Drag Queen Seeks to Rule Right Wing Party

15 Dec 2001

Drag Queen Seeks to Rule Right Wing Party

By Rajiv Sekhri

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's best-known drag queen, famous for six- inch heels, slinky dresses and a failed bid to become the city's mayor, said on Thursday she wanted to join the race to head the right-wing opposition Canadian Alliance party.

"I am a supermodel for a super party," said Enza 'Supermodel" Anderson. "I don't care what you call me but please put in supermodel."

The 37-year-old, who has worked as a singer in Toronto's largely gay Church St. district, launched her campaign at Toronto City Hall wearing a short maroon dress, her signature stilettos, a blond wig and bright red lipstick.

Dismissing the Alliance as "racist, supporting bigoted attitudes and an anti-gay stance," she said the party needed to become more diverse to beat the Liberals. "I am the one to do it," said Anderson, who prefers to be called a "she."

"As a new leader of the right, I plan to unite the opposition. Let me tell 'ya, there are a lot of sexy MPs (members of parliament) I'd like to unite right now."

The Alliance came a poor second to the Liberals in last year's federal election. The party will next year vote in a new leader --or perhaps reelect outgoing leader Stockwell Day, who quit this week to allow for a leadership race.

But Anderson's platform may not match the tough-on-crime Alliance. She wants affordable housing, better public transport and decriminalization of marijuana and prostitution.

"Why is it that when a drag queen runs for office, people consider it a joke? But if (Stockwell Day) shows up in a wet suit or if the prime minister of Canada shows up in a dinghy, it's considered serious and worthy of national attention," she said, referring to recent media pictures of federal leaders.

Anderson, who says her political platform is "much more than my six- inch heels," sashayed into politics last November and won 15,000 votes in the Toronto mayoralty race.

That placed her third on a slate of 25 candidates for the job, won - - as expected -- by flamboyant Mel Lastman.

Lastman later hit the headlines with ill-timed comments that may have helped scupper Toronto's bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games. He balked at the idea of traveling to Africa to lobby for the bid, admitting he was afraid of being boiled in a pot with natives dancing around him.

Anderson said she had nearly collected the C$25,000 and 300 signatures needed to be eligible to run to lead the Alliance.

If she doesn't win, she will continue to work odd jobs. But she said she had stopped doing drag shows now that her political career seems to be blossoming.

Day, quoted in the National Post newspaper earlier this month, refused to rule out any candidate for his job.

"We're a very open party," Day said. "I'm just pleased that we continue to attract people from across the spectrum."


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