A national LGBTQI+ storytelling project curated by Maeve Marsden
featuring a book, event series and an award-winning podcast

A national LGBTQI+ storytelling project curated by Maeve Marsden
featuring a book, event series and award-winning podcast

289 Glace Chase – Walking New York Fashion Week

Glace’s attempt to walk the opening ceremony goes pear-shaped despite, or perhaps because of, encounters with Sasha Velour, Xtina and Nicki Minaj.

Glace Chase is an award winning multi-disciplinary “trans-queen” / performer / playwright / comedienne / screenwriter / tour guide / bon vivant. Glace created the world’s first Drag Queen Tour Guide business – Dream Queen Tours – named “Best Alternative Tour” by the International Travel & Hospitality Awards. As a playwright Glace has won two Griffin Awards and the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, and has been shortlisted for almost every playwriting award in Australia. Glace’s play Triple X, which she created, wrote and stars in, was recently seen at the Queensland Theatre and is about to open at Sydney Theatre Company. The play has earned her a 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Award nomination as well as being shortlisted for the Nick Enright Prize for playwriting. She also has a limited television series in development entitled Falleni and will premiere her latest solo show Glace’s Big Things later this year.


Glace: So last week was Australian Fashion Week. Who knew Australia even HAD a fashion week?! 

But it’s inspired me to this tell a Quintessential New York Story from a couple of years ago. 

It’s mid morning – about 4pm. And the phone rings – It’s Johnny

“What are you doing tomorrow? Because Sasha Velour is co-creating the Opening Ceremony of NYFW- 

Now you have to come in so they can see you Walk- & can sign off on you – but it’s Sasha’s gig so really she just gets what she wants.” 

Is it paid? 

Unfortunately it’s not- but we really want you involved- cos you’re amazing. 

Now I have a little rule – I don’t do gigs unless I’m paid. But occasionally you make an exception- and fuck me It’s the Opening Ceremony- of New York Fashion Week co-created with Sasha Velour & they asked me personally. This is like some sex in the city bullshit I gotta do this!

The next day I arrive and I walk into this room and it’s full of Skinny Emaciated models. It’s like an SVU Victim of the Week Cattle Call. I have to write on a piece of paper my name, my height, my weight and I feel very Not Special. 

And then an assistant appears and asks “Are you Glace chase? We’ve been waiting for you! Squeee!”

I go in and there’s Sashy and I’m like “I’m so proud of you” and she’s like “I’m so proud of YOU!!!”

See I consider Sashy a friend- even a close friend! I mean we hadn’t spoken since she got famous but I know we’re friends. We auditioned for drag race together. The year she got on & I didn’t hear from them. We spent thanksgiving together! My sister knows her father! We’re friends!! I think??

See watching a friend get famous is both exhilarating and terrifying. You can’t help but think – “Do they remember me?!” You can’t help but think “It shoulda been me…”

But now she’s asked me to be involved – and I am flattered…

I just have to Walk. Any hints?! I ask. I mean I get the idea… but maybe there’s a trick?!

I’m not a Fashionista. I’m no Linda. Evangalista. 

Sashy looks at me like I’m nuts- 

She’s like – “We just want you to be yourself.” 

So I walk. 

For those of you listening I just walked. And it was AMAZING.

And Sashy’s yasss Glace!!

The organizers were like “That walk has the most PERSONALITY we’ve seen all day. That’s Amazing. You’re Amazing. This is perfect.”

Next up, I’ve got to do a fitting. I get a call early morning – 2pm – asking me why I’m not there – and I’m like this is the first I’ve heard about it – I can’t come I’ve got a gig- and she’s like “If you don’t come you can’t do the show  – It’s Fashion Week!”

I see the designer & he’s super pumped- “Glace have you been told what you’re doing?! We’ve got the best bit for you.”

At the end of everyone’s Runway you’re gonna fire a confetti canon all over them- and then you’re gonna boss a model around who’s mopping the stage- while you Walk!

I’m like “Wooo it’s the Opening Ceremony!” 

And he’s like “No, New York Fashion Week doesn’t have an Opening Ceremony. But there is a fashion label called Opening Ceremony- that I created.” 


The first look is cute – off the shoulder 50s styled thing – but he decided it looked too – like I’d put it together myself… 

He’s futzing – after two hours I’m getting a little tetchy. I’m now very late… 

But then he discovers it – this bright yellow trenchoat- collar up- belted – Holocaust Nuclear Wintour – Does fashion. 

This is perfect. This is Amazing. And not gonna lie. I look freaking fab. 

This gig is a big deal. Nicki Minaj is gonna be there. Whoopi Goldberg. Christina Aguilera is gonna perform with the Ru Girls. This is star fucker city central. 

