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Podcast interview No Milk In My T with Max & Marie

drag king gift to the world kings of joy lgbtqia+ making a difference podcast queer queers of joy the king coach trans Jun 28, 2022

Danica Lani 0:01
Hello and welcome everyone. My name is Danica Lani. I'm the King Coach, Daddy Joy, the Mother of Drag Kings, and this is my podcast. Today I'm really, really excited to welcome Max and Marie from No Milk In My Tea and Kings of Joy. Yay. And the pooch in the background.


Max 0:43
So my name is Max, my pronouns are they/them I am from a Egyptian, Italian, Anglo background with sort of tanned skin. And I run No Milk In My T. And I'm a Drag King, with the lovely and wonderful Danica as my amazing choreographer.

Danica Lani 1:13
Yay, and Marie.

Marie 1:16
So I'm Marie. My pronouns are she/they at the moment. And my drag persona is Monsieur Mitch. I am a white person with curly, see my long hair, but you can't really see, like in transition, basically. I had it shaved, and it's regrowing. And I'm wearing a beret. And a fantastic No Milk shirt. I am in Australia, it's been almost four years. I'm here. I came here for work, and I stayed here for community and because of a relationship. And yeah, I'm from a French background. And I have really enjoyed joining the community here.

Danica Lani 2:14
Amazing. Thank you, you two. And you two, have been instrumental in the growth of the Kings of Joy community in particular. Because you were in group number three, I believe and were especially the group who are like, we want more, we want to continue. And so can you tell us a little bit about what your experience of Kings of Joy has been like the before, during and after? But also including, what was it like to do it with your partner?

Max 2:40
Yeah. So it was - being a king is something that - I was in California in 2012 as a student staying in just out in Berkeley, so in San Francisco, and they had a really amazing King scene. And I think since then, I remember just watching like, incredible kings and thinking man, like I wish there was something like that in Sydney. And I just hadn't really seen anything. Or nothing that stood out to me. I wasn't really I guess that active in the community anyway, so I just didn't really see anything. But I always had it as the kind of background fantasy that I wanted to be a King. So I actually went to Queers of Joy show to see Malaika play. And yeah and I didn't really know much about Queers of Joy before then. But it struck me how kind of wholesome the Queers of Joy show was. And I think my experience of things in the queer community was always more focused around drinking or anything like that, which is not really my scene. But yeah, so I loved I loved the Kings. I saw - well I saw Randy Rootrat and, and Cara and who was third?

Danica Lani 4:08

Max 4:09
Camilla. Yes.

Danica Lani 4:10
Yes, Monty. Yeah.

Max 4:12
The song was the Bruno Mars song. I can't remember what it's called.

Danica Lani 4:17
The funky one.

Max 4:19
Uptown Funk. Yeah, it was so good. I loved it so much. And I remember the announcement at the end to come up to you, Danica, to be a King. And I was hanging - if you remember this Marie, I was hanging back thinking Marie, I really want to do this.

Marie 4:35
I know

Max 4:36
But I'm terrified. And I don't want to approach that amazing looking human over there. And you were in conversation with someone else at the time and I did not want to interrupt you.

Danica Lani 4:46
Very convenient.

Max 4:48
Ha, ha, ha!

Marie 4:48
Well, I remember having in conversation with someone who then also signed up to be a King.

Max 4:54

Marie 4:55
And ended up in our group. So I remember like, telling you Yeah, go for it. And thinking inside, maybe I would do it? I'm not sure. Is there a reason I would? Yeah. And it was pretty tempting. But also, you know, like, Can I dance? I've liked dance, but I'm also not like, super confident. I'm an introvert. So like,

Max 5:17
Me too.

Marie 5:17
I'm attracted to it. And it can be very wholesome to be able to act or dance. But like, it's that step to say, I'm gonna do it. That is not that easy. Yeah, and so, on my side, I had no idea Drag Kings were existing. This was the first Queers of Joy I attended. I attended because I came with Max. And I had never really been part of the queer community. Well, I mean, I had throughout the years, but I never really entered and remained in a community. And that's really, from the first day. So from the first Queers of Joy, I've really found the space to be quite varied. There were, you know, very different people. But there was still that vibe that everything was welcome. It was for fun, but it was also like really just received by everyone. Full of emotions, like so many emotions. All the acts were like, there was fun. And then there was someone talking about their story. And it was like bringing tears. Yeah, so it was really great. Same thing as Max. Not being super comfortable around, like, huge group, very loud people. And there's no judgement there. It's just me. I had some anxiety around that. A lot of anxieties as I do. And I ended up like, at the end of the show, I just found Wow, okay, so this is a community that I find fairly easy to navigate. Yeah. And that was the start for me. And then Max signed up. And I thought, Okay. I want to try.

Max 7:14
Well, I remember Danica turned to you Marie and said, And what about you?

Danica Lani 7:19
I remember that, too. I remember very clearly.

