a primer, which is to kind of block you from sweating. Then you're building on a foundation and then you're putting on. So you're doing all these different layers and there's a process to it. There's also a time that each one takes.
D. Conduct: So you might say like, Oh, I, I think I need two hours for makeup, but you know, like each segment what it's going to take. And so whether Queens realized they do this or not, but there's a whole operations model going on in their head, at least that's how I look at it. And so it's not just like, okay, let's put on foundation. I'm like, okay, we're entering this phase and this takes you know, 10 minutes and now we're entering this space, this is 20 minutes, so you're not sure what's happening to you if you are turned into drag into data analytics and work or your attorney analytics into doing drag. And I bring that type of thinking to the drag show and sell. So immediately it's never like, okay, we're gonna have six girls are going to do two numbers and each one's four minutes.
D. Conduct: I'm thinking like, okay, well what about the time in between the numbers? What, how long is that going to be? How long should it be? What's the right amount of time for an audience? So it's just, I'm very numbers, we'll call it algorithmic drag queen. Yeah, exactly. What would be your nickname? The funny thing is I, for a day, my drag name for one day was terabyte. I was like, it'd be so cute like Tara to do this drag thing. You already feel right. And I came up with Dakota conduct basically because it was society's code of conduct and I was breaking it up by doing this duality. Like I'm going to wear a suit to work. I have a very nine to five job. Like I said, well we know working in strategy sometimes our projects we're working on have two, three or 20, $30,000,000 implications.
D. Conduct: So coming from that high pressure environment to like throwing on a dress, you're like, this is, you know, this $1 bills. Exactly. Yeah. Most people would be like, wait, why? And uh, to me it's that it grounds me and keeps me sane and it's what keeps me focused in those big meetings. We have that $20,000,000 implication. To me it's like this other side of me is laughing and having fun and not taking life seriously. And that's what happens. That's what helps me in those moments to be grounded and make the right decision. How does this decision to cert to do drag while having this like nine to five? It started because of all this trump shit. So trump got elected and I, I'm just a very pragmatic person. Doesn't mean it's the right solution, but I was like, I just can't complain. So I was like, I want to do something to resist this administration, and for some reason I'd always wanted to do drag.
D. Conduct: I had been following Rupaul's drag race. It's the very first episode. Nina West in Columbus, Ohio was one of the first drag Queens I ever saw and I've always enjoyed it. And with this administration I was just like, this is what I'm going to do. And so I was, this is my version of resisting and so I wasn't good at first. I'm still learning now, but it's been about a year and a half. It was basically the day he was inaugurated. I was like, I'm starting drag. You inaugurated a, your drag basically trumps my drag mom so. Well, the wig works great as about say, yeah, he was kind of a drag queen. He's got orange, he's got a wig. So I independently, you know, from this administration or not, I, I like, uh, taking action in, in a, in a constructive way like you're doing instead of completely because they think that is the danger sometimes of social media that you ended up complaining and he becomes more whining, ever complained about something without offering a solution, especially when, if you're going to sit there and point out all these problems, like that is the easiest thing in the world to do.
D. Conduct: I can tell you right now all the problems in the country, solving them is the hard thing and that's not, maybe drag isn't solving it, but it's at least giving it a middle finger to the government that wants to suppress people like me. There's a quote from Theodore Roosevelt and we can even look it up if we need to. But um, it says something like, it doesn't matter what the audience thinks. Wow. If your in the boxing ring and you're the one throwing the punches and you're the one taking the hits, it doesn't matter what the critic says, it doesn't matter what the people outside thinking there. I think it's the person who's actually throwing the punches were. That is where the growling the pain is in everything. And so like just being a bystander saying like, oh, this is wrong, or whatever. It's just not productive.
D. Conduct: Releasing this kind of creative tension that you had. Did you have any previous channels to release it before you got into? So I'm a musician, so I play piano, I sing, I play guitar, a few other instruments. So that was always kind of my creative outlet. Um, but I didn't really have something that took this much time or energy. I mean it was one of those I kind of flippantly decided to do drag. It was very much a fuck trump, this is what I'm going to do. And it was, you know, when I began to do what I realize this is not easy. And actually I think that's why I kept at it. I think if it was one of those, you just throw some makeup on, throw away God in you're out the door and you look just as stunning as some of the best out there.
