This article was co-written by seniors Maeve Lewis and Eleanor Asma.
Those who know senior Henry Lunn know all too well that he has no problem embracing his individuality. Like other outgoing high school students, he shares his ideas in class, expresses himself with his art, and has a variety of unique interests that make up who he is as a person. Unlike many others, however, Lunn feels confident enough in himself to embrace a hobby most kids his age wouldn’t dare try–drag. The Forest Scout had a chance to sit down with Lunn to discuss his trademark hobby, of course, but even more so what encapsulates the unique individual that is LFHS senior Henry Lunn.
Describe yourself with three adjectives.
“Messy, energetic, confident”
How did you get in to drag makeup? Were there any people you saw as inspiration?
“My freshman year I started to watch ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race,’ a reality show where drag queens compete for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” That was my first exposure to drag. However, it wasn’t until the summer going into my junior year that I actually tried it. My first attempts were questionable at best. For some reason, I thought brushes or any kind of blending tools were optional. I thought using my fingers would work… yikes. But you know what, as the most iconic artist of our generation would say, “Everybody makes mistakes… Everybody has those days” – Hannah Montana. I feel like now I have more of a grasp of it, but I’m still always learning new things. As of right now, my biggest inspirations would have to be Violet Chachki, Amanda Lepore, and Imp Queen, all of whom work in drag, modeling, and queer art in general.”
How have your family and friends been involved in all of your hobbies?
“All my friends and family are super supportive and interested in it. My parents both were art dealers so they are very well-versed in art. They see the creative and artistic side of it. I’m actually really lucky to have such supportive parents. A lot of my close friends, drag queens and queer people alike, have unstable family lives. It’s really devastating to see them being disowned or kicked out of their homes just for being queer. Luckily, like I said, my parents love it. They drive me down to drag shows in the city and they even work as my photographer sometimes.”
You clearly have a strong social media following. How did that come about?
“I’ve been building my drag account on Instagram for a year and a half now, so I think part of it is just the amount of time. I try and make as many connections as possible with followers and people I follow myself. A lot of it is just engagement and relevance. Trying to stay on top of makeup trends and evolving your own style. I also work to make connections with cosmetic companies–getting sponsorships from them is always great. I would say it really just boils down to making good looks and good friends.” (@twinktrash )
There’s one video on your instagram of your mom putting a crown on your head — what’s your relationship like with her?
“Yes! She’s a drag ICON! I’m super close with my mom. She has been 100% supportive of me my entire life. Like I said before, a lot of parents aren’t so I’m really lucky. Of course, though it’s a little confusing at first wondering, “why is my son up in his room wearing 10 pounds of cheap makeup and an ugly Party City™ wig?” What’s great about my mom (and my dad) though is that she sees the fashion and expressive parts of drag. She’s come with me to a few drag shows and she always has a good time.”
You sing Opera! How did that start and how is it involved in your life today?
“I do! I’ve always loved music. From a young age I’ve been training and performing. My first opera was at Northwestern University when I was about 11. From there I continued to sing opera and make connections. I’ve sung in many of the major opera companies in Chicago, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Opera Theater just to name a few. I also go to the Merit School of Music over the weekend and I’m in their top Opera/ Musical Theater program and classes. I’m majoring in Opera for college–it’s really my main passion and drive.”
On your Instagram you mention making your own clothes. Tell us more about your clothes–how long they take to make, what styles do you go for, or if you have any specific fashion inspirations. Where did this skill come from?
“My mom and my grandmother actually taught me how to sew. After I got down the basics I pretty much just used every online resource I could find to help try and make some cool stuff. I’ve sewn a good 40% of my everyday boy clothes. Sometimes as little as an alteration so it fits better, but also there are a good amount that are sewn entirely from scratch. I find that the expectations in male fashion are extremely overused and tired. Polos and boat shoes aren’t really my gig. I just find it really empowering to know what I’m wearing is an extension of my capabilities and interests. As for more conceptual drag outfits, those are a little different. I’m not exactly about to show up to first period in a spandex jumpsuit and corset. Usually those begin with a sketching process and end up taking a lot more time. As for fashion inspirations, my biggest one is for sure Mugler or Guo Pei.”
Is there anything else you want to convey to your peers about yourself and your hobbies?
“Some people can be really taken back by drag. Really, at the root of it, it’s a performance art and a voice for people that usually don’t have one. Drag is a lot of fun and there’s really no reason to not like it.”