This week we are heading to the northern Scottish city of Aberdeen for some old school drag glamour.
We are talking to none other than the mama of Aberdeen’s drag scene, Romy Deepcheeks, a queen who has been pioneering the artform in the city since the early 00s.
We caught up to talk about the scene, and discuss venues including Club 2000, Castro’s and Foundation, but, in typical Lost Spaces style, we also talk about a whole host of tangentially related things, including Romy’s coming out relatively late in life at 28, being ex-communicated by the Mormon church, hooking up with guys whilst in drag, and I get to ask a bunch of ignorant sounding questions about the fine art of tucking!
Find out more about Romy by following her on Instagram
Romy Deepcheeks 00:00
Awesome. I’ve got to ask you, I’m like what, like still sleeping like the night before. I just took this magazine and fucking threw it across the room. And she’s like, Why the fuck is this magazine? Because I you gave us this magazine. I’m like, I bought it for the Gary Barlow article. That’s all I bought it for.
K Anderson 00:20
Hello, my name is K Anderson and you are listening to lost spaces. The podcast that mourns the death of queer nightlife. Every episode I talk to a different person about a venue from their past, the memories they’re created there and the people that they used to know. This week we are heading to the northern Scottish city of Aberdeen for some old school drag glamour. We are talking to none other than the mama of Aberdeen’s drag scene Romy Deepcheeks, a queen who has been pioneering the art form in the city since the early noughties. We caught up to talk about the scene and discuss lost spaces including club 2000 Castro’s and foundation. But in typical la spaces style, and we also talk about a whole host of tangentially related things, including Rumi’s, coming out relatively late in life at 28 being excommunicated by the Mormon Church, hooking up with men while student drag. And as a bonus, I get to ask a bunch of really ignorant sounding questions about the fine art of tacking.
Romy Deepcheeks 02:03
Either when I’m Stephen, when I’m obviously as a bloke over time, I’m pretty much the same way as I am now. Sort of like what is in your face, but like I speak to everybody, we have a laugh. I live as always, I had double entendre with evidence to speak about and that kind of stuff, which is kind of why I do when I’m doing it anyway. I don’t put on like a different voice just because I’m rolling me I just how I speak anyway. I mean, so how you how you see me on camera does now is how roomy just is.
K Anderson 02:34
But are you wearing heels though? I’m not wearing heels just now. I do apologise. I’m not wearing heels. Oh, you didn’t go to all that effort?
Romy Deepcheeks 02:42
Not just I’m sitting down. I have talked to though even though you can’t see I haven’t done the whole fucking thing. Why? Just because just because when I do drag, I just like to do it properly.
K Anderson 02:57
Does it like help you get into their minds? helps I get into the character. But like, doesn’t it? I mean, okay, and I know this is a really tedious thing for you to discuss, but like, doesn’t hurt.
Romy Deepcheeks 03:11
Oh, really? Really? I can’t be I’ve been I’ve been tucked for Muslims. I mean, if I if you do like I’ve done pride before. I’ve seen we’ve been talking for like 1314 hours.
K Anderson 03:23
And so when you’re touched you can’t pay
Romy Deepcheeks 03:25
depends what you’re wearing. Like some queens okay?
K Anderson 03:29
Because it Okay, just to make sure that I’m not like totally making this up. So you poke your balls up inside you
Romy Deepcheeks 03:35
whether whether for the for the drop down, and then you pull the penis, like, between your legs. Yeah, right between your legs as far as as far as you can. Okay, so
K Anderson 03:45
this this thing like pushing it up. I think it’s one of those things like maybe it just sounds like it’s gonna really hurt and I just have this kind of physical response. It doesn’t hurt at all. It doesn’t it doesn’t it doesn’t hurt at all. Like how did how do you know that you’re pushing it in a direction?
Romy Deepcheeks 04:03
Kind of like well, if you pull your deck back if you pull your deck without pushing your balls up your balls kind of like naturally go back to back up to where they should anyway.
K Anderson 04:12
Oh really? Yes. If you like I need to spend more time with my balls.
Romy Deepcheeks 04:18
So when you come off of this call if you like pull your dick, put your dick between your legs, your the Gemini on Wait, wait.
K Anderson 04:26
Sure, am I doing this right?
