Divine willingly stepped forward to be a part of Psychic Punx, constantly putting herself in Mimi’s thoughts and view for about two weeks, until we finally did an interview. This is a very special interview for us, as we realized Divine was in need of healing and encouraging words. We decided to keep up with her in a segment we will call, rather fittingly, “Keeping up with Divine.” She already told us how she wants her section to look (pink!), because the dark colours of the site are “really drab, darling.” We did this interview right after Al Capone’s and he stayed on to watch, which made for some really surreal conversation topics! In this interview, Divine revealed to us that she was still healing from her life as a bold and “fat transvestite” who sometimes faced hostile comments from others. We discussed self love, her unwillingness to go through her life review, her love of clothes, her doggy-doo eating scene in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos, the transgender movement, feeling persecuted by religion for being who she is, and so much more. Enjoy!
Alison: He’s live and he’s large. That’s how he sees himself: live and large. And lots of “darlings.”
Mimi: I would imagine!
Alison: He’s very flamboyant. He’s telling me that he was in people’s faces, not just because of his personality but also because of his size.
Divine: It’s one thing to be a transvestite; it’s another to be a very big fat one!
Mimi and Alison laugh.
Alison: He’s telling me that he challenged people’s notions of transexuality.
Divine: There are so many people who will accept transexuality when you’re attractive…
Divine: …but not everybody is attractive. And I certainly wasn’t.
Alison: He’s actually quite proper in how he speaks to me. I sort of feel as though he’s an old madam, the way he’s speaking. It’s almost like he knows the questions without hearin ‘em. [Laughs]
Mimi: That’s great! Well he’s been in my mind a lot lately, so maybe he DOES know the questions in advance!
Divine: I’ve been watching, darling, for a little while.
Mimi: Have you, Divine?
Divine: Yes, yes.
Mimi: Why have you been watching, sweetheart?
Divine: It’s always interesting to get your point of view out after the facts. It’s like when you have an argument with somebody, and then half an hour later you think, “I wish I’d have said that!” That’s certainly what this venue [Psychic Punx] is like. To say what you need to say after the fact, when you’ve had time to think about it.
Mimi: So he’s had some time to think about his answers, is what he’s saying!
Alison: I think so, yeah!
Mimi: Oh good!
Divine: I was a unique flavor in the transgender world because of my size. I put the notion of not just transexuality but the notion of what it means to be attractive into the community.
Alison: So I think his persona is just as noble as Al Capone. They all brought certain things to light.
Mimi: Ok, well Al Capone is still here cause I just heard him say “Oh my God, she thinks I’m NOBLE!”
Alison: [Laughs] A noble cause, I should say!
Al Capone: Yeah, I’m gonna stay for this one, this’ll be interesting.
Mimi: He’s saying that if he had seen a creature like Divine [appear] in front of him in broad daylight, he would have shot him immediately.
Mimi and Alison laugh.
Alison: Yeah, I was hearing that as he was saying it to you. [Laughs]
Divine [to Al Capone]: Oh you are awful, darling!
Alison [Laughs]: He doesn’t care one bit what Al Capone thinks!
Mimi: I love that Divine and Al Capone are here together! Ok, so describe your personality to us in one word, Divine.
Mimi: Absolutely! Good! What was your greatest challenge in your life?
Divine: Finding clothes to fit.
Mimi and Alison laugh.
Mimi: What was your greatest quality?
Divine: When I found clothes to fit!
Mimi and Alison laugh.
Divine: You’re gonna think me so shallow!
Mimi: No! You must’ve had a quality though. What do you think your greatest quality was, besides the clothes you wore?
Divine: I was very endearing.
Alison: Let me see if he’ll give me a bit more on that. Cause I don’t really understand what he means by that.
Mimi: Easily lovable.
Alison: Yeah, that’s it. He’s showing me that people around him who took the time to get to know him loved him. They loved him for who he was because there were no airs and graces, there was no pretend. This is it: “I am this big, and I am this ugly, and I am this outwardly sexual. Deal with it or go away.”
Divine: I’m not hiding who I am because YOU have a problem with it!
Mimi: Al Capone is really impressed by that. He’s like “all right, I like that.” [Laughs] Sorry, I’m getting Al Capone while you’re getting Divine!
