BenDeLaCreme Sounds Off On Joe Biden, Cher, and Herself

Published December 18, 2019

Art by Jack Vhay.

For fans of drag, the name BenDeLaCreme is likely a household one. “DeLa,” as she’s often known, was a standout on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race and appeared famously on the show’s All-Stars season, shockingly eliminating herself in one of the rounds when she was a favorite to win the competition. Nevertheless, the Seattle-based drag queen has toured the world several times over, bringing her unique sense of goofy physicality, rubbery facial expressions, and heart-warming charm to audiences. This winter, BenDeLaCreme (born Benjamin Putnam) is on tour with fellow Emerald City drag celebrity, Jinkx Monsoon, a former Drag Race champion, bringing their latest project “All I Want For Christmas Is Attention” around the country. We caught up with DeLa to ask her for her thoughts on myriad topics, from Frosty the Snowman to butt implants, and everything in between.

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CHRISTMAS ELVES

“They’re a highly glossed-over form of slave labor. It is very in-keeping with the current landscape that we would just be so hungry for material goods that we’d be willing to overlook the thousands of tiny people in the North Pole whose blood, sweat, and tears make it happen. Justice for Christmas elves! I hope that things get better for them.”

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FROSTY THE SNOWMAN

“Frosty the Snowman is a really beautiful way to teach children about the realities of the life and death cycle. Every child has to give birth to their snowman and watch it melt back into the earth. I think it’s a lovely lesson set to a pitchy ditty.”

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JINKX MONSOON

“Jinkx Monsoon is incredibly talented, incredibly generous, truly my sister. We’ve worked together for over a decade. It’s amazing in this bizarre world that I roll around in, that as a drag queen who once was not famous and now is, I have somebody that I’m very close with. I’ve been on both sides of that with her, and that’s a very special relationship.”

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JOHN WATERS

John Waters is a genius. He showed me what weird and camp and divisive art was all about before I had any idea. I think it’s amazing that his legacy has grown into such a universal thing given that it started out with eating poop and killing chickens in sex acts.”

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PEE-WEE HERMAN

Pee-wee Herman is probably the love of my life. If Paul Reubens were ever to propose to me, I would absolutely run off with him. His show is definitely one of the most influential pieces for how I structure my shows. It’s like this weird madcap real-life squash and stretch variety show on acid, I love it.”

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STORMY DANIELS

“I am really excited that there is somebody who’s really—hopefully—letting people see the way that being outspoken and proud and unabashed about one’s sexuality is actually the stronger and more powerful way to go than being demure and shy about it. Even when there’s a lot of backlash, it’s still a pretty badass position.”

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BUTT IMPLANTS

“Well, I’ve never needed any. But, you know, more power to you. If your butt isn’t squishy enough for your own liking, then go for it. Personally, I am happy to lend any of my butt to anyone who wants to take it for a spin and see if it’s really the way they want to live.”

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AMAZON

“Amazon.com is a really convenient and practical application that has very swiftly destroyed the city I love [Seattle]. I think it’s a bummer that convenience is such a … our desire for convenience is really destroying so much of what’s amazing about the individuality of businesses and cities. And, at the same time, I am 1,000% guilty of using it because—holy crap!—it’s convenient and an epidemic.”

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CHER

“She’s enduring. She’s around. She’s not going anywhere, but every gay person who is ever interviewed from now until the earth collapses in on itself will be asked about Cher. So, good for her!”

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GRETA THUNBERG

“Oh my god! She’s amaaaaaazing. First of all, I wish I had been that eloquent, I wish that I had had that much unabashed insight when I was that
age. I hope that someday, at some age, I have that. I think that she’s inspiring not just to kids but to adults. Not only is she just brilliant to watch and listen to, but watching Trump flail on the floor with her little tiny Mary Jane-sized 7 on his neck while he desperately tries to figure out how to tweet back at her is absolutely awe-inspiring.”

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JOE BIDEN

“Well, you know, I really just hope that he’ll hold the door open for Elizabeth Warren at some point here soon. But if he, for whatever reason comes out on top in this situation, then I am not going to say anything negative about any Democratic candidate because I am not giving anybody an excuse to vote for another Jill Stein.”

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DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON

“Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is really, um, bizarrely hot, isn’t he? It’s really strange. It’s like, I really want to be resistant to that particular brand of charm. I want to be somehow transgressive in a way that says, ‘Oh, no, I don’t think that this man is one of the hottest things on earth.’ But of course he is. Of course, if Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson showed up with a pizza at my hotel door then we know where things would end.”

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STAR WARS

“My mind just jumped to Baby Yoda. Now, I don’t have Disney+ and I don’t know anything about whatever that show is. But that Baby Yoda is the best piece of marketing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It makes me think of the last time I saw Baby Yoda do the best marketing of my entire life, when Gremlins came out and Gizmo was selling cereal. I just cried and cried and cried that my mom wouldn’t buy me Gremlins brand cereal. I’m just glad they found a way to bring Gizmo out of retirement.”

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BENJAMIN PUTNAM

“Benjamin Putnam is a guy who I don’t think ever thought that he’d be in a hotel room on a national tour talking to somebody for Interview magazine. He was a quiet, weird kid who invented BenDeLaCreme and then BenDeLaCreme has taken him to some wild places. Every once in a while when I really hear that name and reflect on it, I feel a little misty and proud and in awe and a little dizzy.”