Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 30, Ed. 1 Friday, November 21, 1997 Page: 21 of 80
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ly-illustrated how-to guide for the best
drag makeup possible.
"Drag" is in no way a negative term
for this description. Kevyn's transfor-
mation of Courtney Love into a Jean
Harlow is so remarkable that you can
barely see a trace of Miss Love at all.
His talented hands upon Lisa Marie
Presley create a Marlyn Monroe that
should have Jimmy James scared out of
Even during a tour focusing on his
professional life filled with fashion and
supermodel celebrities, Kevyn's pas-
sion for discussing his role as a gay
man, and the power of being a celebrity
himself, is what's important to him
right now — even if he is running
around his hotel room like an energetic-
"I have no tolerance for the closet. I
have no tolerance for it whatsoever!" he
declares. "There are gay children com-
mitting suicide out there because they
don't have any role models. And as far
as I'm concerned, as a gay adult, I do
not have the option to be in the closet. I
have the responsibility to be out. Other
people that aren't out have blood on
Kevyn (he changed the spelling of
his name from Kevin at the age of 12
when he heard that Barbara changed
her's to Barbra) was the gay kid where
he grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana —
the kid who received all the savage,
brutal treatment other children unleash
on that one sissy kid at school. Teachers
would see it and look the other way.
Getting beat up and spit on eventually
became so oppressive that he dropped
out at the age of 16. And it was all
because he wouldn't deny that he was
gay. At 12 years old he knew, and he
said to himself, "I'm not a bad person
— they're wrong." Which was the real
beginning of his life.
Kevyn is pleased to hear of the recent
establishment of Walt Whitman
Community School, a private Dallas
high school for those whose sexual ori-
entation caused them problems in
"When I was a gay kid, Rock
Hudson wasn't out of the closet. No
one was there for me. He was making
his movies, making his money. No
integrity, but rich." On a roll, Kevyn
also harshly condemns a well-known
New York fashion designer, married
and presumably straight: "Please don't
tell me that that [he], with billions of
dollars in the bank, can't fucking come
out of the closet and do something."
Kevyn says he still sometimes weeps
just thinking about how he quit high
school an amazing constrast to his most
recent distinction — in the swirl of all
the publicity, after doing The Today Shoiu
with Katie Couric, Newsweek magazine
and Oprah Winfrey, he seems both sur-
prised and fascinated to discover he's
an author whose book just reached
number one on The New York Times
Squeezing his stomach out of
hunger, Kevyn raises his t-shirt to
reveal a tan, hairless midsection with-
out an ounce of fat, not to mention an
expensive Gucci belt. He's a tall drink
of water with big biceps and a wonder-
fully inviting personality. He orders a
huge lunch from room service. Then the
handsome, sexy Mr. Aucoin reveals
how ugly he felt growing up.
"I was never insecure about my per-
sonality, never insecure about who I
was," he says. "Growing up, I was
called ugly so much that I was insecure
about my looks. I was totally freaked
out by the way I look. It was a paranoia
driven by years and years of verbal
His voice is also something he was
insecure about — Cajun with a lisp, but
with a character that makes him sound
like a young Donald Southerland.
Yet despite all these insecurities, he
finds beauty — in himself and with the
people he works on.
Making Faces is filled with celebrities
from Cher to Janet Jackson fawning
over Kevyn's magical ability to invent a
glamorous new them they'd never seen
before, an image they never could
dream of, but a vision Kevyn was able
see with his sensitive insights of their
Kevyn considers himself a feminist
— perhaps even a lesbian, he says —
because he loves women so much. He
feels a connection with women that
might stem from his own effeminacy in
his youth. He admits he spent a large
part of his early years doing makeup on
his sisters and conducting photoshoots
Asked about the overblown egos
which typify the New York fashion
world, Kevyn's explanation is simple.
"Unfortunately, people come to New
York from the small towns where they
were the ostracized people, and they
get to New York and they do what
everybody else did to them — which is,
'Oh, now we're the 'in' group and we're
gonna be big bad-asses. It's so simple
minded. It's like when a black person
calls a gay person 'faggot,'" he says.
"People come to assist me all the
time, but I work mostly with women.
Because most gay men are there for the
glamour. They're there for the ego
boost, they're there to make friends
with Cindy or Linda or they're there to
watch the show. They're not there to
work. They're there to feed their mal-
nourished egos, and that's not a good
reason to be there. That's why people
become evil in this business — because
they place their identity on their work.
I don't know why I never did that.
"The first time I worked with a
celebrity or a supermodel, I realized:
'Ya know what? I still go home, put my
head on the pillow and I still have the
same childhood that I had. I'm still me.
I'm not better for having known this
person, unless we have a relationship
and I learn something from them.' I
guess that's why I end-up working
with everybody, 'cuz they know that
See AUCOIN on Page 37
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 30, Ed. 1 Friday, November 21, 1997, newspaper, November 21, 1997; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth616180/m1/21/?q=RIO%20VISTA: accessed October 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.