Alison: It’s good! Keep bringing it in, it’s good! I think you’ll find there’s parallels between the two of them, because Al Capone didn’t stand on ceremony, he didn’t apologize for who he was, and neither does Divine.
Mimi: Yeah, that’s exactly what he likes about him. I feel like they didn’t know each other; this is the first time they’re meeting.
Divine: Oh, we’re going to know each other after this!
Mimi and Alison laugh.
Al Capone: Aye aye aye.
Mimi: It’s interesting…I’ve never experienced that kind of…energy before! Anyway! [Laughs]
Alison: [Laughs] One of the most outrageous interviews I’ve ever done.
Mimi: Ok. What were you here to learn, Divine?
Alison: Learn to love himself, because it wasn’t easy. There was a lot of him to love! [Laughs] It took a lot of effort. But he said he got there, in the end he got there. He learned to love himself, he learned to accept himself the way he was. He couldn’t help it. He said he wasn’t fat on purpose, that was his role. He’s not indicating he had a food problem, or an addiction to food. He just enjoyed himself, he enjoyed life, and he didn’t really have any problems with what he ate. He’s showing me eating cream cakes – he LOVED eating cream cakes! I’ve got a picture of him with a giant cream bun in his face and he’s devouring it! [Laughs] I think he might’ve had diabetes. Sugar problems. He’s saying, “undiagnosed” – whether undiagnosed his whole life or for a prolonged period. It did cause him health problems. He loved his cream cakes.
Mimi: That’s fine, man. He’s probably still enjoying them, I can tell.
Divine: It’s just not the same.
Mimi: Your life purpose, we kind of already…do you have more to add to that?
Alison: No, he’s already told us, he said. It was to bring out…he’s calling it the “ugly side.” He’s talking about a group of people who accept certain things [only] if it’s attractive.
Mimi: That’s brilliant, actually.
Alison: And he’s calling those people superficial. Probably more superficial than those who reject transgender sexuality because at least they’re honest about it, whereas those in the middle who go “yeah I can accept that cause it’s not ugly,” he’s saying that’s actually worse. That’s not really being faithful to the actual transgender cause. That’s the superficial side of it. He’s calling them “fag hags” – they’ll accept beautiful, but they won’t accept ugly.
Mimi: That’s a very noble purpose, Divine. I hope you’re very proud of that. And my next question is “what are you most proud of?”
Alison: He keeps calling it back to his weight.
Divine: My girth.
Mimi: It was part of his personality, it was Divine!
Alison: That’s right. And he keeps getting in my third eye with this outrageous blue eye shadow make up, and it’s right up to the eyebrows.
Mimi: Yes, I think there’s a photo of him like that.
Alison: Horrendous makeup! [Laughs]
Mimi: Ok, what are you least proud of?
Alison: Doubting himself. The energy just dropped. His self esteem was affected by other people, even though he was as honest about who he was as he could be, sometimes it could get on top of him, you know, the abuse, getting called names on the street. Sometimes that did get too much for him, and he did cry over those things.
Mimi: Well yeah, that’s normal, poor thing.
Alison: Yeah…so that was tough for him to live with sometimes. Not all the time – it’s just every now and then, it was too much.
Mimi: What he can tell me about the movies he did and that famous scene where he ate doggy doo? [John Waters’ Pink Flamingos]
Alison: Oh, right! I haven’t seen that movie.
Mimi: It was John Waters. What can he tell us about his roles in these movies and the outrageous things he had to do, like eating dog crap?
Alison: Well he’s telling me that it wasn’t real dog poo.
Mimi: I figured as much, yeah.
Divine: First instance, you have to know that it wasn’t real.
Mimi: John Waters says it is, I think.
Alison: He’s telling me that it isn’t, although there is this horrible smell of dog poo in my nose at the moment. [Laughs]
Divine: It was theatrical. It was meant to shock. We were deliberately shocking our audience.
Mimi: Al Capone is really liking him right now.
Al Capone: That’s my kind of fearless!
Alison: [Laughs] From his perspective, it was designed to shock, to get attention. And it did that. So that’s why he did it, because that was part of his theatrical persona. It was to shock, to be in people’s faces.
Divine: Wake up! Look at me! I am you!
Mimi: Beautiful. I loved looking at him! Ok so, when he passed, how did that transition go for him? What happened when he passed?
Divine: Well, I lost a lot of weight very quickly!
