Sexy scene legend Mzz Kimberley loves a pedicure, wants to revisit the 90s, and adores her pet dog Lula Mae.
Where are you from originally?
I was born just outside of Detroit, Michigan.
And where do you live now?
I live in boring Pimlico with the love of my life, my baby girl Lula Mae.
What do you love about London and why?
London has the most wonderful energy and I love the fact it’s a huge melting pot. Meeting people from different backgrounds, and learning and understanding their culture is the way forward. If some took the time to do so, just maybe we wouldn’t have a few racist issues.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
The first gay nightclub was Heaven, of all places. Winn the Queen of Kinky Gerlinky took me on a Wednesday and I was blown away. It was my first time in a gay super club. I went the next night and was very confused as it was a totally different night LOL! I had no idea clubs did that.
What do you think of the state of the scene right now?
I’m sad that the scene seems to be divided. I don’t want to sound like an old woman but when I was hosting Heaven everyone hung out together. Everyone was welcome and that was what made it magical. In one corner, you would see a drag queen drinking with a camp gay guy and a bear. In the other corner you would see a lesbian talking to a transwoman and a leather daddy. Now there’s overt transphobia, racism etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it has always been there, but when you came to see me, you left all your baggage at the door.
Favourite club/bar/venue in London and why?
Her Upstairs is such a friendly place. Everyone knows each other and the staff are so welcoming. It’s a very safe place for all walks of the LGBT community.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
The last show I saw was my friend Darren Murphy’s play he produced, Doubt, A Parable, at the Southwark Playhouse. The one thing I love about seeing a good piece of work is not wanting it to end, with strong actors and good storyline to keep your attention. Anything to do with the dark side of religion I find fascinating, being an agnostic but growing up in a church. I absolutely loved it.
What is your guilty pleasure and why?
I have this thing for feet! Meaning I have pedicures all year long. No one sees my feet during the winter but it makes me feel good to have pretty feet.
Two years ago, I got a call asking if I knew anyone who wanted a dog. When asked, I had recently had my wisdom teeth removed and breast augmentation, so was high on prescription drugs. I uttered “I do, I do”, not giving it much thought. A day later I was given a dog. I came off the drugs and thought, OMFG what have I done?! But it’s been the best thing that could have happened to me. I think I needed some sort of responsibility in my life. Being a mother has made me a more relaxed and happier person. She’s naughty but I adore her. I named her Lula after my great grandmother, who I was very close to growing up.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
So far, my highlight was acting in a Rikki Beadle-Blair’s play Summer In London. Playing Joan stretched me as an actress – she was a confident lesbian diva who was homeless and fighting for love. I even had to cry every night on stage.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose?
Definitely be the 1990s. I was young and out of control, loud and always up for a good time. If I could do it over, I would take a bit of a backseat and not take things for granted.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
Sink the Pink parties are always the best. It’s just full on debauchery everywhere you look.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My dear friend Bernd Kroeber and I had a long talk when I was going through a dark time in my life with my career. He told me, instead of trying to concentrate on so much, choose one thing to focus on and when you have achieved one, then pursue others. This advice has stayed with me.
Who is your LGBT hero and why?
It has to be Phyll Opoku, also known as Lady Phyll. She turned down an MBE from the Queen because she feels she cannot accept as long as our community is still being persecuted, tortured and even killed across the world by laws put in place by the British Empire, and that blew my mind. She also helps young minorities realise that they are relevant in Western society and gives them a platform to achieve, which is commendable. A mother who works hard for social justice for everyone with a kind heart, this woman is a true saint.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
I would like to visit Auschwitz. I’m black American of African descent but I’m also of Polish Jewish decent. The other side my family emigrated from Poland to Mississippi to escape the Nazis. The struggles family members endured during the reign of Hitler is a part of history I feel I need to embrace more. Knowing where you come from is very important as it gives you a clear insight into who you really are.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
To have been the real me at an early age could have brought me peace within. Growing up Christian and being a transwoman in a small town didn’t help. Always hiding drove me insane. Being free to be yourself, whatever the consequences, is the greatest gift you can give yourself.