Performing burlesque started as a hobby when Rachel Horne was in nursing school at Montgomery College.
“It’s definitely my creative outlet, says the 31-year-old Giddings, Texas, native, who performs as Glam Gamz. “It started as a hobby, then it became a really big hobby.”
Horne and her wife, Jessie, who performs as Dutch Oven, have a show Friday night at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.). “Under the Sheets: a Comedy Burlesque and Variety Show” open at 8:45 p.m. for the 9:15 show and 11 p.m. for the second show at 11:30. Tickets (21 and older) are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at blackcatdc.com.
Horne, who previously worked in animal welfare, finished nursing school in December and started work at a local hospital as a high-risk perinatal nurse in March, a job she says is “the most wonderful job ever.” She hopes to continue her studies and become a midwife.
Horne came to the Washington area eight years ago to “escape the South and experience something new.” She enjoys burlesque, making costumes for her stage shows, cooking, crafts and “curling up to a good horror movie with the wife” in her free time. They live in Fort Totten/Brookland.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out six years ago. I was most nervous to tell my father, but luckily he handled it pretty well.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
It’s hard to say that I have just one hero. I think every LGBTQ person who struggles every day to be true to who they are deserves the title of hero.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I really love the Red Derby for a drink with friends, and I’m partial to the Black Cat as well.
Describe your dream wedding.
I already had it! I had a “Great Gatsby”-themed wedding this past August. It was everything I dreamed of. We had costumes and one of D.C.’s best food trucks, Rito Loco!
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
I think a major issue that has, unfortunately, been bypassed by other issues of social justice is racial equality. We see the effects of racism every single day, on a large scale across the country. People of color are still struggling for equality on a daily basis and just because we are seeing progress in other areas doesn’t mean we don’t have a massive amount of work to do.
What historical outcome would you change?
It’s difficult to choose just one. There have been so many moments in our history that have directly resulted in or from long-term oppression of groups of people.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
For me, there have been a lot of deaths of icons that are very memorable such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Patrick Swayze.
On what do you insist?
Honesty and respect for others.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
The invite to the show my wife and I are co-producing Friday at the Black Cat. “Glam Gamz and Dutch Oven present: Under the Sheets!”
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Driving a Stick Shift in Heels”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Absolutely nothing. I’m very proud to be a fierce queer femme.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
The power of positivity and impact of kindness.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Don’t forget to consider the importance of other factors such as race and gender and how they impact members of the community.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Coffee, my wife and my boxer, Marla Pooch.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
I find it very annoying when straight women assume that just because I’m queer, I’m attracted to them.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
I absolutely adore “To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
I think people are overly apologetic. People say “I’m sorry” constantly, even when they have done nothing that warrants an apology or when they don’t necessarily mean that they feel sorry.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I would love to have the talent and skill to considered for any big title in burlesque.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
I wish I had known that my 30s were going to be amazing. I would have spent less time sweating the little things. I also wish I would have known I was queer. I would have had a lot more fun in my 20s.
Washington, D.C. is a great place to live as a member of the LGBTQ community. I love the diversity.