Inside The Green Room with Icon Ebony Fierce

Sebastian in Philadelphia
Sebastian Cummings


I first met Icon Ebony Fierce three years ago at Tabu, she wasn’t performing, and yet she seemed to have an entourage. I asked myself, “who is this ebony icon?” (see what I did there?). The next thing I knew, I was seeing girlfriend EVERYWHERE, but I didn’t get a chance to really speak to Janet, Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty Icon until a fundraiser for Phreak N Queer at The Troc. We both performed that night and when I finally got a chance to witness what is Icon Ebony Fierce, all I could say is, “Respect.” A Drag/Performance Artist with original music and a fierce look…. you know I can get with that.

icon ebony fierce sebastian cummings philly phreak n queer
Icon, Me, and Co. at Phreak N Queer Fundraiser. c 2013

Over the years, I’ve come to respect Icon for her talent, perseverance, and positive attitude. I am privileged to call her a friend. So, I decided to track my old friend down Inside The Green Room. I know the hooker lives for whiskey, so I go to the bar, grab a shot of Heaven Hill (I’m on an artist budget, alright!), snag a cigarette from the drunk guy waiting outside of an unoccupied bathroom and present an offering to the Icon.

Icon Ebony Fierce, that is quite the name, my friend. What does the name mean to you?
It means the elements of who I am and who I wanted to aspire to be in the past (and now) Icon means an unique image. A known figure in the community. Ebony represents me always embracing my roots in all forms. Fierce is my style of performance.

—–I take a moment to digest the beauty of what she just said and to recover from the seemingly source-less wind that gently blew her hair as she spoke… is this real life?

What does “drag” mean to you?
Drag means creating a non gender binary character. Bending gender in the most extravagant and glamorous way.

Walk us through you first experience performing in Drag.
I performed an original song with my own hair in locs for a benefit for top surgery called “Pop That Pussy” which was sampled from Janet and Luther’s “The best things in life are free”. I was literally shitting bullets. Mind you I was very new to the drag world in general. It was the most liberating and electric feeling ever.

I know a lady who describes taking molly the exact same way… hmm. As a performer, what do you feel is the greatest struggle you have faced in your career thus far, and how did you handle it?
Being understood and accepted as someone that’s seen as “different” as I learned about all the elements of drag. As well as the normal shade, rumors and hurtful comments made about myself. I learned to deal with it by doing what was my original passion and knowing my reason for pursuing drag. Performance through expression.

Excellence is often met with opposition. Who is your greatest inspiration?
To name a few, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Kevin Aviance, and all the queer performance before me.

Buy Bastian, the new album by Sebastian

What do you love about the Philly performance scene? What would you change?

I love the ability to create spaces to open up new places and spaces for us. I would change the community aspect of the scene. That’s up to everyone’s interpretation.

My middle name is Rosetta Stone, so….
What do you feel is the greatest struggle in your life that you’ve overcome?

My own struggle with coming out my shell, insecurities and battles with my fears.

What is love?
There’s so many ways I can explain love. But I can pinpoint that love is within and outward. Can people embrace both is the question.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself traveling to change people’s thoughts and perception on people like myself. And as complex as I am, there’s always work to be done. Especially because there is so many people like myself.

What’s next for you?
Stay tuned.

And stay tuned, we will! Follow my girl on instagram and keep up with this Kardashian Philly Gem! (@IconEbonyFierce)

Inside The Green Room
gemini rose inside the green room


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