Romy Deepcheeks 04:29
So it’s not uncomfortable. I’m sitting down. I’m like sitting on my deck just now. Because obviously between my legs it’s not you can feel it but it’s not uncomfortable or anything as the first couple of times Yeah, probably was but as long as you tuck away properly, you didn’t have like like any bits of like, for skin like hanging between it depends what do you use, because some queens will use that the whole duct tape thing. I don’t use duct tape. I particularly use duct tape once I was like that is fucking so I’m not using that again. So I just I tuck and I just use a pair of really tight speedups keep everything in. And
K Anderson 05:04
okay, and then so when you’re done and yeah, like, your cock flaps back out, does everything just naturally descend? Or is it does it take a few hours? No, it just descend straight away. Oh, okay,
Romy Deepcheeks 05:16
I guess if I if I worked in the bar on a Saturday night. Okay, don’t drink loads and loads and loads, I don’t need to go to the toilet. Yeah, because it depends on what you’re wearing. You might have to take all your clothes off to go for a pass. there if you’re wearing like a full body suit, and then you’ve got to think of the body suit. And then you got on like your tights and underneath the ties, you’ve got your stuff as keeping the tucked away. So what I’ve talked to I’ve gotten a pair of speedos, which keeps everything tucked away nice and neatly. On top of that I’ve got like a pair of Spanx to myself about shape. Then on top of that, I’ve got two pairs of tights. And on top of the tights, I’ve got like a parent lady’s knickers on like a lot of fun or something. So there’s five layers there keeping it all in. So So after like a slaps after like five or six hours in the bar, by the time we go upstairs like you do need to get the toilet. But like, you know, it’d be never like when you see a toilet, like you need to go even easily even more. Yeah, I got my grade he’s talking about
K Anderson 06:16
like, Okay, so my like, pre stage, like pre going on stage thing is like, well, whenever I’m nervous, it’s just like, I just pay you a lot. Yeah, I guess that’s not your thing, then?
Romy Deepcheeks 06:27
No, not at all. I think this is I’m used to doing it because I if I know I’m going to be working. Like why, for example, if I’m getting ready to go to the bar, how about sitting like drink all night, I just had like a small glass of juice and just like sip on it. So I haven’t got a full bladder by the time I go to the bar. But that I always make sure that while I’m getting ready if I do need to go to the toilet, by holding for as long as I possibly can. The last thing I do before I start Takeda anything on it is go for a PE and that’s me sort of an entire night. I very very very, very rarely have to go to a toilet break when I’m working. Just cuz I don’t need to go.
K Anderson 07:03
And have you ever considered because you’re wearing lots of layers anyway, just getting like some nappies.
Romy Deepcheeks 07:09
Some nappies. I never thought about that update. That’s not my thing there.
K Anderson 07:17
I mean, you know, it could change the act. I’m just saying, I’m just putting it out there. And so so 20 years ago, is when you started drag, shall we go back in time? To that to that moment?
Romy Deepcheeks 07:31
That’s no problem. What inspired you? Well, I didn’t come this is, this can be quite a long story to shut off your shotgun. Okay, so I didn’t I didn’t come out. I was 28. I was a late comer out I because I was married. And that’s the official term come around her. Well, this has been coming out. Yeah, that just needs to coming coming. Yeah, come on out. I just make it up as my official term that didn’t have clause 28. And the first boyfriend that I had, after the marriage split up, he took me to funny girls in black pole.
K Anderson 08:07
Which is a big like, it’s like an ongoing drag show. Yeah.
Romy Deepcheeks 08:12
Yeah, but I think it I think it runs six nights a week. I think it has been going for years and years and years. So he took me there this night, because if you can, you’re gonna love it, you’re going to love it. I knew I would love it. But I had no intention of ever doing it. You know, I mean, so I went in and I was just in awe of like, all the drag queens, they were like, they’re so beautiful. And like the jewellery and the hair and the makeup like all this. They’re pretty, they’re so pretty. And so a couple of months later, I went back to funny girls with one or not with my boyfriend, but with just a friend at the time. And I’m like, hey, let’s get funny girls and let’s just like buy some really cheap clothes and like a couple of cheat words and just like go and drag for one night only just like to get in the swing of things.
