Ambush Magazine is pleased to announce Bootsie DeVille will reign as King Cake Queen XXVIII over the Krewe of Queenateenas.
DeVille comes to the position with a wealth of gay Carnival experience, having served as King Armeinius XXXVIII, Queen Petronius L, Queen Amon-Ra LVII, Captain of Petronius seven times, as well as having served on the Boards of Armeinius, Amon-Ra, and Petronius. DeVille was also Gay Easter Parade Grand Marshal XVIII in 2017.
DeVille, originally from Boston, Massachusetts, credits Mardi Gras with drawing him to New Orleans. He and a friend came down in 1989 to sell masks at the French Market. The following year, he came down for two weeks and in 1991, he stayed a month. DeVille fell in love with not only Carnival, but also the city and he eventually moved to New Orleans permanently. DeVille observes, “A Southern summer is a hell of a lot better than a Northern winter.”
He recalls first doing drag as the Captain of Petronius at the 2008 ball and notes, “I’ve performed at every gay bar in the city, including the Corner Pocket on the 4th of July when I stood on the bar and sang Kate Smith’s “God Bless America.”
An interior designer by profession, DeVille began his career in film and theatre as a set and costume designer. He was graduated from St. Francis Xavier, where he played football on a scholarship, in 1977. He then earned a master’s degree in art engineering from M.I.T. in 1982.
The Krewe of Queenateenas grew out of a Mardi Gras bead toss from the fabled “Ambush Mansion” balcony initiated by Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain in 1987. The following year, Rip and Marsha narrowed down the guest list. Their good friend Jay Loomis, who would eventually reign as King Cake Queen II, dubbed the group “The Krewe of Queenateenas.” The first King Cake Queen was selected in 1994 and has been an annual feature of gay Carnival since then.
The Official King Cake Queen portrait will be unveiled in the coming weeks.