By Susannah Elisabeth Fulcher | Photographs by Marcia Geier
Walk down Commercial Street in Provincetown pretty much any time of year and, if you’re lucky, you might encounter a tall, exuberant queen with bouncy blond curls, a round-faced smile, and obvious hip extenders under her 3XL dress, sashaying gleefully in high heels. She isn’t handing out leaflets or calling you into a show. She wants nothing of you but to make you feel happy for a moment and, maybe, to laugh. She has a rare kind of innocence, and she exudes it. Her name is Drunkerella — though she rarely drinks — and she is still learning to become a drag queen. A large part of her charm is that she’s imperfect, stumbling and bumbling as she goes along.
Behind this extravagant persona is a quiet, youngish man with a fresh face, sad eyes, and a keen knowledge of LGBTQ history and culture. Eddy Lupien Jr. manages two Provincetown businesses: the Carpe Diem Guesthouse and Namasté Spa. He commutes every day from his home in South Wellfleet, where he lives with his husband and his mother, Theresa.
Eddy moved from Rhode Island to Provincetown more than 10 years ago. The first time he did drag was Halloween 2015. “When the wig went on, I transformed, and it was amazing,” he says. Before that happened, Eddy didn’t really know much about drag. “I thought it was that you wanted to be a woman,” he says. “And I like being a man. Drag allows me to be someone else. And feel free.” Eddy senses that when people are with Drunkerella they feel that freedom and enjoy it. “As Drunkerella, I can go up to someone on the street and say, ‘Where did you find that sweater — it’s disgusting!’ I can rip everyone up like that and they love it. They say, ‘Do you know how fabulous you are?’ and the answer is, ‘Yes, of course!’ Drunkerella needs to go out, to spread love, joy. It’s fun.”
After the whirlwind of Carnival week had subsided, Eddy invited a photographer and reporter into his home to document his transformation for the newspaper and to get to know Drunkerella better. And the rest is herstory.