Local drag queen to perform in hometown

In high school, Lacy Rae Rain was a member of the track and football teams at Seymour High School in 1991.

Now, she celebrates receiving her new driver’s license with the word female printed on the card and gets to perform in her hometown for her drag show Friday at On the Rox in Seymour.

Before her transition five years ago, Rain was introduced to the culture of drag when she was 22 at a bar once called Connections in Louisville, Kentucky. In that moment, she fell in love with the lights, the makeup, the costumes and the thought of being an entertainer.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, drag is a type of entertainment where people dress up and perform, often in high stylized ways. The term originated as British theater slang in the 19th century and was used to describe women’s clothing worn by men since women were not allowed to participate in acting roles. Drag also has been known to be a form of self-expression and artistry. Rain says she sees drag as both, in her opinion.

Around the time she discovered drag, she was married to a woman and eventually had a child, the only one that survived out of triplets.

Later on, after the loss of yet another child that only survived three minutes after birth, Lacy and her wife of 10 years at the time decided to go their separate ways. Lacy always knew she wanted to try her hand at drag, but with a child to raise, she decided it was best to put it on the back burner for the time being.

“At the time, drag was kind of a stress reliever for me, being able to go out on stage to perform and have fun,” Rain said.

While Rain identifies as female, there are other drag artists that identify as male and present themselves in feminine ways as part of their performance, giving the name drag queens. This concept shows that people of any gender can be drag queens.

Drag kings are those who wear men’s clothing and perform in stylized forms of masculinity. Many women participate in this style, yet any gender can be a drag king. For Rain, she loved the glam of getting ready and the lights hitting the stage as she performs.

When Rain was first starting out, she was at the bottom of the list. Without the proper drag apparel, such as sequins or fancy wigs, Rain started out performing in regular clothing onstage. Her colleagues told her she needed to improve her costumes and makeup if she was wanting to take her drag to the next level.

With a child to raise and working a full-time job, performing drag became a side hobby until she could gather what she needed to step up her game.

During that time, Rain married for a second time to another woman. They were married for 13 years before separating. Rain got to a point in her life that she was able to perform more and had the opportunity to perform at Play Louisville, a popular drag club in Kentucky.

She performed for Play Louisville for three and a half years before performing at the PRIDE bar and lounge in New Albany. She has been performing there for about two years.

In 2018, Rain competed in a drag pageant at Play Louisville and finished in fifth place for Ms. Play Newcomer. Since then, Rain has built connections within the drag community and now works on producing her own drag shows.

Growing up in a small town, Rain says she loves to see a lot of people she knows and people who know her inside and out.

“When I get to come home when I am not away performing, it’s nice to go out and see the people who know me not just in drag but out of drag as Lacy,” she said.

As a performer, Rain loves the bright lights of the stage and the songs she picks for her performances, but she also gets the opportunity to come off of the stage and mingle with the crowd. Seeing her friends and family in the crowd along with her lights a spark that keeps the night going.

“When I see them singing along with me to the song, that just fuels me up more. When I have Cher playing and the crowd is getting into it, I feel drawn to them. It’s a wonderful experience,” Rain said.

Rain loves performing in her hometown, especially at On the Rox, because it’s a place where she feels like she can be herself. She hopes her drag shows and performance help others of all different backgrounds feel safe and welcome in a place where everyone can be themselves.

“I hope to kind of open the doors for those to come and be who they are at a place that feels like home to me,” she said.

On the Rox welcomed Rain with open arms, and after some discussion, she had the opportunity to host her first drag show there. A few years later, she has the opportunity to perform her fourth drag show on Friday in her hometown of Seymour at On the Rox once again.

When Rain is not performing for her fans or in drag, she likes to spend time with her family at On the Rox playing darts or participating in dart throwing competitions. She also works a full-time job at Rumpke Waste and Disposal.

When she is not performing or working her full-time job, she likes to check out her fellow performers and scout talent to join her in her drag shows.

As her drag career continues, Rain always likes to look back to when she first started naming two people that inspired her to keep going.

“T.B. Sparrow and Rocky Valentino really pushed me hard to improve and how to improve my makeup, wardrobe, performance. Sierra Rain and Davita Divine were there to push me, as well. Also, my family, friends and fans, I wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” Rain said.

Rain hopes the connection she brings to the community never goes away and that anyone who follows a similar path builds off of what she started.

“You only have one life, so you might as well enjoy it. Life is too short to not have fun and be together,” she said.

Rain is preparing for her fourth drag show at On the Rox on Friday where she will be celebrating her 51st birthday. Her last three drag shows were sold out with standing-room-only, and she anticipates her upcoming show could be the same. Her birthday bash drag show will include other drag queens and kings, including “The Fierce Storm” Sierra Rain as host and emcee, Davita Divine, T.B. Sparrow, Winnette Rains and Sapphire Rose, to perform alongside her.

General admission tickets are $12, and showtimes are at 9 and 11 p.m.