K Anderson 08:53
What was your friend’s response? And were they like, Oh, okay. Oh,
Romy Deepcheeks 08:57
yeah, yeah, he was totally Yeah, he was totally up for it as well. Yeah, he totally wanted to do it. He was up right no problem. So we went out and we bought like proper like the big platform heels. I bought my very first dress which I still have to this day, although whereby I keep I keep it for sentimental reasons. And we bought really cheap shit. Your wife’s like 15 quid, you know, I mean, think of that look brilliant. Went we went to like a local hairdresser and black poor black communities and when it’s vegan, they’re like, well, not very much we’ll do our best only cost you 15 quid for dinner they
K Anderson 09:30
could do this. We waited funny girls, and wait before so before we get there before we get to funny girls. What was that like? And I’m assuming you were in a bed and breakfast. You put the drag on for the first time? Yeah, like how did that make you feel?
Romy Deepcheeks 09:46
It was kind of like funny to begin with. Because we look at because we just looked like awful on the first night. You know, I mean, because I never done drugs before. I’d never. We haven’t been sure how to do makeup or all that kind of stuff and I went I went out with no tits in that night I was like flat chested and however he’d
K Anderson 10:05
take like some socks and just shove him in.
Romy Deepcheeks 10:07
No I just mean I looked I thought it looked amazing on that night and I’ve got a picture from that night and I didn’t look amazing by thought I looked amazing. I just went it’s funny girls that went to funny cuz I’m like, hey look at me everybody because obviously I’ve kind of bar it was even though we look shit people were still like, Oh, yeah, you look amazing. You look so to the to the funny girls who are working, who were off duty that night. They weren’t working. They were dressed as guys and said to me and my friends. The dresses are good. The heels are good. The wigs Ain’t that good. Your makeups pretty shit. come to our house tomorrow and we’ll show you how to do it properly. So they gave us our dress times we met up with them the following day. And they did with they they did our makeup for us. Let us borrow a couple of their wigs. We kept the same dresses have the same heels because they were fine. We actually went out with test this night as well. And the attention we got we went out on the second night was even better than the first night because we looked so much better. Wow.
K Anderson 11:05
That’s so kind you had like fairy godmothers.
Romy Deepcheeks 11:08
Yeah, they were really nice. I mean, the look they gave us that is not the look I use now but it was still the other time it was like yeah, loved it. So we came back to Aberdeen. The drag scene here was completely an utterly non existent. So again, we were like, let’s go into it. Let’s go out on Saturday night in Aberdeen, like just for a laugh, I just want to because it never gets done. So we went out no one had a we were quite a well known other scene back there. But obviously as guys, we went into the club, everyone’s like, the fuckers didn’t know who we were. So that, of course when they realised who we were. And after that we got such a good reception from them. I’ve just done it ever since I just thought I just I just loved the whole getting dressed up by buying new outfits. And so that was like, what, 20 years ago the guy who did it with me then doesn’t do it. Now he right we kind of like he’s moved away since. But yeah, so that was the very first time I did it,
K Anderson 12:05
too. Was it just like all systems go like this is this is why I want to do or what were their moments of like, do I should I can I?
Romy Deepcheeks 12:13
Oh no, I want to do it. Because as I said when I was like when I was very, very small, like maybe three, four years old when I went back to nursery school. There was dressing up boxes, a nursery school, there was a boys corner and there was the girls call. And of course all the boys that had the cowboys and Indians and that kind of stuff. And the girls had like the Nadir wag the dog tutus that they thought the dressing table like brush your long hair and everything that everyday my mom came and picked me up the teachers. Well, my mom would be like, you know, where Steven? Is it the girls kind of brushing his hair. So it kind of felt like oh my god, I can actually like get dressed up and they were looking me together. I think I’m a brilliant because it’s something I’d always kind of wanted to do. But then of course the whole marriage was a different that was a different story. So I couldn’t do it then. Yeah, it was a sneak I used to sneak on her like wedding dress every now and then see what it looked like on me.
K Anderson 13:09
So, yeah, so we able to talk about your marriage then? Yeah, yeah, of course. Of course. So why? Like what happened?