So the Day of. It’s 10.40am and we gotta be there by 11- but the trains aren’t running- track work – but I am not gonna fuck this up so I get a cab- $40. And I get there on right on time everyone gets there at 12:30 

At 3pm I’m asked to the stage, then it’s action stations. We all get in to makeup, they take our photos. The photographer tells me my outfit is his favourite, I wave hello tp Sashy on the opposite side of the room, the photographer tells the next model that she’s his favourite.

It’s 5pm and I’m thinking to myself oh my godddddd. I’m HUNGRY! They lay out the food – it’s hummussey sandwiches… but I’m in full face – and there’s only one way I smudge my lipstick and that’s at a job interview! Plus we’re all in Opening Ceremony Couture. We’re not allowed to eat! Me & 30 emaciated models staring longingly- at the carbs…

7pm. 8 hours in. I’ve just been forced to get out of a corner for VIPs and I’m sitting against a wall- and someone’s screaming clear the area- and this VIP is brought down the stairs 

And her manager is screaming- don’t stand up- don’t stand up- stay in your seats- don’t stand up. 

And I’m like bitch- I don’t care who it is I’m not standing up!

And that’s when Nicki Minaj stares at me. 

And I stare back. And then I sorta snarl. 

And she sorta snarls back. 

And I think. I like you. 

This was the day after Nicki’s fight with Cardi B- and I hadn’t eaten for 11 hours – so we were in similar places. 

So the show starts.  

The models walk the runway- there’s cheering.  

And then its my turn. 

And I walk on the stage- looking epic. 

The glitter cannons explodes. Well kind of dribbles. Onto the edge of the stage. 

And this model- who is very sweet but not the brightest spark in the matchbox- runs right in front of me- blocking the catwalk- & decides to “act sweeping”. instead of actually sweeping. 

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever swept something very quickly- it actually stirs the dust up!!- according to my cleaner- so this model is literally stirring confetti everywhere and making these bizarre faces. 

But Jiggly’s gets on the mic. And Sashy joins them. And they climb the edge of the runway. 

And Jiggly’s having some moment about trans youth or AIDS or something- and they’re both talking in Very Serious Voices. 

While this model is running around the stage “pretending to sweep”- and I just stand there. 

You know when a moment is so awkward and weird it’s totally genius?!

This was not one of those times. 

The audience was wondering why I was there. 

I was wondering why I was there!

I like to consider myself a bit of a pro on stage. I know how to hold a moment no matter what. And I assess my options. Which are limited. 

An overacting upstaging model. Who normally I’d push off the stage and grab my moment. 

But… there’s Earnest Talk about Very Serious Issues. By celebrities. In front of star studded celebrity audience.

And me- a no-body.  

I do the only thing I can think of. 

Walk Off The Stage. Epically.

And pick up Jigglys jacket on the way through- to have a Moment. 

As I came off stage – 

Good job good job! That was Amazing. 

I was onstage for approximately thirty seconds. I’ve been at that venue for 9 and a half hours. I haven’t eaten. I’m- Not Feeling It. 

And then it’s curtain call. We all rush out onto the stage- 

“Look happy & excited! Look happy & excited. Look enthusiastic fill the stage.”

And Baz Lurhrman & Whoopi Goldberg & Awkwafina all leap to their feet cheering. 

I read later in the press- cos I’m stuck behind five models so I can’t see a fucking thing. 

As I undressed I unwrapped one of those stale sandwich I’d hidden away. 

And my skinny model stares: “oh that looks so good. I’m starving.” 

Fine. Have It. 

It’s 10.30. I’d been there for 11 and a half hours. Not eaten. I’m so fuming I get a cab. $60. Surge pricing. And in the cab I realise I’ve left my vape there. 

None of this is Sashy’s fault. I still love her. Christ- I didn’t even see her! I get it. But what did all this cost me? 

After the casting, the fitting and the day. About 17 hours! At my friend’s rate discount of $20 an hour. $340. $185 dollars on cabs, coffee and a new fucking vape. TOTAL: $525. 

And my health. Cos I caved & chain smoked a pack of Marlboro Lights. 

And it’s not like I got nothing. 

I got my photo on the Vogue Magazine. Website. Position 23 out of 34. 

I got more Instagram likes than I ever have. 

And even better. I got this story. 

Cos bitching about Celebrity Friends in Public?! Well that’s priceless. 


Cos “I’m amazing”. 

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Queerstories is produced by Maeve Marsden and recorded by wonderful technicians at events around the country. Editors and support crew have included Beth McMullen, Bryce Halliday, Ali Graham and Nikki Stevens.