D. Conduct: Then I think I would have lost interest, but it was the fact that I was so bad at first and that it was a big challenge for me. Um, but prior to it I didn't have something like that where I could spend literally two, three hours a night just to be okay at like anything else. I mean whether it was piano or you know, or whatever. But even piano, I don't think I ever practiced for more than 30 minutes to an hour a day. It was over, you know, 20 years that I was able to become what I am now. But it was never something that was pretty much my life for the moment. I'm up until the moment I'm in bed and that's what drag is because it's a, it's almost this like you can be consumed by it because you're trying to learn the actual techniques of makeup, of hair styling, everything it takes to actually transform.
D. Conduct: It's wearing padding, wearing the right clothes for your fit and the right type of garments. Then there's the branding that goes along with it. So you're thinking about are you sending a consistent message? You know, like one day you can't be dressed up as a cowgirl the next day as like a leather hole or the next day is a gospel singer. I mean, you can, if you connect those and make them work from a branding perspective, otherwise you're just gonna Confuse your audience. And I've seen people do that where they think their comedy queen then they think they're a glamour queen and, and they, they just don't have a consistency between their looks. So there's the branding aspect, there's the social media aspect to, and it's what you present, how you present it, what you say when you choose to say. I mean, so it's like this constant. You are really truly a second person and it takes a lot of effort and a lot of time.
D. Conduct: And I don't think I fully realized that. Um, but now that I'm in it, I'm in it. So you started to experiment with something new. And I believe the practices necessary to become better following your evolution, it seems you have been learning pretty fast and you have a pretty clear idea about both your message and who you want to reach. But how did that evolve from day one to now? First, how I've evolved is a level of confidence that I never thought would come from drag, never thought I'd ever have a. and it was just one of those very natural thing when I make a point about that because I'm so intentional about everything else, what I'm choosing to wear, how I'm choosing to wear, where I'm choosing to go, all has a purpose. But this level of confidence was not something expected. And it's confidence in my body.
D. Conduct: It's confidence in my character, not just the character of Dakota, but actually who I am as a person and how I bring that to my day job, my career, my marriage, everything. Um, so I would say that was something that was really unexpected. I mean, I think I was really into the political side at first because I was, that was like the motivation to start. And I think I quickly realized that like if, if my goal is to actually change the legislation or something, that's not the way to go about it, but if my goal is to keep us laughing during these really bad times, I can accomplish that and that I can accomplish the drag. So I think that's kind of evolved because now I'm almost never political on the mic. I'm on my podcast. We, if we talk about trump were laughing at him, but I, I think that's my contribution is that like I realized that all of us are in a really bad spot.
D. Conduct: Um, you know, I, I even have conservative friends who were very concerned about what's going on in this country, but still, if, if this can be my contribution to make people smile, to make people laugh, to make them forget, then that is worth everything I put into it. See, this is this part of view. I want to jump straight to the big data data. Yeah. Let's use this big data is just, what is the big part of it? Yeah. It's, you know, it's, we're used to. Yeah. So big data is just an unimaginable amount of data collected for no seeming purpose, so, so fast. Every absolutely everything you've ever swiped, everything you've ever bought, every time you've used a transit card, every time you have used a lyft, instead of Uber, every time you have done anything that is traceable, it has been traced and not in a big brother way.
D. Conduct: They're not like trying to calculate and follow where you are, but to a certain degree they are. They are collecting all of this data. So let's start with the credit card data. Um, everything you've ever swiped has been tracked and they follow where you go into the restaurants they follow, uh, how much you spend, how often frequency when and they're trying to understand buyers. And the thing is the reason that I personally am not bothered by this at all is one, I have a good understanding of it, but two, it's done at such an aggregate level. So we just talked about you purchasing, but think of hundreds of millions and billions of people and their purchasing habits when they buy things, how often, how much they spend, what's their Min Max, you know, what credit card balances they carry when you take all of these data points. And like I said, seemingly there's no connection where analytics comes in is begins to analyze that and find the connection.
D. Conduct: And so you being a, going to take this massive amount of data. So, um, you know, a typical report might have let's say one to 2000 rows of data. This type of data is going to have, you know, $600, billion rows, just such a number that you can't even possibly imagine. Um, and it, it's organized in a way that really you can't get much out of it. But once you bring an analytics processing into it, that's when you're able to look at it and say, or begin to create a port profiles. So you look at a type of person and you say, okay, well these 15 percent of all the credit card buyers out there, these are the ones who carry a balance. They pay out every month, they spend a lot, um, but they get charged a lot of interests. So we're going to target them for more credit cards for more things because we know we actually make money off of them this 10 percent of the population, however they pay their balance in full, they get all these reward points that we then have to pay for them to go get a free flight or whatever kind of strategy.