Romy Deepcheeks 13:19
Why did they get married? Yeah. Well, well, I was a teenager in the 1980s sort of late 80s You know, it was very, very different back then. I was raised in quite a religious had quite religious upbringing. My mom and dad are Mormons. And so I was brought up in the Mormon faith up until I was like 16. So they have they have certain teachings, they encourage you to get married and I have a family and all that kind of stuff. And then I got my first part time job and kind of like fell away because I all this stuff. Do I drink that the weekend there was smoking so I kind of like started doing that and everything. still lived at home obviously my parents they weren’t happy but you know, they were happy that I was wasn’t bringing me any harm to myself so to speak. And then I met the girl that I married because she was actually my boss, the wimpy where I worked when she was like my sis Yeah, it was when Pete and I changed to Burger King like in the early 90s I kind of worked for both but yeah, that’s what we bet she was my she was my boss and wimpy and back then it was like oh my god she’s 21 year new 16 years old. That’s a five year deferred. There’s nothing these days, but back then because I was going out with like one of the manager that like oh my gosh, he was gonna one of managers Why is he doing that? And she was all and she was married at the time to somebody else and we started going out with each other. So it kind of got a bit Yeah, kind of got a bit hard as like she’s my first husband and then me and her got together and there was like, element of fear walking down the street because her husband at the time was like after me in that That kind of stuff. But all turned out okay, Nick, because we eventually got married after five years of being together. I got married was 21. So that was fine. And the marriage is fine. We have got two, two daughters out of it. So I’ve got 26 year old. I’ve got 24 year olds. And they both they both live here on average aid. So then you were married for like, seven, seven years, seven years out from 21 to 28.
K Anderson 15:24
How did they end? Was it just that you realised? Well, I
Romy Deepcheeks 15:28
kind of realised that was guys that I really liked. And so we were having kind of like problems at any way, just like with other things, she was like a workaholic. And she was no, he was never over the kids, that kind of stuff. And so if there was ever an opportunity, like a night out somewhere, maybe like a staff night out of that collecting, I would always go because it gave me an ideal opportunity to go like to the gay club, and that’s why I wanted to go I wanted to explore that side of things. And then I was getting to the point because I wasn’t really unfaithful to her until like, like the last three months of our marriage. Up until then, for the whole seven years, we were married, I wasn’t unfaithful to her at all. I like, tried to fight the feelings. And then as I say, the last three months I was like, fuck this, I’m not doing this anymore. So she found out because she went snooping in some of my blogging and she found things which she wasn’t happy with.
K Anderson 16:27
publications were they toys were they love letter,
Romy Deepcheeks 16:32
toys. All it was was a copy of attitude magazine. All it was and she found it cuz I bought I bought it and then I hit it like the bar on my chest to Georgia, she won’t find you
K Anderson 16:41
and bought it for the articles right off
Romy Deepcheeks 16:45
the bat. I actually remembered the issue that I bought was actually an interview with Gary Barlow when he was running the front page. So when she found this magazine, which I didn’t know, because I was working, then he found the one to the following morning. I kind of like coming to work from late the night before. And she put the kids off the childminder. And I’ve got to ask you, and I’m like, what, what, like still sleeping for the night before I just took this magazine and fucking threw it across the room. And just like by the fact magazine, because I you gave us this magazine. I’m like, I only bought it for the Gary Barlow article. That’s all I bought it for. Because you then ripped out the Gary Barlow pages and she threw them out because it’s a fucking Gary Barlow interview. I can’t know what happened with a magazine like Rico remember that that’s how she found out because she was like she founded by my jaw.
K Anderson 17:36
And this is Gary Barlow, a hill that you’re prepared to die. I didn’t even like it. Okay, for you.
Romy Deepcheeks 17:47
I was getting when she found that I was getting to the stage was like, I need to tell her because I’d been like had been with a couple. I think it’d be one guy at this point. But there was another guy who was interested. And I’m like, I’m not gonna go with you or be your partner until I’ve told her what’s going on. So it was getting to the stage that was going to have to happen. And then of course, she beat me to when she found the bloody magazine. And from there kind of went What didn’t go down went downhill for her but and go downhill for me. I was having quite a lot of fun.
K Anderson 18:15
So like so then you did have that conversation because of that magazine. It wasn’t just like, No, no, no, no, don’t be silly. And then you repressed it for a while longer.
