Meet Electra Pain—Our Shop of the Month

Meet Electra Pain—Our Shop of the Month

The LGBTQ+ community has increasingly encountered violence and homophobia. Learn how our featured Shop of the Month, Electra Pain, is creating positive change through her artistry.

Who runs the world? Drag queens, of course. With 200k followers on TikTok and 31.8k followers on Instagram, Electra Pain is on her way to the top. Electra is one cool chick and uses her platform to raise awareness about the adversities of people who identify as LGBTQ+. We talked to her about life, social media, drag and her very own Spreadshop.

Hi Daniel! In your opinion, what is a drag queen?

First and foremost, drag is an art form that anyone can practice – regardless of gender, sexual orientation and so on. Make-up and fashion offer a creative space to express yourself and discover a different side of yourself, far away from social norms and pigeonholes. A drag queen exaggerates female clichés, breaks down gender boundaries and holds up a mirror to society. And we entertain people with our stage shows and let them forget their stressful daily lives for a while.

 

Couldn’t agree with you more, drag queens make our world a better place. What qualities do you think a person needs to have if they want to become a drag queen?

Anyone can become a drag queen. Having fun with make-up and transformation are the only requirements. But you should know that it is a very time consuming and cost-intensive passion. You won’t get rich with it, and it can be challenging as an introvert—especially if you’re on stage.

Would you describe Electra Pain as just a persona or as something larger that extends to your personal life as well?

Electra is purely art. I’m usually a rather shy and calm person, and I have different wardrobes for myself and Electra. So, she stays in the closet whenever she’s not on stage, so to speak.

How did you come up with the name –  Electra Pain?

Like I said, I’m rather shy in private. I wanted to give my persona a name that radiates strength and self-confidence. I always thought the name Electra was cool and Pain just came up after a while. I injured myself several times in the beginning, (fingers broken after falling, etc.), after that the name felt appropriate on many levels.

What was your very first public appearance in drag? How did you get into it?

My first gig was in 2012 at a small LGBTQ+ party in Fulda, Germany. During the gig I was super excited and not everything went perfectly on stage. But I felt incredibly comfortable and the positive feedback and compliments encouraged me to continue.

I got into drag queen art after I moved from the countryside to Frankfurt. I saw other drag queens on stage and had the desire to try this art form. One day a friend of mine put on make-up and we went out clubbing together. I loved the way people looked at me and enjoyed discovering and living out the feminine side of myself. From then on I regularly transformed myself into a drag queen and became more and more professional.

Other than being a fun persona, what other goals does Electra Pain have?

I am politically active and see myself as an activist for LGBTQ+ rights. When I’m Electra, I’m fortunate to get a lot of attention, and I want to use that in a positive way. Unfortunately, the number of discriminatory and violent attacks against us LGBTQ+ people is currently increasing. You cannot stand by and do nothing. I would like to get across that society is colorful and that everyone can live the way they want.

Have you experienced homophobia firsthand? How can drag help in the fight against homophobia?

In Frankfurt I was actually beaten after coming from an LGBTQ+ party. At that time, I was not styled as a drag queen, the perpetrators felt provoked by my homosexuality alone. Fortunately, the perpetrators were caught and convicted. However, this act shocked and influenced me very much.

Drag queens have a voice because of our conspicuous appearance – people listen to us. I use this voice to educate about LGBTQ+ issues. We also show that society is colorful! I am sure that visibility and education are the keys to more acceptance – and drag queens contribute to this.

Do you see yourself as an artist?

It always depends on which role I want to take on. I want to be an artist when I’m Daniel, and I am art incarnate when I perform as Electra. It’s important to me that Electra is recognized and addressed in the female form. As Daniel I am a bit more flexible, friends address me with both pronouns.

Speaking of breaking down gender barriers – what are your thoughts about gender in language?

I think that gender is absolutely sensible and necessary. All genders should find themselves in our language and feel addressed, because that creates equality. If we change our language, over time something will change in many minds.

More power to you! Electra Pain loves to dress in bright and striking colors. Why’s that?

Daily life is often all too gray, so I want to bring some color into the world with my vibrant styling! When I’m not Electra, I like to dress down and wear more subtle colors. Electra offers me an outlet to live it up so I can get recognized from a mile away.

In your Spreadshop, you sell your own merch with a very colorful Electra Pain design. How did you come up with the idea?

I’ve been asked about merch over and over again, so I thought it was a good idea to get it started online. You give something back to your followers and award their support. But at first, I didn’t have a great design. Then I had an illustration made and liked it so much that I wanted to share it with the whole world. Everything went very fast, and – boom – my Shop was there!

We’re very happy to have you on board! What made you opt for Spreadshop?

After I had the idea to distribute my own merchandise, I compared some shops. Eventually I opted for Spreadshop, because I find the product selection most interesting and varied. I also like the possibility of creating my own customized shop. It’s great that it can be customized to taste.

Have you received photos or selfies from followers with your merch? Or even met someone wearing your clothes?

I have received a few selfies with my merchandise, and it just feels great. The products all look fantastic on my fans and it makes me proud that they are going out on the streets with them to set an example of diversity and acceptance.

Electra Pain is the mother of the House of Pain, a network for newbies in drag. What’s your role as a drag mother?

We’re ten drag queens from Germany, and it feels like a family. We exchange ideas, and everyone can also find an open ear for private questions and problems. I enjoy giving my girls tips and being able to help them with their first steps in the drag queen business. I would have loved to get this kind of support in my early days.

You also stick together in the House of Pain, which is inspired by the practice of having drag houses in the United States… Can you tell us a bit about that?

The House of Pain was created at a time when many LGBTQ+ people were abandoned by their families. A drag house gives you the opportunity to live together with people who have suffered the same fate. A strong feeling of togetherness and shelter is created when everyone can live freely. Each house also has a drag mother. She trains the young members in the art of drag. Historically, they took part in “balls” and competed against other Houses in different categories.

I am the drag mother in the “House of Pain” and we’ve made our very own version of it. We live allover Germany and have all become close friends. We follow our common passion, give each other tips and have already been on stage together. We also talk about private problems and are always there for each other.

Your social accounts are really well done. How important are social networks to Electra and in your off-stage life?

Social media has a very high value for Electra, as almost all marketing is done through them. I use the social media channels to draw attention to myself, but also to entertain my followers and let them participate in my life. I don’t have a separate private account for myself, meaning I show both sides of myself on the Electra account. I think my followers find it exciting to see these two very contrasting sides of myself.

That’s brave and wonderful! How do you advertise or market your Shop? Do you follow a certain strategy?

Not really, actually. I regularly share the Shop on my social media channels like Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. That’s the best way to get in touch with my followers.

What would you say to anyone who wants to open a Spreadshop?

I can wholeheartedly recommend Spreadshop. It’s easy to try it out, and there is no financial risk. Best of all, you can give your creativity free range.

Thanks for chatting with us Daniel (aka Electra).  You’ll find the signature Electra Pain design in her Shop. And you’ll find even more fun stuff on her TikTok and Instagram.

Start the discussion at the Spreadshop Forum