D. Conduct: Right? Exactly. That's most people's strategy. They, we've never made a penny on interest on them. We're losing money on them. So we, if they don't use the card for three months, we might deactivate them if they, uh, you know, never, you know, carry a balance or whatever. We're not going to retarget them with ads to get this new credit card because we're just going to open ourselves to more liability, lose money. So it's, it's, that's just one example. Everyone is trading this data. So American Express Visa, they sell your data to companies like facebook and to other companies who want to try to target you and they might be for various reasons, they might sell it to a restaurant group so they can better understand how to find their target demographic.
S. Salis: I just started a new mailing list. It's the humanists weekly digest at text on leak curated collection of interesting links and articles that you wish a good friend would have shared with you. It's the leverage every weekend to your inbox as simple clean text and you can subscribe now for free on human. Got Ist slash subscribe. I am Simona salice and this is the humanist podcasts with today's guest, Dakota conduct, drag queen and data analysts. Technology is agnostic. So this kind of work, we unstructured structure, raw data that you capture might actually be used for good purposes as much as like behavioral studies and then actually try to to to, to trick the behavior, the behavior of human beings. And so, like you said, you're not scared by it, by it because you understand it will and it doesn't bother you, but you know, that they use can be in between the two. So the dark
D. Conduct: side. Yeah. Well, I mean that's literally trump is the dark side of data analytics. Like he won. It is so ironic because I remember at the Republican National Convention, trump junior was onstage and he said something like, trump doesn't need big data analytics to understand his people. But the irony is he's he one specifically in exactly. That's the only reason. And it, it's just a frustrating place space that the political analytics world is in, is that that group tends to believe things at just. They read a headline, they immediately believe it and they share it and liberals on the other side are more skeptical and they don't share those types of things. And so what has happened is all this misinformation spreading. And that's why, you know, there was things about Hillary Clinton running a sex ring with, you know, in a pizza in a pizza shop. Like it's almost like they come up, they literally do.
D. Conduct: And they've interviewed people who've made these fake headlines, they try to come up with the most absurd thing possible because they'll believe it. And what makes that difficult is on, on that side of analytics, that target demographic, we'll share it, we'll believe it, and it just makes it that much harder for liberals to actually get the truth out because the truth doesn't sell. What is a good example of positive use of big data analytics in society. I don't know if they're actually doing this, but I would be really surprised if they weren't not that comes to mind is fitbit, so fitbit you wear it on your wrist and it tracks your steps, it tracks your heart rate, your sleeping patterns. And if you combine that data with profile stuff. So what's my age? Where do I work? What's my income? You can take that data to try to piece together a information on our health and you could take that data and try to understand to a certain degree how to improve people's health.
D. Conduct: Um, and so I, I don't know really what they're doing specifically, but that's immediately, that's, that comes to mind as like an opportunity because if we can improve health, we can increase, you know, how long people live and that's just as a huge impact, certain information together, but I think you could take that data and really make a lot of positive change in the world. And that's what's interesting is I talked about the creativity of, of analytics and that's what you're doing. You're giving this seemingly useless just sea of information and you need to tell a story with it. And that's so interesting and fun with me. A friend for me with analytics is that I'm always trying to find what that story is. And sometimes the story is customers aren't coming in to your store and you're like, oh, well, well why? And it's that question of why that really makes someone good at analytics to be. It becomes almost scientifics to retailing like through algorithm. Absolutely, yes. Definitely. Data Science. So,
S. Salis: so let's see, you know, just to understand better your, you're looking at a warehouse and the warehouse during cameras that get the feed constantly of the amount of a specific product that he's on a shelf and so realizing that stream to get a water factors you can understand when that product needs
D. Conduct: to be restocked the warehouse and when it will be shipped and how and when connected to customer behavior and needs or the season of the year and all those factors in and other thing gets fine tuned, optimized and automated so that there is minimal need for human interaction in managing this kind of chain. And there is optimization of resources and timing for the customer. That's exactly, yeah. There's a, there's a level of detail which we in the Biz Call Lod, uh, but now it's going all the way from the highest view and you're not looking at a single item that's in stock or out of stock, but you're looking at your entire network. So the highest level and you're looking at, okay, do we have product to sell? Then that next layer is okay, do the stores have product? Yes, the next layer is does the distribution product? Yes, and then you keep drilling down and down and down and then you get to that individual unit or the individual items.
