For Biqtch Puddin’ (aka Steven Glen Diehl), video games are more than a hobby, it’s a passion: the one that carried them through years of pain and inspired them to create their identity. drag. He’s a character who would go on to win the second season of the popular drag competition series. Dragula. But that’s not all: for Biqtch, games are also a business that has helped them through the pandemic, thanks to their very popular Twitch channel has nearly 30,000 subscribers.
All this made him an ideal candidate to participate in Gayming Magazine‘s Gayming Live Online Event, which is a three-day festival of queer geekery, from AAA games to indies, anime and drag with guests including Rock M Sakura, Juice Boxx, Jaremi Carey and Erika Klash. Participants can log in through Twitch for round tables and Main Stage Events from September 9 to September 11.
Gayming Magazine approached me on the Panini [pandemic] doing a game show live on Twitch, where I founded the digital drag show on COVID, for those who don’t know, and we kind of gave all the drag performers a check during the Panini “says Biqtch PRIDE. “A lot of people were inspired by that to create their own shows. But in the end, we were able to collaborate with Xbox, Sega and 2K Games. It was really amazing to work with these companies in this capacity, especially as a person who still draws inspiration from video games in their art, so that was really awesome. And then they approached me to do this and I had to jump in. It was really awesome.
It’s the culmination of a lifelong love for gaming that began when a child was playing games with his family. “It’s a touchy subject for me, but I was first introduced to video games by my Uncle Tom. [He] had a PlayStation 1 and we went, I think, for a Thanksgiving or Christmas situation. I don’t remember, maybe it was summer vacation. We often went up to my grandmother’s. And on the [PS1] he had a demo disc… and on that disc there was Crash Bandicoot, crocodile, Jet Motorcycleand then there was tekken 2.”
“There are two playable characters, Lei Wulong and Jun Kazama, and I would choose the female character and my brother would choose the male character and I kept doing cartwheels repeatedly,” Biqtch recalled. “We played it so much like that; just this turn of these two characters. [Uncle Tom] came out the next day and bought the game for us so we could play the game on loop which was great. He sadly passed away about a year ago.
Biqtch shared that although Tom recently passed away, his legacy lives on both in those memories and in their continued love of the game. And it came at the right time as they not only dealt with their gayness, but also sought coherence and escape. “The games gave me the tools to survive my gayness growing up because I was on the move a lot,” Biqtch shares. “I was a military kid. So every time I came home from being bullied or whatever, I got lost in the wonderful world of video games and the kind of process and [they’d] to be kind of a therapeutic session for me, especially the fighting games, because I could choose these fabulous female characters that were, like, half-naked Lee or whatever.
Video games would again play a part for Biqtch when they started dragging, which surprisingly started out as a fluke. “When I started doing drag, it was at Savannah College of Art and Design, and I did it on an ad hoc basis, it was a charity event. But my teachers were like, ‘You have to do drag. drag’, and I was like, ‘I didn’t go to college to be a drag queen.’ And then now, 10 years later, I’m a drag queen who went to college to be a drag queen. they joke.
“My good friend Timothy was like, oh my god, you do drag, you should come to my drag show. I found out her stage name was Chiara…and she walked out looking like a Mortal Kombat character. And she can move like a Mortal Kombat character. That’s when all the lights came on and I was like, ‘I can combine my favorite things in a blender and it can be dragged.” And that’s what really turned me on too.
When it came time to create Biqtch Puddin’, they looked to some of their favorite characters over the years for inspiration. “Poison of final fight slash street fighter, I liked it aesthetically. And then I found out she was trans. And I was like, oh, this is even better. She is part of the family. It’s awesome. She’s wearing like, basically, floss cutoff shorts and a white top — with pink hair, a hat, and a whip — and she leads the guys. And her color scheme is trans colors too, which is pretty cool.
Games were also a place for Biqtch to explore the genre, as character designs, especially in fighting games, are explorations of genderfuck, whether intentional or not on the part of the designer. For non-binary Biqtch, seeing these gender-nonconforming characters was powerful. “I think [games made] it’s easier for me to accept or relax. I realized when I was playing I thought it was an easier way for me to grasp this concept because games [introduced me to it] long in advance.
Today, Biqtch, through his presence on Twitch, can be that role model for gay kids that they would have loved growing up. And they hope their ability to be themselves, whatever that looks like, is inspiring. “I remember going to Hot Topic and looking at the girl side of the room and being like, I want to wear this T-shirt. And I proudly bought that shit and wore it for Pride. I probably looked mad as hell. I looked crazy and felt confident.
They want that same sense of freedom for others. “Even if you don’t feel comfortable, just jump into the pool. Life is so short, literally, just lift your ass and jump in that pool,” they insist. “If you want to cosplay Ivy from SoulCaliburtake out your boobs with a sword, and you’re a guy, do it.
That’s not to say they haven’t faced their share of bullying, whether as a kid at school, from online trolls on Twitch, or very memorably at the reality show. The first episode of season 2 of Dragula featured an incredibly intense and drawn-out scene between Biqtch and their contestants that saw them become the target of harsh criticism from multiple queens. It looked like a gang, but Biqtch kept his cool and handled everything with grace. Unfortunately, a lifetime of dealing with bullies has prepared them for this moment.
“Maybe that’s why sometimes I’m funny because I beat them at the punchline. Or not,” they reflect. “But it’s not easy. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not an easy thing to do every time and it’s hard to get up there and have the mic and like, you know, be live and face somebody saying something hateful, but I know I want to live this life because it’s authentically me. I’m authentically myself.
In the end, Biqtch’s Dragula story had a happy ending as they had the satisfaction of emerging victorious and claiming the coveted title of World’s Next Drag Supermonster. The question is whether the series will ever make a season of Titans (Dragula’s version of a Drag Race All Stars series)? “If I came back into the fold, I would want the winners to be involved. I won my season and I would like the winners to be involved,” they say. “If they ever do something like that, I think it would be just awesome to see our favorites come back and kill each other.”
As for who they would like to face this time, Biqtch says they would like to see all the winners return: Vander Von Odd, Landon Cider, Saint and Dahli, although they would be happy to compete again against their sisters of the season. of them. as well.
As fans wait with crossed fingers and hold their breath that this will one day come true, in the meantime they can enjoy plenty of Biqtch content on their Twitch channel, and this weekend at Gayming Online Live they will be hosting “Slayers – a queer horror and gaming panel” with Erika Klash and voice actor Maggie Robertson. Then on Sunday, they’ll take part in a Saints Row let’s play followed by an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session. It’s an event that gaymers and Biqtch Puddin fans won’t want to miss it.
Watch PRIDE’s full interview with Biqtch Puddin’ below.
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