Alison [Laughs]: He said he was a little bit sad when he looked at his body and he understood just how difficult it had been carrying that look, that weight, carrying that around. He said it was a relief! He’s linking it to taking off a costume that makes you itch. He’s talking about fancy clothes, fancy bras, rhinestones all over those things and they’re really uncomfortable and you’re trapped…it’s just like taking those off and going “aaaaah.” So once he did that, once he looked at his body, he was happy just to walk off and leave it all behind. He didn’t look back.
Mimi: Did he have a life review, then?
Alison: Ok…he’s not giving me anything…I don’t know if he’s thinking or what’s going on. I don’t know if he’s actually had a life review, because he’s not telling me anything about it.
Mimi: Interesting! Well, that’s why we ask the question!
Divine: I’m not ready for it yet.
Alison: Yeah, he went completely silent, but I can feel he’s still here, and then he just said, “I’m not ready for it yet.”
Mimi: That’s fine with us! Thank you Divine, because that’s why we ask the question. It’s fascinating for us to see and understand what the life review is. Do you have one, and do you have one immediately after you transition; so we understand more now because of you!
Divine: When you get across, you must be willing to go through that process. If you’re not willing to go through that process, it can’t happen. You need to be a very strong-willed person though, because if you’re not, it’s gonna happen. If you’re not strong-willed, if you don’t put your foot down and say “I’m not ready for this yet,” then it’s just gonna happen.
Mimi: So I’m hearing Al Capone kind of urging him, he’s like “Come on, guy.”
Al Capone: You don’t mind that I call you a guy, right?
Divine: You can call me anything you like, honey.
Al Capone: You got the balls, right?
Divine: Well, I’m not entirely sure because I could never find them.
Mimi and Alison laugh.
Mimi: Anyway Divine, Al Capone wants you to do it. He says “Its not that bad.”
Al Capone: If I could do it, and you know what my life was like, then you can do it.
Alison: He’s contemplating it.
Mimi: Al Capone giving Divine advice on the life review. The surreal conversations that we have! Ok, so more on spiritual matters Divine. What was your opinion about God, spirituality, etc. when you were Divine here on earth. “When you were Divine here on earth!” I like that!
Divine: Oh, I WAS divine!
Alison: He felt forsaken. So he wasn’t against there being a God, a supreme being, but he felt forsaken by it. And he’s indicating that it’s the Church’s fault that he had those beliefs, cause the Church made him think that he was an abomination. That the Church were the ones putting propaganda out there against people like him. So he felt forsaken, he felt like he was a bit of a monster on some level, even though in his heart he knew that wasn’t true. He’s talking about there being layers of beliefs and thoughts that go through your mind when you are a “fat transvestite.” [Laughs] He says it’s a complicated belief system. It’s almost like there’s two sides to him: there’s the side that’s not gonna give up, that says “look I’m here, this is me,” and underneath there’s a softer underbelly, the softer side of him where he was emotionally traumatized by belief systems and people calling him names.
Mimi: So what is your understanding now of God and all spiritual matters?
Divine: I understand what I came to do, what I came to be. I understand that I am God.
Alison: And he’s being sincere about that, he’s not being funny.
Mimi: He IS Divine!
Alison: Yeah! So he understands that he is part of … he’s calling the “God particle.”
Mimi: Ok, good. Is there a past life that influenced your life as Divine?
Alison: He’s played the underdog before. He’s talking about playing the role of a female in an abusive relationship. It looks like England during the wartime. I think it might be WWI, cause I’m seeing women in curlers, they scrubbed stone steps, they looked after their husbands and they took abuse. Not all of them, but that’s the role he had. He was in an abusive relationship with a male. He was slapped around and being beaten up.
Divine: Nobody did anything about it, it was just accepted as normal. Like it’s ok to treat people like that.
Mimi: So how does that link to Divine?
Alison: The underdog, again. Playing the role of somebody who tried to highlight the wrongs, if you like. He says he identifies better as a female than a male. He says many of his life roles have been female rather than male, but this one, Divine, has been the most outrageous he’s ever done. Do you feel like he’s a bit battle scarred from it, though? I am picking that up.
Mimi: Well, if he doesn’t want the life review, there’s something that’s not healed. He’s scared, I do feel that.
Alison: Yeah, you picked it up as well? Yeah, ok.
Mimi: Which is sad, Divine.