D. Conduct: So it's like most retailers carry it 20 to 30,000 different what's called a skew, which is basically just an item, so a pair of jeans and a pair of shirt, you know, that's two different skews. So in that example, you're trying to manage that individual unit and that individual skew and making sure that it's in stock in stores, but you don't have too much otherwise you spend all this money on product that isn't selling, you don't have too little because then you miss sales. So where analytics comes in is that balance and where it becomes complex, is that why it's. Talk about the level of detail, it's that you're doing that across the board. There is a novel, I don't know if you know it, probably do by Philip k Dick, which talks about the AUTOFAC and Autofac is this totally automated self managed factory that produces goods for human space on analytics and their needs and society collapses and odd effect keeps managing the world than shipping thing.
D. Conduct: So you see these boxes flying around and humans are literally not having food and fighting for that. And uh, and eventually that'd be, it's produced by Amazon and I feel like that will be Amazon. It's just the erotic in video to Amazon telling. And I was like, yeah, that's, that's where we're going with. You said you're married, right? Yes. Okay. How long have you been married? For? Years. For years. Just like a week ago. Where did you guys meet? So we met when I was at Ohio state and he went to a school called capital university, which was right out in Columbus as well, and we met at a gay pride party in 2009. And I remember thinking that he was the most handsome thing I'd ever seen. And he had a boyfriend at the time who also had the same Mughal name that I have, which is my non Dakota name.
D. Conduct: And it was funny because I came over and I used to bartend and so I show up a little late to the party, but being a bartender I like, you know, I brought a bunch of stuff and I wasn't making it raspberry and strawberry Mojitos and I like the party was kind of dull. And then when I showed up I like turn the music up. I got the, like the drinks go and suddenly it was a party, but like the, the host who was the boyfriend at the time, he hated me for that. But I just came in and like for a party it was like, this needs to, this needs to be fun. And Casey liked that about me. And so, um, you know, nothing happened until they broke up because it was inevitable. It's gonna happen. And then once it did, I was like, I swooped right in on that facebook messenger.
D. Conduct: I was like, Hey, what's up for years? So you married before in the United States? We were married before it was legal federally. Yeah, we got married. We used to live in New York and New Jersey. Um, and so we got married in Atlantic city. It was kind of our version of a loping and our family was there, friends were there, we had a small wedding and um, you know, about 30 people or so, but it was a lot of fun and it was legal in both New York and New Jersey at the time, but we still have a technically in New York state license and then it got legalized everywhere. Growing up. Did you grow up in a religious family? Extremely religious, religious. What is, what is it, the extreme version of that? What does it look like? Schooled, homeschooled until the century. Um, so I was in, I'd be in a Catholic school, then it'd be homeschooled, then I'd be back in a Catholic school.
D. Conduct: Um, my parents were very, you know, follow the Lord and listen to the Lord and the Lord might call me to be homeschooled for two years and back into Catholic school. Then back to home school. It was, I wouldn't have raise a family that way, but that's just how they did it. And so, uh, we weren't allowed to listen to anything but Christian music, we weren't allowed to watch most TV shows. Like the simpsons and friends were absolutely off limits. Randomly we were allowed to watch er. Do you remember that show? I, yeah. You know, my mom used to watch she are and I was just passively watching it when I was a kid and little I knew that he was supposed to be in Chicago but not shot in Chicago. I could see. I don't even remember that we were allowed to watch that, but that was one of the only tv shows we could watch.
D. Conduct: We can only read the Bible couldn't do Harry Potter or Pokemon or magic. The gathering, dungeons and dragons was the devil's work. I mean like at least with Harry Potter. They kind of saw there was a kids book, but Dungeons and dragons that was St. about how many siblings do you have? Any siblings? Yes. I have one sister. Yeah. Okay. You have one sister and she's older. She's older. By two years. Yep. Okay. Which denomination of the Church of the relationship change religions so many times. It was always. It was always Jesus. Sometimes it was Catholic and we were methodist than we are non domination. Then we were Messianic Jews. That was my favorite. The Jews for Jesus lend me Ms Dot Yannick juices. Okay. Let me learn more about that. So we would, we would be like, literally one week we'd be in mass, you know, during the kneeling, having the wafer during the communion thing and we'd leave the Catholic church a week later.
D. Conduct: We're now Jews. And seriously we're reading from the Torah. My Mom's saying Shalom all the time. I mean there's like a, there's an undiagnosed mental disorder there without a doubt. What's kind of influencing did it have on you as a person? A person? Oh, there's. Okay. The stuff that came out of it is I, I tend to be very kind, attend to be understanding and empathetic. I tend to really understand where people are going or coming from. You know, even when someone says something really hateful, I really do still look at them as a human. Um, as someone that I can try to understand it because I've realized that a lot of people who didn't have that super religious upbringing, they tend to be like, well, fuck that person and they just write them off and I, I tend not to be like that. I tend to see the good in everyone.
