On this Friday 13th, we are two weeks away from seeing our favourite ghoul queen in Glasgow – Sharon Needles will be bringing the hits of her latest album Battle Axe to seven cities in the UK and Ireland. Tickets are flying out and fans are very excited to see her live on stage.We chatted with one special group of Sharon’s little ghouls, which Drag Twitter knows as SDS (Sharon Defense Squad). We had the opportunity to speak to Steph, Fulya, Amy, Aysu, Iona, Amanda, India and Laura about their drag family and all things Sharon Needles.
Dragadventures: How did the “Sharon Defense Squad” come to life?
Fulya: Originally the name “Sharon Defense Squad” was in the Twitter bio of @letiziapgh and she was kind enough to allow me to also use that sentence in my bio. Then one day I tweeted this:
Aysu: It was all Fulya’s idea to make a group chat with people who would protect Sharon. Then a group of us started it with some other people at first.
DA: Can you guys tell us more about what the “SDS” represents for you?
Fulya: I love these people with all of my heart and consider them my family. We are always here for one another and I know I can trust them with anything. And we’re more than just a group of Sharon fans now, we talk about a lot of things together.
Iona: So true! These people are all my family and we are here to help each other though the toughest times.
Aysu: I love and trust each and every one of these guys. I can talk aout anything and I know they will be there for me. And when someone tries to come for Sharon I know we will be there to defend her – hence the name “defense squad”.
Laura: I truly love you guys so much and the love we all have for eachother is so intense it’s disgusting. I love it. I adore Sharon and I always will but you could take Sharon away and I would be more than happy with the family she has given me. I love you guys.
DA: Can you guys tell us more about yourselves? Where are you from and why do you love Sharon so much?
Fulya: I’m from Turkey and I found out about Sharon first via PG-13 on Spotify. I started to love her for her punk songs and the more I learned about her the more I admired her mind, wit and humor. Her character is both political and satirical and it’s different and unique. Also her personality is inspiring and the fact that she’s not shaming people for who they are or what they’re like helped me be more at peace with myself.
Iona: I’m from Scotland and I originally fell in love with Sharon when I heard the song “Sissy that Walk” in gym class, then began to watch drag race. When I found the spooky bitch, as soon as I saw her I was in love, she literally was that bad ass witch that no one had seen before and I loved how unique she was, from then I became more and more obsessed especially her PG – 13 album, however all her music literally makes me so emotional and buzzin and the same time my favourite moment off all time will be her season 5 Finale look as Pee Wee Herman and was even more in love as I used to watch the show when I was little. I am super excited for the tour and to see her again as her overall presence and seeing her on stage gives me the most joy in life (Honestly could write a book about how much she means to me and how much SDS means to me).
Amanda: I think I’m the baby of the group in the sense that I was the last one added a couple of months ago. I’m from the United States. I’ve been a Drag Race fan since the beginning and I’ve just loved Sharon’s art and personality. I found them through stalking Chad’s artwork. (Laughs). Fulya and I started talking science and it went from there. Steph and I run Chad’s fan club (@chads_fanclub) so you always see a lot of Sharon and SDS there too. But most importantly, I found a group of people that will always defend each other and be there when we need it. Sharon brought us together, but we’ve stayed together because we are our own little family.
Aysu: Hey. I am Aysu and I am also from Turkey. I started watching Drag Race in summer 2016. Soon I became obsessed with it and started using my instagram just to follow Sharon, Alaska and Chad. I was going through a break up and Taxidermy talked to my soul. I was so obsessed with the album, I would listen to it every day on and on when I was going home from school. Then I started using my twitter just to tweet Chad because I was bored on the bus. He replied and was so kind.
Iona: Chad is the best person in the world and has always been an angel to everyone in this group and I am forever thankful.
Fulya: Yes! Chad’s always been so kind and supportive of us. And we started the movie nights with him.
Aysu: Then I met Fulya, she was the only Turkish fan around here, that bonded us I guess and she made me a solid Sharon stan. I started drawing again thanks to Sharon. All my life I have been scared to express myself because of the judgement I might get but Sharon was so unapologetic, smart and amazingly talented – she inspired me to get over my issues (laughs). And these people here helped me so much, I cant even explain, they helped me improve so much as a person.
India: I don’t even know how to describe myself … (laughs).
Amanda: This is India! She’s awesome. Okay. Now you add on. (laughs).
Fulya and Aysu: India is one of the sweetest kindest souls we ever had the pleasure to call a friend and she’s cute, smart and beautiful. We love her.
India: Hi, I’m Indie, I stumbled on Drag Race when I was about 15 and Sharon was one of the first queens that really took my attention, I completely fell in love with her and her style the first time I saw her, the spookyness and how different she seemed really resonated with me a lot and just her talent too. Drag and Sharon especially has helped through so much shit. She’s such a good performer live and each of her albums are all individually amazing.
