If you have experienced nightlife in Durham, then you have heard the name, Vivica C. Coxx. One of the city’s premier drag queens, Vivica oversees The House of Coxx , a drag family, giving young performers the opportunity to become something more. Crafting a nightlife culture and making drag accessible to everyone, she has made a name for herself and continues to flourish. Vivica seeks to foster an open and inclusive drag community where love and entertainment come first. We caught up with the legendary Queen V herself to discuss House of Coxx and its influence on the Durham community.
What’s unique about the Durham’s drag scene that differentiates from other cities? Durham is built on activism and social justice. We go into Pride as a community-based experience. We are independent performers and we operate with bars in the area. We are solely the House with a cast and it is an open market.. And beyond that, we center inclusion regardless of race, gender and performance style.
What are the biggest inspirations for Vivica C. Coxx’s unique style? My style is inspired by: R & B, high fashion, social justice pioneers like Pauli Murray. Additionally, I build on black plus-size fashion and honor all sizes. I do not define what a woman is supposed to look like.
What is your horoscope? Sagittarius.
What advice do you have for any young Queens trying to make it on their own like you did? My advice is to listen to the feedback that is offered to you and the only way to forge your own path is to negotiate the feedback in a way that allows you to see the hole in the market. Find your own path.
Did you have a Drag Mother? I did not have a Drag Mother, however Vivian Vaughn and Jasmine Brooks were essential with giving me feedback early on in my drag career.
What got you started and keeps you interested in your hosting gig at Unscripted’s YESSS Honey: Queens Who Brunch Series? What about Unscripted is YESSS honey to you? Unscripted is diverse and I never feel uncomfortable in the space. What keeps me interested is the 1960s-LA vibe that projects a cool style and I am excited to use that inspiration in my performance approach. It keeps me humble and excited at the same time; things are bigger than me, but gives me a place to be.
What is your favorite song/singer to impersonate/perform? “And I am Telling You” by Jennifer Hudson.
What was the most epic show you have done? Hosting the Sylvan Esso After Party at Shakori Hills. 6,000 person festival and I was the only Queen there between rappers, DJs and artists.
Who are some of your drag influences? Kennedy Davenport, Latrice Royale and Lady Shablee.
Who is your favorite RuPaul drag race queen? Latrice Royale.
Drag is now become very mainstream; how does this make you feel? And where do you take it from here? I am glad people are valuing the Drag Queen scene. There will always be concern with losing the magic of it as it is a subculture of people who are weird and different and that is not a sacred place for people who have nowhere else to be. My hope is to make sure I continue to make it a place for people who don’t have anywhere else. My goal is to make sure it grows and preserves its magic.
If you had to describe the Durham community in one word, what would that word be? Inclusive.
Tell me about your mission for House of Coxx and helping to shape an inclusive culture in Durham? Everyone who is in the House of Coxx come in as an amateur. Our mission is that drag is accessible and for everyone. If they have a passion, put in your energy and we will help elevate your work.
What is the focus now? What are your plans for House of Coxx in the future? With 15 members, our goal is to ensure we are consistent and are continually making a space for all people. Our plan is to make sure we put on the best Drag Queen show as possible. We want to give the community what they want. We ensure to let them know about consent, inclusion and how they can be the best version of themselves.