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Rock M Sakura on drag during COVID, superpowers, hate crime

Rock M Sakura outfit for RPDR Season 12
Photo by Cash Monet
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Rock M Sakura designed and made this outfit, inspired by ChibiMoon from Sailor Moon, in one night.

“I love looking like a fool," Drag Race contestant Rock M. Sakura told Out in the Bay. She stuck Sharpies up her nose, described her zany new TV series ... we laughed! But she got serious talking about anti-Asian and anti-sex-worker violence.

You may know drag performer Rock M. Sakura from RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) Season 12, from her YouTube channel with more than 55,000 subscribers or from her pre-COVID performances at numerous live events in the SF Bay Area.

You might not know that sex work partly funded her RPDR participation, a past she revealed in Tweets just hours after news broke of the March 17 Georgia spa shootings in which eight people died, including six women of Asian descent.

On this week’s Out in the Bay, Sakura spoke about her time on RPDR; her new video series, “Rock M. Sakura’s Sexy Superhero Sickening Spectacular,” and other digital content; the trials of showbiz during COVID; and the anti-Asian and anti-sex-worker violence that she reacted to in her Tweets.

“That could have been me. That could have been someone you know … who has never divulged that past to you” said Sakura. “Sex work was a way for me to supplement my income without losing time to devote to my art." She called for laws to protect sex workers from hate crimes and for decriminalizing sex work.

Rock M. Sakura’s Sexy Superhero Sickening Spectacular,” which streams on World of Wonder Plus, is a mockumentary that follows Sakura around San Francisco as she seeks her superpowers in an attempt to please her disapproving superhero parents.

"It's social commentary," she says. “How many of you out there feel like you haven’t found your superpower yet, and your parents won’t shut up about it?”

Sakura's known for her fantastic anime-inspired make-up and outfits, many of which she designs and illustrates herself. She made the outfit shown here — inspired by ChibiMoon from Sailor Moon — in one night! She designed it for her RPDR entrance outfit to garner attention from her anime fan base. See more of Sakura's fab outfits on her Instagram page.

You can hear more Out in the Bay episodes at www.OutintheBay.org.
This episode was produced and edited by Porfirio Rangel.

Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.