March 15, 2012 at 9:28 am EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Queery: Sharon Humes

Sharon Humes (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Sharon Humes knew she wanted to be in the D.C. Kings as soon as she learned there was such a group. Her best friend was doing it first and told her about it.

“I was thinking, ‘Wow, you can actually dress like a guy and perform, oh yeah — I wanna try this.’ I never thought it would grow into something like this.”

Humes, a 40-year-old Brentwood, Md., native, did her first show with the Kings in 2003. Last weekend she helped the group celebrate its 12th anniversary at Phase 1 — the original location in Eastern Market.

Her alter ego Rocky comes from a name her late mother used to call her.

“I was a pretty rough-and-tumble kid,” Humes says. “I hit my head or skinned my knee, I didn’t care. I’d go right back at it. She called me that from the time I was really young, like as far back as age 7, so it just kinda stuck.”

Humes enjoys lip-syncing to all kinds of music — from silky R&B by Usher and Luther Vandross to hip-hop acts like Twista and Busta Rhymes to dance hall reggae by her favorite in that field, Sean Paul. She calls performing with the Kings “a great stress releaser” and says she loves the way members are exceedingly polite and helpful with each other and the way newer kings defer to the veteran performers.

She’s also into gospel music — she directs the choir at her church, Unity Fellowship.

Humes lives in Glen Burnie and says that although the frequent trips into Washington for the Kings and church can get tiring, she loves the peace and quiet of Glen Burnie. By day she works as a service adviser at a car dealership in College Park — she’s the liaison between the mechanics and customers.

Humes is in a new relationship. She enjoys working out and listening to music in her free time.

Sharon Humes as "Rocky" performing at Phase 1 (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

I have been out since I was 22. A schoolmate introduced me to the club scene and when I was surrounded by other people who were like me, it made it difficult to hide who I really was. When I met this girl and we started going out, I confided in my niece (who was more like a little sister) and she was questioned by my Mom. She never confirmed with me. She already knew. All mothers know their kids.

Who’s your LGBT hero?

My LGBT hero is my pastor, Rev. Abena D. McCray. She has helped me with my walk to get closer to God. She is here for one purpose and that is to be His messenger.

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?

Tracks! Oh man … being 22 going to the clubs with all those women who liked women like me?! Heaven. There are a lot of memories there, parties, new friends and relationships. Great spot.

Describe your dream wedding.

Having had a commitment ceremony before, I tried to make it a dream wedding. I know that I will get married again. But just loving someone enough to know that marriage is in the cards the second time around is the dream wedding!

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

I am very passionate about our young boys (regardless of race) wearing their clothes (pants) off their behinds. That bothers me that so many of our young people are followers. More youth programs are needed so that our young people will have someplace to congregate and find alternatives to gun violence.

What historical outcome would you change?

I would be interested to change the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. I feel like there were so many other things that could have been achieved had he not been killed. I envision Dr. King mentoring the president.

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

How all the ‘80s fashion has come full circle. I’ve seen everything from skinny jeans to fishnets, big bamboo earrings, mohawks, Members Only jackets and the latest — penny loafers.

On what do you insist?

I insist that whatever I do, it is done to the best of my ability. That goes as far as helping a customer with their car to performing in a show. Even when I’m making breakfast — presentation is important.

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

To my girlfriend, telling her how much I appreciate her.

If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“From Sharon To Rocky: Meeting Of The Minds.” This simply means that my thought process in my work life has come full circle with my personal life. I am 100 percent complete mentally, physically and spiritually.

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

I know I was born to be this way. I wouldn’t change anything.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world?

I believe that there is a higher power. I believe that this entity is the reason why I am still here. My hope and faith in my God helps me through life’s trials. It was my relationship with God that I was able to get through my mother’s passing much easier than I would have eight short years ago.

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Whatever you do, please keep it up. I can only speak for myself but positive changes are happening.

What would you walk across hot coals for?

It used to be my mom. She’s no longer here so there would be no one else unless I had children.

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

One particular stereotype that annoys me is just because I may be more masculine and my lady is feminine, that I MUST be the breadwinner in the house. That is so far from the truth. Granted, I love to have a meal prepared for me but I can cook as well. Being equal in everything we do keeps the harmony.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

One of my favorite movies is “Noah’s ARC: Jumping the Broom.”

What’s the most overrated social custom?

That you can’t wear white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. If you wanna wear white, wear white! We wear white once a month to church for Communion.

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

National Junior Honor Society in eighth grade. I worked really hard to get straight As all year.

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

I wish, at the tender age of 18, I would have known how important it was to keep your credit in check. I spent a lot of years trying to clean it up.

Why Washington?

Washington is full of diversity as well as a cultural melting pot. Being someone who is Jamaican, that is very important to have a piece of home in your backyard. Although I do not reside in D.C., I wouldn’t leave the D.C. area. I love it here.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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