September 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
QUEERY: James Fondle/Lee Winnike
Lee Winnike, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo courtesy Lee Winnike)

What does Lee Winnike do? It depends on which day you ask.

By day he studies social work at Gallaudet University. He’s also a “boylesque” performer and is co-producing the upcoming show “Basic Instinct” on Oct. 17 at Phase 1 with Pussy Noir to “highlight boylesque, draglesque and other gender expressions through entertainment.” He also organizes an LGBT American Sign Language class at the DC Center. And he’s a sex educator at Lotus Blooms, an adult boutique in Alexandria, Va.

The 26-year-old Covington, Ky., native went to college in Dayton, Ohio, then came to Washington four years ago because, as he puts it, “compared to Dayton, Ohio, there’s so many more queers here.”

He’s single and lives in Trinidad near the Gallaudet campus. Winnike enjoys Netflix, eating and lying in bed in his free time. Follow him as James Fondle on Facebook for details of upcoming performances.


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

I’ve been out as queer for six years and out as transgender for three years. The hardest people to tell were my grandma and grandpa. I had some wild anxiety dreams before telling them, but they ended up being supportive in their own way.


Who’s your LGBT hero? 

Marsha P. Johnson


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

Overeasy, Makers Lab Events and my friend is organizing a Gndrf*ck party I’m excited to check out.


Describe your dream wedding. 

Outdoor on a beautiful spring day, full of campy 1950s decorations and props, and of course all of my favorite people dressed to the nines.


What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about? 

I think LGBTQ issues tie into all the issues we face today because of the diversity within the LGBTQ community.


What historical outcome would you change? 

You know in movies when people go back in time, eat a potato chip, and then it alters existence forever? Yeah, I am not sure if I want to touch that one.


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

I will never forget when t.A.T.u. kissed on stage because I was watching with my mom. Painfully awkward conversations ensued.


On what do you insist? 

Please, for the love of the Goddess, tell me if I have spinach in my teeth.


What was your last Facebook post or Tweet? 

“If you missed my Hedwig act, I’m doing it again tonight at the pinch! Tickets often sell out so get yours in advance if interested”


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

“Where did my keys go?”


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

I wouldn’t change a thing.


What do you believe in beyond the physical world? 

I don’t have many firm beliefs, but I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if Beyoncé had supernatural powers.


What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Listen to the young change makers from all movements; protect femmes of color.


What would you walk across hot coals for? 

My friends


What LGBT stereotype annoys you most? 

That we all fit easily into one category. I have identified with each of the LGBTQ letters at one point in my life.


What’s your favorite LGBT movie? 

I have to go with the classic, “Paris is Burning”


What’s the most overrated social custom? 

The eight-hour work day.


What trophy or prize do you most covet? 

For the next two years it is any scholarship I can find.


What do you wish you’d known at 18? 

You are not as alone as you think you are.


Why Washington? 

I love my community here.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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