Marie 7:23
Well, you know, in my head, it was like, I might say, me too, but otherwise, it will just take a question. And it sounded like, a cool thing to do.

Max 7:33
Yeah. And then just the whole the other kings who we were with - Sally and Wern were just so great to be with. And the classes. And I remember, we were both going through a bit of a tough time at work at the time, and it was always such light to go there. And it was so much fun, your classes and your... They're somehow like, - I am not a dancer, I have no not been ever and I don't. And I just I find your approach just so like so chilled, but also really fun and engaging. And I actually I want to learn more. And it's really - I've just not had that experience. And it's yeah, and it's creative. And it's yeah, it's just a really light filled experience. Or it definitely has been, you know, to be to be a King on the journey that you've created for everyone, Danica. So, yeah, and the, you know, to be on stage. Also, like my sister's a performer. I have never been ever. And yeah, so it's been interesting to kind of connect with that. And I feel kind of like I have that in me now. Just being a King, which is a whole new thing for me. And it's yeah, it's quite an impactful thing for me. And then yeah, just doing that with Marie. And I think we were the first of the Kings of Joy, who have actually kissed on stage. I think we were the first.

Marie 9:20
Yeah, we needed to. It's us!

Max 9:23
Yeah, but it was so much fun to create that as well. And to have our other Kings on stage with us. It was just such a fun song. And I had my friends with me. My friends who have been my closest friends since I was eight years old saw me on stage and like they were blown away and not at all what they'd ever seen of me. So yeah, it's just it's been an incredible experience. And then we obviously just wanted to keep going.

Danica Lani 9:52
Yes, yes. And that has been fantastic. Marie, you sharing about the different kind of levels of expression and community. Can you talk a bit about that?

Marie 10:04
Yeah. Well, I just found so as I said, I had no intention. Like, I just had no idea that it was possible to be a Drag King. And then I, you know, there were several moments where I was like, of course, there are Drag Kings, if they are Drag Queens. And then I was like, so what does it mean about my perception? What does it mean about society? Oh, my God, like, once again, I went into that thought process of why are Drag Queens more known than Drag Kings, what that would mean. And then came the moment where you ask every person who signs up to try and think of a persona. And you explain of the different ways to come up with a personality. I remember you were saying it might be something like that you have in you and like, it's a part of you, and you want to incarnate that. Or it might be like, kind of a funny part, or like a clown act or something like that. And I remember thinking, oh, I want to be sexy. And I want to have like that, you know, aura, magnetic and so on. And then that's not at all what came out. Lol. And I think it's because - there has been that ground level. As Max was saying, we were really went through - we were both working together last year somewhere. And it was a really hard time. So I think it did affect even our life together outside of work. It was very heavy. And then I found that, yeah, I needed that fun. And the space made me you know, gave me that. And so for me, there's been one level of fun. And then there's another deeper level. That is I've ended up having a persona that is sleazy, and, like just laughable, really grotesque sometimes. And I think it's just cathartic. So I've tried both, but I think I've ended up in that character. Because I'm almost wanting to show like or yeah, express/show the public, 'Well, this is what you know, a lot of cis straight white guys do.' This is what, you know, I and many people have had to face and like some behaviors that are just, you know, that create a lot of yeah, a lot of emotions. And so it's like, almost look and like if you laugh. I want the public to know also, well, this is what this is what you do. Cis straight guy. This is what like, and so there's different kinds of laugh between people who I guess can laugh because they recognize like, there's that connection of Oh, yeah, gosh., And then there are other people who would laugh because, well, they find it laughable. But then if you dig deeper, maybe you do this as well? Anyway, I'm not expecting any specific change, but I find it really cathartic to do it and try to show or give a mirror of what toxic masculinity and masculinity can be.

Danica Lani 10:04
Yeah, I love that. I love that idea about yeah, having a mirror. Mirroring back to human beings, our humanity, you know. The collective humanity and specifically in the realm of masculinity. So..

Marie 13:54
It's interesting that it wasn't planned. But I needed to express apparently. I'll do the sexy parts later.

Danica Lani 14:04
I think he managed to be quite sexy anyway, on stage, there you go. So. It's all worked out.

Marie 14:11
The levels. Several layers.

Danica Lani 14:13
The levels. The layers. Amazing. One of the other things I've found really inspiring about being around you two, is the things that you're up to in life and No Milk In My T has been such an inspiring project Max that you've you know, created. And Marie you've been instrumental in having that be really successful. So do you want to tell us a little bit about your No Milk In My T?