Romy Deepcheeks 18:22
I did kind of deny it. And I did. I made up some stupid things. But because I’ve been having like, I’ve had like, a couple of staff nights out. Well, that’s what I said and a hand come home a couple of nights. I guess. I think I think she got like sensitive. I wasn’t like I was like, anxious about something because I knew I was gonna have to tell her but I thought I did quite well. But obviously I wasn’t I did that well, because she knew there was something wrong. And then when she found that magazine, she was like, Yeah,
K Anderson 18:52
it’s a funny thing. Isn’t there like to tip to not have to come out and say it come out to know how to come out and say, yeah, you kind of lay these clues subconsciously. Certainly. So what was the fallout of that? Like?
Romy Deepcheeks 19:11
I stated for the month after that, she was kind of like hoping it was just like a phase I was going through and it’s like, I’m 20 a phase love. Eight of eight is what I want. But it stayed for another month or so whether in the home which we had together. And then she could obviously see that I wasn’t going to change my mind. I didn’t want to stay with her. So I had to move back to my folks house for just a few months until I got my own place and everything.
K Anderson 19:38
What was it like then moving back into your parents house and what was their reaction?
Romy Deepcheeks 19:44
It was it was it was fine. I mean, they supported anything that I obviously settled dead. But they were still Mormons at this point as well. I mean, so I always thought I’m warming at this point as well. And also emphasis on ology not to be a homer sex. If you’re a Mormon, so then I had to go through the whole process of going to recall our Bishop and speaking to him and letting him know how to go through a whole excommunication process. I was in love. So I like banished from the church, that’d be
K Anderson 20:14
a process. It’s not just like you’re you’re excommunicated. See ya, like you have to fill in forms,
Romy Deepcheeks 20:19
that they take that it’s not some fill in for this much printed form that they hold, like, it’s what they call like a church court. And they have like all these people here to have, like, the head of the Mormon Church, who was the head of the Mormon Church in Aberdeen at that time, and he kind of like, asked you questions, they have like six guys speaking for you and six guys speaking against you. And then you’ve got to, like stand up, like say, like how you’re feeling and like what you’re doing there. So they give you challenges and they give you like stuff without the Bible, they read the stuff how the Bible, you’ll find your answer from God and blah, blah, blah, I’m like, I work I’m awesome. And God, I’m 28 is what I want to do, I’m not gonna like, and they gave me a deadline as well. They’re like, they will give you like two weeks to do all of this. And if you come back to the two weeks time, when you still know doing what you’re doing, that’ll be the end of your watershed. So those two weeks ended.
K Anderson 21:12
And so these like the six guys and the six guys, was it like a debate they were for and against?
Romy Deepcheeks 21:18
It’s like, it’s what they call it the Yeah, kind of Yeah, kind of, and then I could take people in with me to speak like for me as well. So like, my dad came in with me. And my sister came in with me as well my younger sister. I mean, my dad never had, I was closer to the to my mom than I was to my dad’s I cuz I never even when I was younger, I never liked the rough and tumble. I didn’t like the things like the football and the rugby and any sporty things or physical things, and my dad loved all that sort of stuff. And I just wouldn’t do it with him doing it. You know, I mean, when he said when he came into sort of like speak for me, uh, he referred back to my child to say the like, you know, Steve was trying to do the right thing here There has always been had like such a sensitive nature be quite a gentle little lad. And you know, so coming this hasn’t really come as a surprise to us. And then he broke down in tears like in front of all the guys that were there because I was oh my god, were you crying for heat, he got quite emotional as well. And then my sister she started crying because my dad started crying that I was crying because they were crying. Because like the moment like the moment side of things was like, I would never ever go back. I wouldn’t be allowed to go back there is still a couple of there is a few of the things which they’ve teams that I believe in like the quite a family orientated religion, and like my family’s important in my family still important to me now. So there’s a couple of things which I would miss and it was such a big part of my life for such a long time. That’s why the three of us were so emotional. Because I got married because when I got married I got married in the Mormon church as well and then my wife at the time she also joined it became a more mature like one big happy Mormon family for a very short time. Anyway for a short time though,
K Anderson 23:04
so and then what was your speech then? What about the church? Were you just like listen, I just want to suck dick let me go Oh, God. Yeah, well, I always did wasn’t quite as bright as that. I mean, you want to save time
Romy Deepcheeks 23:19
when you have these church like you don’t have to go to represent represent yourself but they will still go ahead and do it anyway. And a lot of people there are a lot of people’s example to commit if you commit adultery you will get through it the more maturity Do you with this there’s a few things you can do to get to the Mormon church and some folks don’t turn up and I’m like, fuck you I’m not gonna sit there like what I’m not then let you guys speak about maybes I’m gonna go and I’m going to speak for myself and let you know how I feel and what I’m going to be doing and
K Anderson 23:45
so if you choose if you chose not to go and they held the court without you would they then like send you like minutes from the meeting?
