airport and forced these enormous wings into my tiny little car and they barely fit! I remember thinking ‘why am I awake at 5am and urrrghhh’ [laughing] but it turned out to be one of my most iconic looks! [laughing] I’m so glad that I went to all of the effort. I have a picture by a street artist in Paris – he did a larger than life artwork of me wearing the wings on a wall in Paris and they took a photo and gave me a print of it which is on my wall! Incredible!

Do you do your own styling or have you fallen into the lovely celebrity trap of having a stylist now? [laughing] A bit of both. I love coming up with ideas and I work a lot with a designer in Los Angeles called Marco Marco. I was out shopping and took pictures of things I saw and described it to him as I’m not good at drawing and he’s come up with a Christmas outfit for a show I’m doing – so I love that process, it’s really fun, especially when you have the idea or inspiration, that’s so much fun, the hardest part is when you have to come up with something and you don’t have the inspiration. You were voted in FHM’s top 100 most beautiful women in the world – it’s a top lads’ mag, women would give their right arm to be listed in the top 100, that had to be a defining moment too? I know! And that was like 2003, so it wasn’t even recent! The world’s come a long way in the last few years, but this was pre that, so to be included in that was pretty cool. You know Katie I saw myself doing an Australian Sports Illustrated edition, but that never came around [laughing]!


I have to ask this question because you are a very handsome guy, and a stunningly attractive woman, so when it comes to dating, is it hard because people fall in love with Courtney or Shane? Well I live most of my life as Shane. I would only look to date somebody who was interested in dating Shane. I have dated guys as Courtney, but that’s usually with the intention that there’s no future in it [laughing], although a few of my ex-boyfriends were straight identifying and had never been with a guy and then through the course of our relationship one guy I was dating who was from Ohio – so full mid-west – after a couple of weeks said, ‘Oh I told my mum about you,’ and I was like ‘You told your mum!!!!!!’ He said, ‘Can she get to meet you?’ and I was, ‘Okay we’re living in a whole new brave world aren’t we’ – inside my head though, I didn’t say it out loud! It’s interesting to see that in the world we’re living in, sexuality and gender isn’t the big deal that it was, that’s not for everybody, but it’s different to years ago when I came out.

Do you think that you’ve played your part in that with your high profile TV shows, because as well as the fun side, there’s also the very responsible side and pioneering side? Well I hope so. When I was going into the Big Brother House I was talking to my therapist about the motivations of why I was doing it and it helped me to realise that so much of what I do is because when I was 14 I didn’t have anybody that was in the media who looked like me or who reflected me and there was actually the Spice Girls, who were a lifeline out of suburban Brisbane, who kind of gave me the confidence and the strength to be who I am. So, I always like to think about what I could be for my 14-year-old self.


I love being on stage and performing, but more than that I love making people think, shows like the Bi-Life – and on a Channel like E, that is so mainstream, showing a bi-sexual dating show, the first show ever and that people are watching that and being like ‘Oh wow, they’re just like me and oh now they’re dating a boy and now they’re dating a girl, but otherwise their just like me!’ I think that’s educating through osmosis. I definitely love doing that sort of stuff most of all.

Michelle Visage judged you on Drag Race; how do you think she’s going to do on Strictly? I think she’s going to do grand; I’ve been through the same process on shows and it’s hard, but I think she’s tightened up! I went to the show to watch her last week and I think she nailed it – her dress was just gorgeous too! She’s finally stepped out from behind the desk in some stunning hair, make-up and gowns and she gets to strut her stuff on the ballroom floor.

You’ve been likened to Kylie Minogue and you have an incredible voice, but if you could duet with anybody, who would it be? Mine would be Dolly Parton and Islands in the Stream, as that’s my tipsy song! That’s such a good song too Katie. Um gosh, well I wouldn’t say no to Kylie. She’s amazing and a wonderful person. Gaga would be iconic. I think both in their own way have done so much for the queer community and so to meet an artist who has supported the queer community like they both have – long before it was cool. I know loads of people who are jumping on the band wagon these days, but Kylie performed at Sydney Mardi Gras long before the gays were cool. In fact it was quite the opposite. She was the first big pop star to crossover and perform not only at the Sydney Mardi Gras, but she also had 100 Marching Boys march into the State Theatre and perform on stage with her. So, she not only crossed over into the queer world, but also brought them into her concert in Sydney. I don’t think people realise why Kylie is a gay icon part from her gay outfits, but she’s supported them on a real level as well – so I think she’s pretty cool. As is Gaga.

Christmas is nearly here… I actually start to say that after my birthday in April…but how will you be spending Christmas? [laughing] I’m trying to work that out actually, as last year a big group of my friends who are a burlesque circus group were doing a show at Leicester Square and asked me if I wanted to go to their house at Christmas. They each made something for the dinner and we had such a wonderful time. They’re not here this year so I‘ve got to think ahead and I might go back to Australia for Christmas or stay here. I’m working on a Christmas show, so I’ve been thinking about it a lot this year!


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