Welcome to Seattle Dating Scene, features readers’ thoughts and stories about what it’s like to date in Seattle.
For our next feature, follow this prompt: Have the perfect meet-cute story? Or a great first date? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
By Thursday, March 4, please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit them via Instagram direct message to @dating_in_seattle, and they may be printed in a future edition of The Mix.
In this special column, Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, talks to Seattle drag performer Bertha Baby to get her unique perspective about what it’s like to date in Seattle.
Were you able to catch our Valentine’s Day event earlier this month? Not only was it a fun dating event where I got to see some amazing presentations from Seattleites pitching their single friends, but I also got to meet some great people, including the wonderful drag performer, Bertha Baby.
After seeing a PowerPoint about her, I knew I wanted to learn more about her. While her comedic spirit and overall charming personality blew me away, I had a hunch that sharing her story about dating, drag and life would be not only fun, but educational, to those who may not know much about drag, let alone what the performers are like behind the scenes.
So here is Bertha Baby (aka Sami Tacher) answering questions from myself and some anonymous followers to give us the juicy details.
Tell me about yourself, do you prefer to go by Sami or Bertha?
I use both Sami and Bertha, but Bertha is my stage name. People who know me personally call me Sami, but to people who know me as a performer I ask that they call me Bertha. It helps keep my performance life out of my personal life. Sometimes I would rather people not know who Bertha is behind the hair and makeup. When in drag I use she/her pronouns, out of drag I use they/them pronouns.
Did you always know you wanted to do drag? What’s your story?
I grew up performing, both in theater and choir. I went to college for music education, but it wasn’t until I was in Bellingham for grad school that I came out of the closet and became Bertha! At that point, I had lost most of the relationships in my life. Many of the people who had loved me before didn’t know how to love me now that I was living my life as an out queer person. In my loneliness, I decided to go to the local drag show one night. I remember seeing this absolutely beautiful queen with perfect hair and makeup and my first thought was, “I could never do that.” Then the show started. The first performer walked onstage in a Party City wig and a tutu, kicked their heels off immediately, and didn’t have the best performance. Suddenly I thought, “I think I can do this.” So I got a cheap wig, makeup from the drugstore, shoes and a dress from Goodwill. I went down to the show, asked to perform and they gave me a shot! They asked me to come back the next week and I never stopped! And moving forward, I was able to create relationships that were more genuine because I was able to be myself fully. My support system now includes other drag artists, people who saw me performing and supported me the whole time, and even people from my previous life who decided to love me, even if we have differences in beliefs.
Are you dating? What are you looking for in a partner?
I am single and looking! I’m interested in dating men and I would love to meet someone who I can share my life with fully! I want to find someone who will be my best friend. Someone who wants to have lots of fun. Someone who sees every day as a new adventure!
Have you met any dates doing drag?
I haven’t met anyone in drag who then went on a date with me, but the people who have approached me in drag usually want me in drag for them 24/7. They want to live the full fantasy, but my character is a stage persona — there is a lot more to who I am.
Have you made any romantic connections with others in the drag community?
I have made a few connections through drag. None of them ended up playing out, but it was nice to have someone who understood what drag was! There wasn’t a question about what it meant to date a drag performer, because we were both on the same page!
How do you find dates? Through apps, in person?
I am on all the dating apps they will let me download, but I have had little success from them. I find that when I meet someone in person, they get to see the things that make me special. It’s hard to show that in a selfie, and since the profile picture is all some people look at, it can be hard to convince them to get to know me.
Are there any unique challenges that come from doing drag and dating?
A lot of people assume that people who do drag aren’t secure in their identity, and I’ve encountered a lot of gay men who think, “I don’t want a drag queen, I want a real man.” This is not only inherently transphobic, but also rather condescending. People are who they are, regardless if they perform with makeup on sometimes. I wish people would be more open-minded; you’ll never know if you click with someone unless you meet them first, so don’t turn someone down just because they look or act different than you expected!
Here’s the monthly “Seattle Dating Scene” lineup:
- First week: “Dating Question of the Month” — Readers respond to a dating-related question we’ve posed.
- Second week: “How We Met” — Have the perfect meet cute story? Or a great first date? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
- Third week: “Best Date/Worst Date” — In under 250 words, tell us an anecdote from the best or worst date you’ve been on.
- Fourth week: “Ask Marina” — Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, answers reader questions about dating — or finds a special guest to answer the ones she can’t!