Romy Deepcheeks 23:56
There was saying that they wouldn’t send you that but they wouldn’t say the minutes as such but they’ll send you a letter saying that we held the court in your in your absence this decision that was made and you now now like excommunicated are no longer a member of the church. I think I’ve got the latter somewhere I think if we’re just keep for that kind of stylistic reasons, sort of say what like,
K Anderson 24:15
communicating you because you are above there.
Wow. That’s so formal.
Romy Deepcheeks 24:24
I know very formal, very formal. My mum and dad are still moments now they joined in 1971 when I was I was literally just been balling their joints they’ve been moments for like 50 years and so what does that mean then for your relationship with your parents? I was absolutely fine This doesn’t hasn’t hindered us whatsoever because even going back 20 years when i when i when i did come out there made it very clear right play then it doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, you know, you’re still just love. Yeah, sir.
I’m not looking at me now. Look at me now. Are you sure about that?
K Anderson 25:00
So let’s then go back to drag in your first time in drag. Okay, so you were saying that there was just like no drag scene in Aberdeen at that time. Yeah. And so then was there a stigma around being a drag queen
Romy Deepcheeks 25:15
not really was more more a fascination from because that’s it because there was no one doing it in Aberdeen at all the whole club we’re just like fascinated with it does what I’ve been I’ve got all my gear on anyway I’m I’m six foot two without any heels on anyway. So when I wear my five foot five inch heels, my massive hair from the top of my head down to the floor, I’m about seven foot two. So this big fucking huge query that I walked around so it was more of a fight it was a stigma was more a fascination and like because first of all the like, get the folks that I might get.
K Anderson 25:48
Yeah, that must have been really weird, like the way that people suddenly interact with you in a very different way. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. What um, what happened on that first night then when you went out? Were you just like the belle of the ball?
Romy Deepcheeks 26:05
Oh, yeah, come I’ve still got that I’m sure I’ve still got still got pictures. I’ve got stuck with the outfits and everything. I wouldn’t wear them now but I just like keeping for stylistic reasons. But when I went out with the first property we don’t we obviously had our little moonlight session over the drag queens in Blackpool by that training had a bit more of a better idea how to do the makeup. We still weren’t we still look for t shirts, even though we looked better than we did the first night.
K Anderson 26:29
It’s a rite of passage. You have to have like, a few months of being crunchy. Yeah, absolutely. And then how quickly did you go from just wandering around the club to performing
Romy Deepcheeks 26:41
that was all a good couple of years because I was I was just literally just going out on a Friday and Saturday night this getting dragged out but wasn’t earning money. I wasn’t you know, wasn’t working dude. I just wanted to go out because I just wanted to get glammed up. So I’d go out every weekend and that’s how my collection of clothes started building up. I started getting wigs which are a little bit better. I had a friend with a style before me wherever I was getting I was getting to look better or doing it so wasn’t till one day with wins the club one night in there did I still do a shark type in the next weekend and the owner came up to me He’s like, we need a host. So to do this Shark Tank, he goes there you sign up the door, you can hand out the note.
K Anderson 27:22
What’s shag tag, a shag tag. If you’ve never heard of a shot tag, I shot target should I be ashamed of myself.
Romy Deepcheeks 27:32
A shock tag is when like you’re going into the club. And as each person comes to the club, you give them a number. I was at like a traffic
K Anderson 27:40
light kind of party.