Divine [singing]: Don’t cry for me, Argentina!
Mimi: You poor thing. I’m not gonna cry for you, but I do wish you well and some healing.
Divine: There’s a lot to heal.
Alison: [Laughs] He’s presenting it in his full…he’s calling it his “flabby suit.”
Mimi: Is there a chance that he’ll be reincarnating soon then? I’m guessing no.
Alison: Not ready. In our terms, he said he won’t be ready for a very, very long time.
Mimi: So it sounds like it was a traumatizing life for him to play the role of the “fat transvestite”. He suffered a lot for it, it sounds like.
Divine: It was a difficult life.
Alison: The thing I’m getting, like before, is that there are layers of him. There’s the guy on the outside that was putting on this big show, and people felt endeared towards him. But underneath, cause he talked earlier about loving himself, he said that towards the end, it took him a long time to love himself. He had to understand that no matter what you look like, it didn’t matter. There was still love for himself. His mood has completely deflated.
Mimi: I can see that. Come on Al! Tell us a joke, Al!
Alison: Maybe Al needs to counsel him after the interview!
Al Capone: The only way I know how to help someone like that is with whiskey and girls, but I don’t think that’s gonna work here.
Mimi: Ok, share your favorite memory with us as Divine. I’m sure there’s an uplifting memory that can raise your energy.
Alison: He loved shopping for clothes. He loved clothing. He’s saying when he dressed up, and put fancy clothes on it made him elegant. It made him feel like a beautiful fairy. He’s laughing as he’s saying that. And he’s putting the Walt Disney picture of the blue elephant [in her third eye], what was it, wearing the tutu? [Laughs] It made him feel beautiful to dress up like that. That was his favorite memory. Dressing up and feeling like a princess.
Mimi: What do you up there? How do you spend your time? I know there’s no time, but what do you do?
Alison: He’s showing me how he creates solitary spaces, goes for walks. It looks like he’s going for walks on the Highland Moors in Scotland. Interesting Al mentioned whiskey cause I’m picking up malt whiskey, I’m picking up English/Scottish pubs in the country side, he’s got a walking stick, he’s got a hat on. It’s the Houndstooth clothing. Dressed like a gent. So that seems to be what he enjoys doing.
Mimi: So he just manifests that: meditation and walking time on his own.
Alison: Yeah. Solitary time is good. He’s saying it’s part of his healing process. But interestingly, he said he identified as a woman, but he’s showing me dressed like a man, although it’s “Divine” in this outfit. Whether he’s just trying to put it together for me so I’ll understand it, I don’t know, but yeah. Who is it that keeps playing…this song keeps playing over and over and I have a feeling it may be Al. It’s “You and me baby, ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel”? [Laughs] Is that Al?
Al Capone [sheepishly]: Yeah.
Mimi: He’s trying to seduce you.
Alison: [Laughs] Oh my God. He’ll have to wait till I get on the other side before that’s gonna work!
Mimi: He’s saying it’s the power thing again.
Al Capone: I can’t help myself.
Alison: Yeah. And I think that I actually find that attractive, in a strange sort of way.
Al Capone: Of course you do, sweetheart.
Alison [Laughs]: See, that’s just outrageous.
Divine: Hellooo! I’m still here!
Alison: He just went “Get a room!”
Mimi and Alison laugh.
Mimi: Do you have any messages for us, Divine?
Alison: I think he does, and I think it’s gonna be quite profound.
Divine: People have got to stop looking on the surface for the truth of what a person is and who they are, because that’s just a persona, the outdoor, the brick home. That’s not what’s inside, that’s not the heart. Everybody has a heart, and everybody can have a broken heart.
Alison: He’s talking about others not realizing that they are hurting people, when the reality is that they are actually hurting themselves. But the heart is what he is talking about the most. Everybody needs to have a heart and understand that everybody’s got a heart. We’re all the same, we’re not different.
Divine: Just because I look like a brick shithouse doesn’t mean I’m a brick shithouse.
Al Capone: Hey, I had a heart too!
Mimi: Well I want to say to Divine that I think you were very courageous to step up to that role, even though it brought you a lot of suffering that you’re still trying to resolve! So that’s a great achievement, as far as I’m concerned.
Alison: You’re creating a lot of emotion in him. It’s almost like he’s afraid to accept a compliment.
Mimi: Oh no, accept Divine, accept!