D. Conduct: Um, I, I think that my upbringing was just so all over the place that, that had a negative impact on me. Like I said, I don't think I was ever in a single school for more than two years straight. Um, and so it was always new friends, always changing new jobs, new places we're living, new mission trips that we were going to go on because when we are homeschool we would then suddenly go on a mission trip to Jamaica or Ireland, Scotland. Um, and we'd go and like, you know, try to save people in which your parents do. My mom was a teacher and my stepfather was a mechanic for us airways. So part of it is because he could, we could fly free because of his US airways benefits. So that was one of the reasons we'd go on these mission trips. Um, but it was just, there was no routine.
D. Conduct: It was really chaotic growing up. I fully believed in all of the religious stuff. I mean, I fully believe that if you're gay you're gonna go to hell and hell was an actual place where you burn for eternity. And as a child that was terrifying because I truly believed you would live 50,000 years burning and then you still have 50,000 years and $80,000 it would never end and you just be burning in hell. Like that was the very physical thing that was drilled into me because my parents would tell me these things when I finally came out, which wasn't planned at all. I mean I was driving around with my best friend. We were literally, it was 2:00 AM, this is back when gas was really cheap and you could just go on drives. And so we were driving around and like, she's just like, what's the worst thing you've ever done?
D. Conduct: And you know, by the way, weren't drinking at all. But I just, for some reason, couldn't really hold it in, it took like 30 minutes to get it out. But I was like, ever since I was a boy, you know, blah, blah blah. I have known that I was gay. And once I said that though, once that she was the first person ever said anything to it was like, you know, boom, I'm completely a different person is now out. I'm now out. And literally we put share on, we listen to it's raining men. And I was out. So once that happened, which was July 11th, 2003, once that happened, I, um, I did try for awhile to like merge the religious beliefs and I very much relied on the uh, quote of Thomas Jefferson and I'm, I might mess it up, but it was gonna paraphrase is if there was a god he would be more apt to prove of reason than a blindfolded fear.
D. Conduct: And so the idea was that, like, I, I have this feeling, I've done it since I was five years old. This is who I am. And instead of me living a life of lies, I'd rather be true to myself and if there's a God I would hope that he heard in his infinite wisdom would have the power to understand and see that more than like just a lowly human like me. And so I try to bring them together and ultimately I've, I've now since been an atheist for well over 10 years. And for me that works. I'm also not like the militant atheist. Like if someone else there is religious, like I go, good for you. Where I then draw that line though is when it's enforcing on others and so it's when you're going to hell because you don't agree with me. And it's like, well that's not a tolerance like I.
D. Conduct: If you're religious and you're like, Jesus saved me and my life is better for it. Have more power. Good for you. Personally, I think you're delusional and I think this thing you're telling me that a guy lives in the sky and he's watching what you do. I don't believe that but have at it. But you. Yeah. You do follow the golden rule, like a little bit like exactly like what are you, good example. But I've found the most opposition, the most hate, the most trouble in my entire life has always been from Christians. And that's frustrating because I don't want to sit here with a prejudice. I don't want to be like, oh, well this is how it's going to be, but I mean in eight or nine times out of 10, if someone is a Christian, I'm going to get, you know, condescending words.
D. Conduct: I'm going to get condescending sending looks. I'm going to get questions about my life. And it's just, I hope that changes. I wish that we were in a bit in the space that it wasn't like that. But I mean, it's. When I came out, I mean I was going to be a Christian singer. I was prior to coming out, um, I was on my way to a Christian college. I was going to be in. I play piano and sing like that was my world. And I was, I knew the right people and knew there was a group called Avalon who was like this Christian singing group. I knew all of them. There was another guy named Chris Rice, darlene check. I knew all of them. And um, these are Christian singers that I'm sure your followers know. But I say all that because, um, once I came out it was like night and day difference.
D. Conduct: Like suddenly all of that fell out on no one wanted to talk to me and I was completely ostracized. And so it's, it's hard to then walk away from that knowing that you had hundreds and hundreds of Christian friends and contexts that I now they won't even speak to you. But your family was at your wedding, right? They were, they were my mom and my stepfather was the man who raised me. Um, they were at the wedding and it was, I wasn't sure if they wanted to go. Ultimately they did. If I, if I had gotten married in 2004 a year after they went off. But I think after, at that point had been 11 years at that point. I think you've got to just kind of accept accepted.
