Five Spot w/Sister Molly Mormon | 5 Spot | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Five Spot w/Sister Molly Mormon 

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click to enlarge STEVE CONLIN
  • Steve Conlin

All hail Sister Molly Mormon (née Tyler Hillam), who pretty in flamingo pink was the victor during the 10th annual Miss City Weekly pageant. In a frank conversation with City Weekly, the kindest queen in the game talked diversity, haters and why drag is still an act of political defiance.


Who is Sister Molly Mormon? How did she come to be?

When I started doing drag, I was going by another name and she just wasn't really working. Then, all of a sudden, after I came back from a night out with my friends, I was, like, I need to find a different kind of personality, and Molly just came to me. She's this very sweet, very kind person who also is just fiery and likes to do everything. She parties, she plays, she just enjoys life to the fullest. She’s also a variety of things—every time she goes out she likes to wear something different and never likes to wear the same thing twice. All of those aspects of fashion and life come through her for me.

How much of your own experience informs her persona ?

I was just out of town this last weekend at Element 11, which is a festival—I love going to those kinds of things—and she has grown from a lot of those experiences of meeting people and experiencing things that way. Just that festival life and going to shows and everything is very much her personality coming through.

click to enlarge STEVE CONLIN
  • Steve Conlin
How would you describe SLC's drag scene?
[It's] so diverse. There are so many little pockets of drag queens and what they do is also very different. We have drag queens who are pulling blood out on stage every time and doing gory stuff—which is fantastic and amazing—and then you have your pageant queens who are just gorgeous and beautiful and covered in rhinestones, and you got everything in between. I think the diversity of Salt Lake is fascinating, so I like to think that I can associate with a little bit of all of the groups but in their own way they all have their special place and I love it.

Is drag a political act?
Absolutely! I think we are all a little afraid to talk politics and I think we are a little afraid to put a stand and put our foot down for something, but I think drag is literally saying, 'This is something that people don't always appreciate and people don't always understand but I'm going to do it anyway.' It's definitely just screwing around with gender and making a point that none of that really matters but it all kind of matters just the same. Drag queens have a place in the world where we do stand out a little bit, and we make ourselves known whether or not we have that personality. All sorts of people I know who are drag queens are shy and reserved and then they come out in drag and they are loud and they are seen. I think that's something that's really important to understand when you are doing drag.

What was it like winning the Miss City Weekly crown?
It was kind of crazy. I went into it knowing there was really strong competition, and also knowing a lot of the girls—it really made me nervous. I kind of went in with the attitude of just enjoying myself and having the best experience I could. The numbers that I did were numbers I was really excited to do, and I wanted to put a lot of energy in them. I think that was kind of my mentality of just being able to walk away from it and, no matter what, having an amazing experience. Winning was just a dream come true. I was shocked, but I am so happy.

As with any popularity contest, no one is ever 100% happy with the results. Have you experienced any pushback?
I wouldn't say anyone has said anything personal to me. I've had little rumors come to my ears about other people being upset that other contestants didn't win. That's something that will happen no matter what, and I've found that we're all still very close. Everybody who was competing and everybody who was in the competition—I love them all. I got to meet a few of them for the first time and I'm so happy to be closer to them. As much as it was a competition I don't think that anybody really was so upset about the outcome that there was any backlash; I would hope not. I don't think that competition should ever be something to drive a wedge between our community. I feel very honored to win and I hope that I'm going to be able to carry the crown in a positive way. A lot of people came to the competition and did an amazing job.

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About The Author

Isaiah Poritz

Isaiah Poritz

Bio:
Poritz was a summer 2019 editorial intern at City Weekly. He currently serves as news editor of The Emory Wheel.

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