The first outfit Trevor Papsadora can remember falling in love with was a head-to-toe-leather, Ricky Martin–inspired ensemble. “My dad made me get rid of it,” he laments. Thankfully, that setback didn’t derail Trevor’s fashion aspirations. Today, whether he’s walking down the street as a “boy” or commanding the stage as a “queen” — better known as Stepmother — Trevor’s style embodies the current generation’s disregard for rigid gender norms and isolated trends.
The elements of style
I’m a strong believer in repeating outfits and silhouettes if you want to be memorable. I like feminine cuts: a crop top with a high-waisted pant. I feel like we’re at a time where it’s becoming trendy — in a good way — to start to blend “men’s clothing” or “women’s clothing.” I think we’re finally realizing: fabric and shape don’t have gender! It’s so funny. Still, I do like to wear things that make people a little uncomfortable.
A maternal influence
I was getting ready for a drag show, and I was in full look — but I still didn’t have a name. And I was half thinking I would just go out nameless, and then I looked at myself and said, “God, I look like a fucking mom!” My boyfriend said, “Well, you can’t be a mom … but you could be stepmom!” And it was so stupid, but I said, “I’ll keep it for now.” Now I can’t change it. I love it.
Stepmother started off as a very motherly, typical man pretending to be a woman, almost like a housewife. And now she’s just turned into this twenty-something who happens to also be a stepmother. She’s gone from housewife to just a punk wearing stupid shit (and when I say stupid, it’s with so much love).
Dressing for an audience
Stepmother has many imaginary husbands, and I feel like she’ll adapt her style to fit a specific one — you know, to lure him in. Right now I’m in a very — just t-shirt, panties, and heels is Stepmother’s look. Very sleek. Which means, you know, I’m not trying to lure in a specific husband … I’m trying to get just, like, anyone.
Trevor and Stepmother definitely share clothes. These pants I’m wearing right now — I used to wear them as Stepmother, but then I wore them too many times. They got old. So now I wear them as Trevor — it’s like, I get Stepmother’s hand-me-downs! I’ve never thought of it that way, but I really do.
In general, I like to use recycled clothing. My drag costume is more than diamonds and glitzy gowns — it’s more gritty. Like, I’ve been just wearing this Bernie Sanders t-shirt and dressing up like a little pirate. Or I’ll wear a mullet wig. I make a lot of my own clothes. I’ve also been buying lots of thong onesies.
I’m a drawing of a woman. A drag queen I really admire, Violet Chachki, said that. I’m not trying to be a woman — I’m trying to be a caricature. An extended version of a woman.
I never thought I’d be a Mac girl — but I’m really becoming a Mac girl. I’ve always loved Nars and Urban Decay — but Mac, their face makeup and eyeshadow is great. I like to spend a lot of time on my makeup, and then the clothes just have to be enough. That’s not where the drag happens for me.
Credit where it’s due
As I’m working on bringing, you know, the more glamorous side of queer culture to Portland, I’m realizing how difficult the organizational aspects can be. It’s hard to get a straight club to pick up a gay show. It has to be a specific type of place — for instance, SPACE — that’s known for more “alternative” events. RuPaul did a great interview where he talked about why drag will never go mainstream: straight culture pulls from gay culture without giving credit.
More on Stepmother: Instagram: @step_mother | www.stepmotherofficial.com