Speaker 3: I am Simonus Alice, and this is the humanist. You can listen to every episode of the show on human.ist and on your favorite podcast APP. I created the humanists as an independent media project for technologically aware contemporary humanists. You will find articles, a curated mailing list, and all the podcast interviews on human.ist. This is a challenging solar project that takes hundreds of hours each month with coding, writing, recording, editing, graphics, and publishing, and if you would like to keep enjoying new content regularly, please become a patron now on human.ist/support. Today's guest is the code of conduct, host of the podcast, thoughts and shares.
S. Salis: How do you think you know? I was talking with Jonathan Mayo, which is an artist and as a project called cleaning closets are years. That coming out is not ever a lonely process. It's not just about a person coming out, but it's also a process for the people surrounding them, especially the ones that who loved them and so he realized that his mum changed through the years and she also had a coming out process of learning to accept their son and understanding what was wrong in her beliefs and become a different person and I can recognize myself in that because my father and I are very different people, but it is. I am infinitely grateful for how much he changed since I was a cadence insight came out because that shows to me that even if you have radical beliefs about those things, if they don't touch you personally and it's about a person that you love. I'm just grateful to see that he's changed as a person, as much as I did in a different way. So how do you think that the coming out process influence your family?
D. Conduct: Yeah, I mean I've, I've also always kind of held that opinion that like it took you years to come to grips with this. Uh, it's gonna take them time as well. I think where it crossed a little bit over for, for them is that like a, there was a lot of abusive behavior. I mean I was thrown out of the house, um, I, we didn't speak for six months, um, and even before be in the front of the house at one point it was kidnapped and they performed an exorcism over me, you know, so there was a lot of things that like, I don't think that's okay. Um, like I was, I would never have expected of any parents from the moment you say, Hey, I'm gay. To just be like, oh, okay, cool. Do you want to do pizza tonight or what do you think?
D. Conduct: Like I never expect that kind of reaction where it's just like a, no biggie, but I would, I think that there's a line drawn when like abusive behavior comes out like that. Yeah, of course. What is your next project next? Go with, with Dakota. What is the COTAS next project? So she worked, you know. So I've done a two monthly shows. One is called spectrum and it's at the closet on Broadway and our next one is August 17th I think. And I'm with that one. It's all about showcasing the whole spectrum of track. So we've got drag kings, we've got gory monster drag, we've got aliens, we've Got High Glamour Drag Pageant Queen. So we try to show type. Yeah, the hyper queens everything. Um, and then my other show is called a drag battle royale and that one is like wwf meets drag queens.
D. Conduct: It's insane. I mean we've got, it's very theatrical. It's very produced and so we literally have like round one, round two and like when like whenever I'll say into the mic, let's get ready to rumble and you'll hear Ding Ding. And then someone will walk out with a big sign saying round one, like, like literally like that have you have. And then uh, there's drag queens competing and it's so fun. And that one, what's cool is spectrum is geared a little bit more towards the newer to drag. Like everyone is very polished and establishment like that's a little bit more on the newer side and drag bowery. I was geared to the more seasoned queens and so I liked that in my repertoire. I've got kind of a show for anybody, so if someone comes to me like, oh, I'm thinking about. I just started six months ago, my spectrum is the show for you.
D. Conduct: Or if they're like, oh, I've won a bunch of the competitions in the city, I'm like, drag battle rails for you, and you got your own glow version for drag. You've got the gorgeous dregs of wrestling. Yeah, exactly. That's what trek battle royale is. And so then on top of that, into my weekly podcasts, thoughts and share. So between those three I feel like I've got a good system going on. So drag is a really complex world. You would not think that too. You would just think it's like, you know, having fun, throwing makeup and wigs on and walking out. It's complex for a variety of reasons. One, there's just multiple styles of drag and so you've got drag kings, drag queens, you have what is called an Ab Fab queen assigned female at birth, a mab assigned male at birth, and that's kind of more to be inclusive of trans performers.
D. Conduct: So there's the pageant world where you can go down that route and pageants are extremely expensive. It's not uncommon for some to spend $20,000 on their package for the pageant and that is $20,000. Yeah, it's a, the, the gowns, the looks, the flights that it takes to get to the pageant, the hotel rooms, you'll have backup dancers. They only meals, they'll need hotel rooms, flights, et cetera. They'll need performance fees. They'll, there'll be rehearsals. So the pageant world is one that is like just very, um, it's, it's expensive, it's not as underground as like the bar nightlife. And there's even a whole drag day world out there there. I know multiple performers who are full time, like birthday drag queens and the do corporate gigs only and they don't do nightlife at all. Um, I can literally think of three, three performance off the top of my head to do that.