Romy Deepcheeks 27:43
I guess so. So if you see the guy have the number of the number you like you would like send him a message or they would have like a big notice board on the back of the back of a dance floor. So if you saw say you like number 14, you would go and leave a message for number 14 on the notice board and then there then you would go and check the notes. Try and find the product you’d like the message for you. So it’s like lo fi grinder. Yeah, basically Yeah. Just random bits of paper. So I did that was so that was the first night that I earned money doing it. And then it was doing Oh for the shag tag I was just kind of glitches in the door like just welcoming people just handed the numbers I wasn’t I wasn’t performing a style I wasn’t singing the performer and stuff like that. Well I didn’t really do that in the early days you weren’t like getting the
K Anderson 28:31
message from the board and like going and finding number 10 and being like number 15 left you this message.
Romy Deepcheeks 28:37
No, no, I’ll do that for them today. I probably would do that now but it was my It was my very first night and I was although I loved getting dressed up I was kind of like I couldn’t get paid for it doing some of that I like doing I was actually quite nervous on the first night you know i mean but yeah so that was the very first night I did I got paid for it and then from then to start getting work and gigs and all the time.
K Anderson 29:00
What is the scene like in Aberdeen then is it very incestuous and small?
Romy Deepcheeks 29:08
I wouldn’t say it’s incestuous but it is it’s quite a small scene because you’ve only as I said we’ve only got the bar that I currently work in it’s only got a capacity of about maybe 200 so it’s not a huge huge it’s quite It is nice it’s it’s quite intimate and it’s the bar has been in existence for the longest on the gay scene. The all the others might only last a couple of years and they close down on their catch fire. But she has to be on the go now for 1415 years. It’s quite nicely seen but sometimes you do think well Aberdeen probably is big enough to cope with a more than one gay club. Because people are loyal to the new one opens they’ll go to the new one.
K Anderson 29:53
So then so Castro’s How long did it last? How long was it around? Oh,
Romy Deepcheeks 29:59
About a good maybe two or three years maybe? Oh yes, it wasn’t like it was but as I said it was one of my favourite clubs because that was where like roaming started to flourish. That’s why it’s got some happy memories for me.
K Anderson 30:13
How did her flourishing impact on your day to day life?
Romy Deepcheeks 30:20
I think it made me realise who I wanted to be and what I wanted to be because I think I’ve been I’ve been held up so long through like the married years and like, the Mormon years, I look back on it now. I think I said I said earlier on, I probably knew back then back in the 80s that I probably was gay, but like just did nothing about it back then. I didn’t realise what the feelings were so it’s definitely helped to shape me as a person. today. Yeah, I’m definitely happy with when I become
K Anderson 30:51
how, how are your kids with your drag?
Romy Deepcheeks 30:54
Well, they’re fine it doesn’t bother them at all. It doesn’t bother me This is they’ve always they’ve always known that I’ve done it as I started doing it. And it doesn’t it doesn’t
K Anderson 31:03
who do they like hanging out with most?
Romy Deepcheeks 31:05
Well Roman Roman doesn’t really hang out at home very much. Because I’ve got no one here just now because I’ve got no one here does now because of my daughter live here. So I’ve just hit myself just now but Robin doesn’t really hang out at home very much. Because as much as I loved as much as I love doing it is a relief when you come home and just take all the gear off after like a long hot sweaty night. That’s that is really to get everything off their fight, but they’re fine with it because my oldest daughter she’s quite apart. She’s quite a party animal. So if she’s in town, like some of her some of her friends were like, let’s go see your dad. Let’s go see it. I had just passed away in a nice way of course Oh yeah. Yeah,
K Anderson 31:46
yeah. And that kind of embarrassment that only your daughter can have Yes,
Romy Deepcheeks 31:49
that’s their that’s their totally they’re totally fine with that, obviously if I’m absolutely fine with that. And so so
K Anderson 31:57
Castro’s was a magical place about it, but it burned shone brightly and briefly on the grounds and then it burned to the ground and then foundations for Yes,
Romy Deepcheeks 32:08
there was there was another club between there but Foundation was that was a good club because the layout was all good. I have like a separate drink in our separate dance floor area. It was really big compared to others, like a lot of pokey clubs you had in the past. And that lasted a good few years as well. And because I was also working in the bar that I’m in this now is the only time in Aberdeen when we had a bar and the bar that I work has also got a club upstairs and that worked along with foundation for a good couple of years. And then that ends up being the foundation that fizzled out because I think the guy who owned it have too much money to somebody that’s what happened I think so they had to went bust.
