Marti Gould Allen-Cummings On Truvada, Mitch McConnell, and Sherry Pie

Published March 18, 2020

Photo by Steven Melendez. Art by Jack Vhay.

Though Marti Gould Allen-Cummings moved from a small farm in Maryland to the big city fifteen years ago to pursue a career in musical theater, they instead found themselves a celebrated drag queen. Now, they’re sliding onto a different stage: New York’s District 7 City Council. “I am often pitchy in my singing,” Cummings says, laughing. “So I fell into the world of drag.”

If elected, Allen-Cummings would be the first drag queen—and first non-binary person—to serve the district, which includes the Manhattan neighborhoods Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights, West Harlem, and a part of the Upper West Side.  The 32-year-old star of Logo’s six-episode series The Marti Report is vying for the soon-to-be-vacated seat of term-limited councilman Mark Levine (“A super cool, super nice guy who I really respect, and I’m grateful for his friendship”) in the forthcoming 2021 cycle. Allen-Cummings said they are running to protect tenants, the environment, and students: “Our school system is segregated still in New York City,” they say. 

“I’m excited to be a true queen for the people and do the work,” Allen-Cummings tells me. “This city has increasingly become a place for the wealthy. We need the city to be a place for everyday people. I want a city council that is fully diverse.”  

Over coffee at Max’s Caffe in New York’s Morningside Heights, Allen-Cummings shared gut reactions to a list of 18 topics—chosen at semi-random—ranging from Elizabeth Warren to scrunchies to the coronavirus, while being filmed by a small crew for an independent documentary about their grassroots campaign. —BRIAN ALESSANDRO

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ELIZABETH WARREN

“Icon! My president.” 

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J-LO’S OSCAR SNUB

“Not her year.”

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MITCH MCCONNELL 

“Dick.”

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BILLIE EILISH 

“I like her hair.”

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TRUVADA

“Important and should be free and accessible to everyone.” 

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RUSSIA

“Corrupt.” 

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SHERRY PIE  

“Very sad situation on many levels. I hope her victims get the help that they need during this trauma. I think it’s important to hold people accountable for their actions. And I think what she did is criminal, and I think that through due process she should be held accountable for that but I also on a human level hope that she gets the help she needs as well. It’s a very sad moment for our community. But as a community we should rally together and uplift one another and work through this pain.”

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CORONAVIRUS 

 “I literally just bought the most expensive thing of hand sanitizer. Scary, but also let’s get people who actually know how to handle viruses in charge of it. Mike Pence led the largest HIV spike in America in Indiana. We need scientists and competent people in charge, not these assholes who don’t care about everyday people.”

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CARDI B

“She’s so funny! I love her! I love that she’s interested in Congress, too. Congress should be for everybody. I love that!”

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B-12 INJECTIONS

“I’m a Flintstones vitamin kind of gal. One a day!”

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SWEATPANTS IN PUBLIC

“Love it!” 

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SCRUNCHIES 

“Bring ‘em back.”

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BERNIE SANDERS

“Really great policies, but some of his supporters should be kinder. Let’s not fall into Trump politics. Let’s have our movement be one of kindness because I believe goodness always wins, and I believe that his policies value goodness. So, let’s have that all across in the messaging. I like him very much.” 

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NO-SHOW SOCKS

“I like funny socks with, like, hot dogs and carrots and stuff on them, so I always have socks that are higher up.”

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ANDREW YANG’S POSSIBLE NYC MAYORAL BID 

“I already know who I’m voting for. I can’t say now. Later!”