D. Conduct: So because there's so many venues that you can do, um, it's absolutely viable as a career. It's, it's difficult at times and it really depends on what city you're in. Being in Chicago, Chicago has a very open and welcoming community, you know, on social media. At times the, the, the, the community may look a little petty, but that's because you're only getting a, it's social media. You only get a certain angle of the true story. The reality is here you can come and you can do the pageant world. One of the best crown jewel pageants have the drag pageants scene is spaced here. It's called continental. If you win that, you are going to be set and you can be a professional drag queens once you. Yeah, if you have that, it is a huge achievement. Or if you want to be like Lucy stool, who started on the west side, was not known as the most polished queen at first has now like five, six years later has turned herself into someone that is running the scene.
D. Conduct: I mean, sometimes she has three, four gigs and a night and they're each paying or to 50, you know, so she's walking out with a grant in a single day like she's doing quite well. And how she did that for herself is she made herself visible, made herself available, elevated or craft. And she just hustled. She's one of the hardest working queens in the city. So you can do that as a venue as well. Um, or you can just decide to kind of do the social media route. Um, another performer named so Ju, so Ju love, she started a youtube series and you know, did very good and high quality work and like consistently delivered a product every single week. And now like every one of her videos gets 20 to 50,000 views on youtube. And so she's full time doing that. So I think that in a place like Chicago where it's very welcoming and there's a very strong community, you can find your own way, but you're going to have to work at it and you have to be intentional.
D. Conduct: I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is that they, they throw it away and then they just expect everything to come to them and it's like, no, you're going to have to work like Britney spears. Yes, exactly. Like she said, you better work bitch. You better work bets. Like that's, that's the, uh, that's just not the right mentality to have that suddenly just because you did this daring, edgy things, suddenly work's going to come to you. Would you do to what I do that full time? No, I truly love data analytics. I love supply chain. I love corporate business life. I'm one, there's like the comfort of it that like drag as a hobby to me that I can fully express and not be stressed over. Um, I get stressed over it at times and that's my own thing that I need to worry about.
D. Conduct: But rent exactly earlier, paycheck doesn't depend on it, so you have a little bit more international. I pretty much break exactly on, on drag. Um, and I think that's another thing is a lot of people expect to make money off of drag and I mean, you can, there's nothing wrong with that. Personally, I have found that by focusing on just breaking even, I'm able to, to put out better looks to put out things I'm more happy with and proud of. Um, and I think that it's one of those that maybe over the longterm will better suit me versus if I'm trying to pay all my bills the dragon, then whatever leftover I reinvest in the drag. You're going to take years before you're going to get to a really strong like dragged up. So I remember watching a video of yours. I've seen you live a few times, but I remember watching a video of yours, which was um, it was you singing a song but just seen jigglypuff.
D. Conduct: Yes. So what was the song you guys, he was so surreal because we did a pokemon. He did a pokemon thing at Dick's Milwaukee, d I x. it's a, a great bar, very supportive, drag queens have done, been there five times, love it. And we did a pokemon night and it was called pokemon. Whoa. And so for my performance it was jiggly puff goes to American idol and so she's like, it's hard to hear in the video, but like she walks up and she's like the Chegg Ali puff and Simon cows, like, what's her name? Jay golly. Up and like, you just hear that over and over. And then he's like, all right, do your thing. And then there's an actual song of like a boy band, I can find it for you on spotify, the Jigglypuff Song. And it's literally like a boy band mixed in with Jigglypuff sing.
D. Conduct: And so I did that in the crowd, goes wild. And then like after it cuts out Simon's like absolutely terrible. You were the worst singer I've ever heard in my life. I can't believe. What made you try out for this competition? You have the most bizarre voice like she's going on and then it breaks into, um, hello, like that depressive, is it me? You're looking for like that. And uh, then from there she evolves on stage. She like jiggly. Puff becomes really tough. Yes, exactly. She becomes a glamour version of herself. So she goes back and this time on America's got talent and when she breaks it out, she's a pure opera singer and this time around and the evolution of. And then she wins and it's, it's great. It's like, yeah. So I love doing mixes like that to tell a story at times. They're almost too complex and they're required too much attention is in the scene. I loved it because he was insane and you know, Jigglypuff the point over the Pokemon is that makes people is sleep and the like. Luckily that didn't happen with the crowd. I remember them like cracking up just left
S. Salis: in a lot. Do you have any inspiration as a performer and do you have any, anybody that you look at and you go like, I admired them because.
