Transgender model and singer Amanda Lepore may be a fixture on the New York City club circuit, but she’s in for a dramatic change of scenery this weekend when she joins LGBT celebrities descending upon Atlantic City for “OUT in A. C.,” the city’s first weekend-long celebration specifically for the LGBT community at Harrah’s resort.
Other celebrities set to appear include Lance Bass, Lori Michaels, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s” Jai Rodriguez, Miss Coco Peru, cast members from “The L Word” and rapper Cazwell, the latter with whom Lepore will share the stage at Club Worship tonight.
Lepore talked to PGN about her upcoming album and why being part of an event like “OUT in A.C.” is so important to the LGBT community.
PGN: What is it about your “Catwalk Party” that is going to make it the must-attend event of the weekend? AL: I think it’s going to be fun. A lot of people are talking about it. A lot of people from New York are coming. So it’s going to be fun. I’m coming with Cazwell so we’re doing a whole show.
PGN: You’ve worked with Cazwell before. What makes him an ideal artist to collaborate with? AL: Sometimes I perform alone and sometime we perform together. We do a lot of songs together as well, so we get to do a longer show. Even before I did music with him, I always liked his music. I liked his electro themes. I always had him perform at my birthday parties.
PGN: What’s the status of your upcoming album? AL: They told me it was [due out] November but now we’re going to put one more song on it because we have time.
PGN: What are some of your influences as a performer? AL: I really like all different types of music. We tried to make it all different. There’s a ballad. There are rock ’n’ roll, electronic, dance and disco influences.
PGN: Is this your first visit to Atlantic City? AL: I don’t think I’ve ever performed in Atlantic City. I’ve performed in Vegas. Is Atlantic City kind of like Vegas?
PGN: Maybe, if you’re in the right casino. But once you leave the casinos, absolutely not. AL: OK. I’m not much of a gambler.
PGN: Do you think an event like this is a good thing for generating interest in LGBT tourism? AL: Definitely. People can make a whole vacation weekend out of it. It’s kind of cool instead of just being at a club. People from more average towns will go there.
PGN: How was it to perform on the True Colors Tour? AL: That was awesome. It was such a big stage. I’ve always admired Cyndi Lauper. It was an honor to do. PGN: Do you think events like True Colors and Out in A.C. should have more transgender artists performing? AL: Definitely. It’s one of the last sexualities to be mainstreamed. So it’s good to do high-profile things so it makes it easier for younger transsexuals to do things. It makes for more acceptance and gets people to take it more seriously.
PGN: Do you ever give advice to younger transgender individuals? AL: I think it’s best to go where your heart is and not listen to people. Do what you want to do.
PGN: What’s next for you after your album comes out? AL: I definitely want to do another video. It was great doing the “Cotton Candy” video. I’m looking forward to doing things based around it. I’ve toured all around and gotten warm receptions from every place in the world. I hope to elaborate and do bigger shows and become a greater entertainer.
OUT in Atlantic City runs Sept. 25-27 at Harrah’s Resort, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J. For more information, visit www.harrahs.com/getoutinac or call (609) 441-5000.