Max 14:38
Yeah, for sure. Well it started with my need for top surgery. It was really a - it was just a gamble, something that I wanted to do because I wanted. It just seemed like creative fun to me to come up with this idea. I love T shirts. So it just it started as something pretty local to my you know, friends and family at the time. And I kind of got to a $5,000 mark. So halfway from my goal, and which was incredible for me. Then I was, you know, I was already - that already had blown up my expectations, so I was really happy. But I was also hoping I kind of I didn't know where else to go with it and the community that I've developed through -in large part through Queers of Joy, through you, Danica and Chris. And the sort of extensions beyond that have really allowed it to get to where it is. So just through the community. And then because I did develop that, and I felt like I developed a lot of relationships with a lot of people, it allowed me to do what I kind of always wanted to do with it, which was to then pass it on to someone else. Because I had a kind of big enough following where the brand had already had a little bit of an establishment. So I could use it and use the, you know, the audience that I had for me, and then just replicate it for the next person. And that's what No Milk has become. It's become a brand and a sort of a design and an image to attach to people's fundraisers so that they can raise the money they need for gender affirming care. Because as we know, it's super expensive. And also, there's a social element in that for, you know, at least for me. I think it definitely brings people together. And in my experience the brand has brought people together. And I think that's also sorely needed in the the trans and gender diverse community. So that's the other the other part of what we kind of hoped to do. And yeah, I guess the community connections is a huge part. And for me, the most rewarding part of it has always been that connection with the community. So yeah, that's kind of a bit of a snapshot.

Danica Lani 17:17
Love it. I love it. And one of the things I love about the community that has grown with Queers of Joy, and Kings of Joy, and No Milk in My T, like has been how we can support each other and be a community where we uplift each other. You know, that's been a really important thing, and, you know, having you at Queers of Joy with the table and selling the T shirts, and you know. It's just brought a whole other element of joy to the Queers of Joy community.

Marie 17:48
It was also a really great, like, way to propel. But also to meet people.

Max 17:56
Yeah definitely. We've met so many people.

Marie 17:58
With the table we weren't part of the public. We were a bit special.

Danica Lani 18:04
That's right. VIP.

Marie 18:07
So that was yeah, no, it was really cool.

Max 18:09
Yeah. Yeah.

Danica Lani 18:11
Amazing. Amazing.

Max 18:13
Because it was all online before that. So yeah, a really cool opportunity.

Danica Lani 18:19
Yeah, having that in person presence. So good. And tell us about the future of No Milk In My T. What's coming up?

Max 18:28
So we have an exciting launch coming up this Tuesday, the 28th of June, 7-9 pm at Earl's Juke Joint in Newtown. If you head to No Milk In My T on Insta, you can sign up when you register your attendance. But it's free. So just want to have you there. We will be announcing the third No Milk champion. So the third fundraiser. We've been keeping it a secret up until now. So we'll be introducing them to the crowd which is super exciting. And we'll also be revealing or the new person will be revealing their design.

Danica Lani 19:14
I have to say we are so excited to find out who the reveal is. And I was in the car driving home with Becks aka Jim Junkie the other day and we were like, "Okay, are we gonna place bets?" "Who do you think it is?" "Who do you think it is?" So we are talking about it.

Marie 19:30
We should have done a bet!

Max 19:35
Go to the fundraiser.

Danica Lani 19:36
Yeah, guess who the next person will be? So yeah, we're putting bets down. You know, we're putting our guesses in and can't wait. Can't wait to be there on Tuesday. So yeah, really looking forward to that.

Max 19:50
Yeah, me too. And a catch up with Malaika as well which will be really great. And just having the - it's the first time we've really been able to do something in person. So I'm very excited. And because the brand to me is very much about you know, it's zooming in on people and, you know, their particular story and that's what I love about it. It's not a big project. It's really focused on one person at a time. And I think just having a nice catch up with Malaika and then handing over and sort of introducing the new person will be super exciting. So and of course Jim Junkie's going to be performing which I'm so excited for. And Malaika, of course, is going to be singing with their absolutely adorable, beautiful voice. Which everyone needs to hear so.

Danica Lani 20:45

Max 20:46

Danica Lani 20:48
Awoman, aperson, ahuman. Yes, well, I acknowledge you both for being the type of humans that have a generous heart that just grows bigger and bigger and bigger, the more that you contribute to people. And I know that at the heart of No Milk In My T is that connection with community. It's about empowering people and really, you know, honoring people and bringing as much kind of respect and support to people and their stories and their gender journey as well. And so congratulations on everything that you're accomplishing. I can't wait to see what else is going to be accomplished in the future.

Max 21:28
Thank you, Danica.

Marie 21:29

Max 21:29
It's been through no small part, you know, this has grown through your support and your guidance as well. Your social media guidance as well.

Danica Lani 21:37
You're welcome.

Max 21:40
Yeah, so yeah. So genuinely, thank you for the diverse impact you've had on on my life and our life. So, in many ways,

Danica Lani 21:55
Yes. It matters to me that our Kings thrive.

Max 21:59
Yes, I know it does. And we do. We do thrive. And we will continue to.

Marie 22:05
Yes, we will.

Max 22:06
Yeah, bringing on more people.

Danica Lani 22:09
Awesome. Thanks so much for being here tonight you two. Lots of love, speak to you soon.


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