I remember the first time I saw Connie Hung it was at the New Orleans Pride annual Mr. & Ms. New Orleans Pride competition. To be honest, I’d never heard of her, nor had I ever seen her perform, but it was a performance I couldn’t forget.
Connie is a native of Southeast Louisiana and grew up in Avondale. For her growing up would prove to be difficult and challenging since she comes from a traditional Vietnamese family. If you know anything about Asian families you understand the high expectations they place on their children. Ms. Hung knew she was gay since the 8th grade and had a crush on a boy in her class, however, wouldn’t tell her parents out of fear of disappointing them. “My relationship with my parents was strained, I would see them, but they would speak to me,” she stated.
I would be 9 years before her parents would finally accept her life, “I had to give them space, and respect that space.” Furthermore, “I felt that I was a failure and that I had disappointed them,” she says. It wasn’t until she was in the hospital for a serious illness that Connie told her parents about doing drag, and for some reason, it didn’t seem important to them, but maybe the health of their son was more important.
Ms. Hung has been doing drag for 7 years now and the one impression I get is that she is a perfectionist and will never settle for anything less than perfection. She freely opens up about performing, and the insecurities she has. It’s this drive to perfection that has, in my opinion, made her very popular and enjoyable to watch. For example, at the Pride pageant, she performed Disney’s Mulan and it really was impressive. Her ability to reach an audience is perfection, it’s no wonder she won (all the performers were exceptional).
It was the Pride event that Connie emerged to the forefront of having a platform. Anti-bullying is something she thinks is important, “I was heavy in high school, picked on because I was gay and this made me angry,” she says. She remembers the pain it caused her and wants young individuals to stand up for themselves, be strong and proud of who they are. “I want to surround myself with people who are positive and supportive not negative,” and “I’m willing to help anyone that asks, and help them achieve their goals.” If you ask her about drag she admits that if you’re going to do drag do your best, and be good at it.
Regardless how you feel about drag, you have to admire the hard work it takes to completely change and put yourself out there. Connie Hung makes her mark by being herself, true to her aesthetics as a performer. I’ll end this with her own words “I’m an open book, what you see is that you get, there’s nothing shocking to tell you.”