K Anderson 32:53
Ah so are there any like stories or anything like any kind of nights that you particularly remember in Castro’s or in foundation? But once I can repeat ones that you’re happy for people to hear about? Yeah.
Romy Deepcheeks 33:12
Yeah, it was quite It was quite a few. I was in I was I was working in tears one night. And this guy I used to run a quiz now on a Thursday which I don’t do anymore, but I used to do a quiz on a Thursday and this guy used to come in every single Thursday night and he was just like fascinated by me he wasn’t like a pain in the ass or anything you were like you’re buying me a drink and like every weekend say to me like to kind of take average work on the island ever because they no no it’s fine rock come here with you. Anyway this one on my cough fuck I’m gonna go with him he’s been asked me every week for the past decade God knows how long I’m gonna go home with him because I went back to his so like a pity fuck
Romy Deepcheeks 33:57
So I went back to his and so I started obviously taking off my bottom half but he had a thing which I didn’t realise until this he had a thing for the tights. So here’s that you know, are you Is that what you keep on your vehicles you keep on your tights and I’m like, I focus mostly on my tights on on my yokel keeper dates on and then he ended up ripping them and my tights cost like 15 pounds a pair so I was really upset that he revved my eyes really upset to hear about my tights. And I remember so so that was fine. Then I remember had to get myself home and I had been drinking this night so I didn’t have my car with me. So did you did you
K Anderson 34:35
say to him that these types are expensive, you need to buy me a new pair
Romy Deepcheeks 34:39
around because I think by this point is why I think by this point, I realised that that was the very last food that was the last time that I probably went with a guy in drag. And at that point, I’m like, I just want to go because you fucking read my tights. I just want to get out of here.
K Anderson 34:55
I said that to myself. So that’s how the shag was then because yeah, you were worried about
Romy Deepcheeks 35:00
Everything I did I didn’t even think we got that far because I was like pissed off a bit my tight so I found so I had like the same taxi company all the time so all the guys the drivers or knew me, so I got into the car that night I was always very obviously pristine and proper and all that very serene. But this night I got a taxi. My mother lippy was down here my witness awake was all fucking wonky and the taxi driver knew me as I grow because what’s wrong with you tonight? I just fucking get me home and stop speaking to me. That was a thumb show that I was on last night I did that after that. I then progressed on to like the bigger waves and the expensive jewellery and the expensive dresses getting made for me
K Anderson 35:46
so there’s no way anyone’s touching that because if they
Romy Deepcheeks 35:50
touch it, and they won’t touch on my fucking wave No chance. Not a chance.
K Anderson 35:55
Oh, that is really interesting. It kind of makes you Yeah, navigate through the club in a very different way does it it like yeah, don’t touch me. Like do not get your ama to come near
Romy Deepcheeks 36:06
me that well that’s what it’s like now because before it would be like yeah, I was there before like read my book or Vega try it on. And now I’m literally like, seriously don’t fucking touch me. I people just people like don’t touch rabies. We don’t touch rabies. We’ve like we have like, we’ve got like a dress room at the bar that I work in. And I’m the only queen who works there just now. But in the past has been other queens like they leave other stuff lying around and the lie that they’re trying to others wigs on and they’re like, you won’t do that with me because you’re actually fucking bad. Are you if you fucking touch our way?
K Anderson 36:41
Do you have any memories of clubbing in Aberdeen? Have you ever tried tucking? Maybe? Do you have anything that you want to say about this episode? If you do, I would love to hear from you. Get in touch and let’s have a chat about the show and where you think we should go next on La spaces. I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the user handle lost spaces part. And whilst you’re there, say hello to Romy on Instagram. Her user handle is Miss Romy 14, that’s ma SSROMY 14. And if you miss any of this, if you’re on the road, I will make sure to put this in the show notes. La spaces is not only a podcast, but a concept record as well. I have been writing songs about queer venues and the people who used to live their lives there. And we’ll be releasing songs over the next year. You can hear the first single well groomed boys which is also playing underneath my talking right now on all good streaming platforms. If you liked this episode, I would really appreciate if you subscribed, left a review on Apple podcasts or just told people who you think might be interested in giving a little listen to I am K Anderson and you have been listening to lost spaces.