Pardon me while I take a short break from posting recipes to tell you about one of my besties, Honey LaBronx. Since I only post recipes about once every six years, I'm hoping this departure won't be too much of a burden for anyone.
Honey LaBronx and I have at least a few things in common. We’re both vegan, we’re both showgirls, and we’re both sexy AF. In fact, Honey is so sexy that she’s currently in the running for PETA’s Sexiest Vegan, and you’d just better cast your vote for her by May 14. If you don’t, I’m coming for you—and not in a good way.
Aside from all our similarities, Honey and I have our differences, too. You might say she’s the peanut butter to my jelly, the Laverne to my Shirley, the nutritional to my yeast. Just take a look at our first Facebook exchange:
I sent her a PM back in 2013 to let her know I was writing a vegan cookbook and to suggest that we could somehow collaborate. After all, she was known to be the vegan drag queen, and there I was, just a glamorous cabaret diva dabbling in the culinary arts. Her response?
Let’s just say Honey doesn’t mince words. She gets to the point in the most provocative way possible. And when she speaks up for animals, she has the very same tactic: to be bold, righteous, and riotously funny. Oh lord, this girl makes me laugh. I was just in New York last month and had the opportunity to crash at her cozy studio apartment. She was so very hospitable, even took the dishes out of the sink so I had a place to sleep.
We watched RuPaul’s Drag Race together, which I’d never seen. It was fascinating. Being a biological woman, I learned so much. (I use the term “biological woman” very loosely here, by the way.)
I asked Honey what it’s like to be a vegan drag queen, and she said she’d already given the exclusive to Connie Chung. Damn, I thought, I’ll have to get the scoop another way. Fortunately for me, Honey loves to talk, so it just took a little prodding to unleash the floodgates.
First, she spilled the beans about her notorious past, how she left Wisconsin and transformed herself from country bumpkin to big city showgirl. Helping her with that transformation was none other than Bob the Drag Queen. In fact, Bob was Honey’s mom—her “drag mom,” that is. (I never had a drag mom, which explains a lot.)
I asked her about how she got into the vegan thing, and she said, “I’m not vegan yet, but I’m really thinking about it.” Of course, she was kidding. She got turned on to the idea of eating vegan after doing a fast and then reading the book The Face on Your Plate. Then, one of Honey’s friends, Michael Harren, was also very influential, helping Honey take the next steps to go full-on vegan.
These days, Honey is so very vegan that she says “I would no sooner eat an animal than I would punch an old lady in the throat.” With that sort of unfiltered passion she’s using her sequin-crusted platform to speak out for the animals. “I was born to a famous dairy maven in the Midwest. If I can do this, anybody can do this. There’s no one who doesn’t come from a background of exploitation of animals, and there’s more to be gained than there is to lose.”
Then she turned to me and asked if I was rolling my eyes. I said, “No, I’m just furiously taking notes, capturing these vegan pearls of wisdom. Carry on!” And carry on, she did.
“You and I went vegan B.C. (before vegan cheese). Kids today are A.D. vegans (after Daiya). Back in the B.C. days, I had to make my own vegan cheese, and YouTube was an interesting resource for that. I’ll never forget this one demo. The lady giving it had wonderful information to share but no personality. I thought she was gonna pass out. And then I thought, hey I’m a drag queen. I wonder if I could make cooking demos. Now I do!” And you can see Honey’s very entertaining videos on her YouTube channel. Also be sure to check out her podcast, Big Fat Vegan Radio.
These days, Honey is taking her vegan advocacy on the road, trotting the globe to ringlead fundraisers for various animal groups. So far, her traveling drag show has raised thousands of dollars for everything from farmed animal sanctuaries to dog and cat shelters. Impressive and inspiring!
I recently followed up with Honey to see if there’s anything else she wants readers to know. “Fans can support my work on Patreon for as little as a dollar a month. It makes it possible for me to tour more, do more, create more. Also, we have a once daily pill that prevents HIV. It’s called PrEP.”
“Good to know,” I said, and then I thanked her again for letting me crash at her place while in New York. She said that she’s still smudging the whole apartment. “Your loveliness is everywhere.”
Aww, how sweet. The feeling is mutual. Your loveliness is everywhere too, Honey. Keep spreading it around!
Don't forget! Vote for Honey as PETA's Sexiest Vegan by May 14!