Alison: I could feel him backing away from you.
Mimi: I could feel that from him also. I’m thinking that maybe we should send him some healing. Would he like that? I’d want to get his permission.
Alison: Yes, he says he would enjoy that.
Alison and Mimi send him some healing energy for a few minutes.
Alison: He’s telling me he’s gonna do the life review.
Alison: He says we helped him in a way that he wasn’t expecting.
Mimi: Al Capone is crying!
Al Capone [embarrassed] Aaah! I should’ve left!
Mimi: He doesn’t want me to tell people that.
Alison: He’s gonna do the life review.
Mimi: Ok, well if he wants us to help him again, he can just send us little signs and we’ll connect with him.
Alison: He says he’s gonna be around, cause he’s interested in the project that we’re doing.
Divine: Anytime I can get an encore, I’m in!
Mimi: It’s funny you mention the encore, because what I got from him just now is that he wants us to keep up with him. It feels as though that’s gonna motivate him.
Divine: Ghost reality show. “Keeping up with Divine.”
Mimi: I love that! That’s a TV show!
Alison: “Keeping up with Divine” oh my goodness, that’s wonderful.
Mimi: So let’s do that! Let’s connect with him in a month or something.
Alison: Yeah, after his life review he can tell us how it went.
Mimi: Ok Divine. Here’s what I have to tell you: you were courageous to have this life, and you can be as courageous to go through your life review. The courage that you lost after your life, I know you can find that again. No soul that was not courageous could have had your life as Divine.
Alison: He’s accepting the compliment now. I feel like we lifted his self-image, in some way.
Divine: You can start by calling me SHE!
Mimi: You know what, that came to me. I don’t know why I referred to him as “he”. And every time I do, my mind goes “she!” Sorry Divine, yes. So while we were sending Divine some love, Al Capone made an inappropriate joke about sending you love.
Alison: He can take me on a date when I get across there. I will definitely go on a date with the champagne. I want the full Al Capone treatment!
Mimi: He’s very excited! He just made a joke about “making that happen sooner.” Noooo!
Al Capone: I’m gonna call one of my boys. I can make that happen really quickly for you, sweetheart.
Alison: No! [Laughs] He’s outrageous.
Mimi: He’s kidding, of course. But at some point he got really moved.
Al Capone: Forget about it.
Alison: [Laughs] Divine is waving. She’s on her way.
Divine: I will be back.
Alison: She’s actually over at my window [further away]
Mimi: Oh she will be back! We’ll be in touch with you in like a month, Divine. We’re doing the Divine Show. “Keeping up with Divine.”
Al Capone [arms across the sofa]: So ladies, I’m still here.
Alison: [Laughs] Hasn’t he got somebody to rescue?
Mimi: I think he’s gonna visit you, sweetheart! OH! See, I called you “sweetheart”!
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?
- Wendy O. Williams ∙ Vampira ∙ Type O Negative ∙ Tupac ∙ Toulouse Lautrec ∙ The Cramps ∙ Sister Rosetta Tharpe ∙ Sid Vicious ∙ Sex Pistols ∙ Serge Gainsbourg ∙ Satan ∙ Rasputin ∙ Prince ∙ Peter Steele ∙ Peter Cook ∙ Pablo Picasso ∙ Pablo Escobar ∙ Oliver Reed ∙ Myra Hindley ∙ Muhammad Ali ∙ Motorhead ∙ Marquis de Sade ∙ Marie-Antoinette ∙ Malcom X ∙ Maila Nurmi ∙ Lux Interior ∙ Leonard Nimoy ∙ Lemmy ∙ Lee Hazlewood ∙ Layne Staley ∙ Keith Moon ∙ Joey Ramone ∙ Joe Strummer ∙ Jeff Buckley ∙ Huey P. Newton ∙ Harvey Milk ∙ GG Allin ∙ George Carlin ∙ Frida Kahlo ∙ Freddie Mercury ∙ Elvis Presley ∙ Edith Piaf ∙ Edgar Allan Poe ∙ Divine ∙ David Bowie ∙ Charlie Chaplin ∙ Buster Keaton ∙ Bob Ross ∙ Bob Marley ∙ Black Panther Party ∙ Bill Hicks ∙ Anton LaVey ∙ Amelia Earhart ∙ Al Capone ∙ Albert Einstein ∙ Alan Rickman