D. Conduct: Yes. Yeah. Uh, my girl for that would be meatball and La. I am obsessed with maple. She is a queen that was on Dragila and from the second I heard her name, I was like, that's the girl that's her. I mean because it was like, you know, Melissa be fierce and then Nirvana, od and meatball, such an absurd name. And I, I always talk about how I do drag to, to not take life seriously and a name like that. It's just like the first step in that direction and they are just insane. Absolutely insane. But I'm a huge fan.
S. Salis: What do you think after over 10 seasons is the function of loopholes? Loopholes is a person that I admire a lot. I don't follow the show, but throughout the years, so many interviews and appoints me by Rufo. I just read them and I think that it's an exceptional human being on a mission to better the human race. And uh, what do you think that after over 10 seasons
D. Conduct: fees, the current goal you see as the current goal or function in culture for drag race? So I tend to disagree with a lot of our, the drag community because the drag community does not necessarily the best image of ripple. They view ru Paul very much as a capitalist who's just trying to, you know, make money off of drag queens. Um, while that may be true, you can't deny that this is better evolve for all of us. The perception of drag Queens. We all have so many more gig opportunities because of Rupaul's drag race and the faculty have the opportunity to get on the show and forever change your life too. Um, so I, I think that, uh, I, I tend to really dislike about social media, how it is black or white, you know, either you're canceled or your a social justice warrior. Like there's no way for you to like admire someone but also realize they have faults.
D. Conduct: So I certainly do fault Rupaul and not supportive of the fact that like he at this current time is saying that like a trans performer couldn't be on the show. And I think that is just silly. I think that it would make great tv just for the fact that it would be controversial and if be something you could talk about and have conversations around, um, but beyond that, so I, I disagree with him there, but at the same time, I think that he's, you know, was in the nineties being a black man dressing up as a woman when 70 percent of the country was just against the idea of even two men being together, much less being able to dress up as the other gender. Um, and so I think that he was a and much less to be a person of color doing it.
D. Conduct: Um, I think that, you know, he was a complete trailblazer, a trailblazer and really change the world. And so I think that it's, it's myopic to just say, oh, because of his one opinion on this one issue, everything he's ever done is canceled. I don't think that. I think where drag is going is that it is beginning to move beyond drag race. You're seeing shows like dracula come up, which gets hundreds of thousands of views per episode. Um, which I mean drag race does as well, but like dragon race, I think there's a couple times broken like a million views. So for Dracula to be on Youtube and to get that much, I think that's really says a lot. Um, and then, uh, there's also this new show called camp want to Kiki and that one's a based here in the Chicago area and it's about more campy queens.
D. Conduct: And so you see these new shows popping up and you see drag queens being featured in music videos, you see them featured in TV shows, I think next that's going to be on the cover of magazines and that, uh, they will be in an actual theater run movies, not just ones that are straight to straight to Amazon prime or whatever. Um, so I think that there's a huge future for us and I think that rupaul absolutely set that into motion, but I think it's been getting to grow beyond him. So basically we are old resting under the protective umbrella that Rupaul created first and now thanks to that there is more diversification. And finally an evolution of that. And there is a chance to evolve and get into different branches and analyze different aspects of the drag lines. He alone did it because obviously it's bigger than that, but he alone started a show called Rupaul's drag race that brought drag more into the mainstream.
D. Conduct: It's still not mainstream, you know, for the vast majority of people you hear dressing up as a girl dressing up as a different gender. Um, which by the way, that is my petition right now. Here I petition to change the acronym. It's dressed as a girl. That's what people think of when think of drag. I say it should be dramatically reenacting agender and uh, yeah. Well, heightening the characteristic of that. That is kind of how it started. And that's kind of the point, right? You, yeah, you can go. I'm either way. It's like I can dress up as a drag king and I have a triad character in Mr Noah ozark and he has a long, giant beard and there's a lot of religious stuff and it's me. That's funny. And so I think drag is more than just, you know, oh, I'm a man, I'm going to dress up sqirl. It's to me it's taking gender and like really doing it on a hyper scale.
S. Salis: Alright, Dakota conduct today under humanists. Thank you for being here today. Thank you for having me. Dakota conduct is a supply chain analyst by day and drag queen by night, living in ditch, well, any of corporate data and professional and gender bending, drag queen in Nightlife, showing how knowledge can only further enhance her drag, a static which features called for makeup, big wigs, and overall campy feel. To laugh at all the seriousness in life.
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