Steph: I am the only other American here. I am also a little insane since I travel a lot to see Sharon. I went to four different states last year and I am flying over to go to the whole Battle Axe tour. I saw Sharon in Willam’s “Rupaulogize” video and I couldn’t stop looking at her. Why? I have no idea – she was not spooky in it at all. I had to figure out who this person was. Then, I found season 4 and she walked into the work room in a witch hat, she walked right into my heart. Sounds corny but I’m getting emotional talking about it. Before Sharon, I was having trouble leaving my house. I have agoraphobia caused from panic disorder but she made me want to fight to get better so I could see her in person. Now, I’m travelling everywhere. Sharon and Chad and the SDS mean so much to me. The SDS is not just a group chat which I think we will all tell you. We are a family. In this family, I am probably the mom. (Laughs).
Amanda: Definitely the mom.
Iona, Amanda and Fulya: Yeah Steph is defo the mum!
Fulya: I’m the problematic fave (laughs).
Amanda: Cat lady? Too much of a Chad stan? One of those two. Fulya is our favorite problematic fave.
Fulya: But we’re all alike in some ways which makes us get along so well. And I think that’s why Sharon likes us too even though she thinks we’re a bit crazy (laughs). She was like “oh you’re one of THEM” when she saw my SDS shirt the first time we met (laughs). And explained SDS to Alaska who thought it was sweet.
Fulya: Aysu is super smart with multiple talents and even Sharon loved her drawings so I’m living. Amanda is a f … scientist. I stan her.
Fulya: Steph is definitely one of the best defenders of Sharon and she also takes no bullshit like me but shes also an optimist. Also a great mom. And Sharon loves her.
Amanda: Ahahaha! Thanks, Fulya!
Fulya: Iona is one of the funniest people I ever met and I love her vocabulary. Amy is a walking portfolio of Sharon’s best looks. I adore her tons – she is so much fun to hang out with. Laura is fucking hilarious and I know I can be myself with her without worrying about offending her.
DA: We absolutely love how you guys are so nice to each other! It’s very cool to see that there can be groups of fans without the normal “Drag stan twitter” drama.
Fulya: I mean, we’ve had our share of drama, but those people aren’t part of the SDS anymore.
DA: Can you guys tell us your favourite Sharon songs?
Iona: The first song I ever heard her perform live was Dead Girls Never Say No and I have a video of me scream crying to it. If I had to pick a song from each album it would be Dressed To Kill, Lucy and Jack-O-Lantern, honorable mention to Hail Satan.
Steph:Dead Dandelion, Everyday is Halloween, Why do you thinkyou are nuts, ElectricChair, Quija Board, and Supernature are my favorites.
Fulya: The music video for Why do you think you are nuts is so underrated.
Aysu: I am all about Taxidermy – the whole album. Dracula, Lucy, Hollywoodn’t, Let’s all die. Also, Call me on the Ouija Board. From her latest album, I love Electric Chair. Sometimes, I find myself singing Snow Machine, too. It is so random.
Fulya:Taxidermy is an incredible album. Its a musical masterpiece. Oh, and Sharons version of Everyday is Halloween! Hollywoodn‘t is such a beautiful song too.
Steph: I love Lucy, too.
India: I think if I had to pick favourite songs from each album, it would be Everyday is Halloween, Dead Dandelion (although Lucy is a very close second) and Electric Chair and Brain Dead.
Fulya: And Black Licorice! I actually like Brain Dead and Cocaine & Fuck, too.
Aysu: Someone said (I don’t remember who) that Jack-O-Lantern is about Sharon carving a pumpkin and being edgy about it and it makes me love it even more.
Amanda: My favorite songs are Battle Axe, Glow In The Dark, and Black Licorice. I was recently promoted at work and my entire department calls me Applesauce, because I say I’m the boss, Applesauce, so much.
Iona: She’s doing a Tour in Scotland of songs that were sang by people that have died, and I’m so excited.
DA: Have you guys met Sharon?
Steph: I have heard you should never met your idols. Im here to say “f… that – meet them!”Especially Sharon. The first time I met her, I almost backed out. I was really freaked out some from nerves and some from the fear that she would not be as great as I had hoped. I was in line to meet her and she stopped talking to whoever she was talking to and walked up to me to tell me how great I looked. (I died!).
She walked back and took pics with whom she had been with and then it was my turn. She took my face in her hands and said that she recognized me. Then she pulled me into a hug – not like a little hug – it was a full on full body hug that lasted so long, it somehow made me be able to talk. We talked about Chad and horror movies just like friends. Later, during the show she had me sing Ouija board, which is why that song will always be special to me.
Amanda: The first time I met Sharon, I was supposed to meet her with Steph, but due to family matters, she was not able to make it. So, I was on my own. I was in Chicago and I was by myself. I just kind of found a corner to hide in. The club was doing a viewing of an AS3 episode and then queens would go around and mingle. I found Chad first and just stuck by him the whole night. When I met Sharon she was like “oh. You’re his little Dynasty friend!” (As in Dynasty, aka the 1980s soap opera Chad and I are obsessed with.)
I literally cannot tell you much of what I said because I was drunk (thanks Chad), but I did clean and wear her glasses. Woman is blind as a bat. But she was really sweet and loved everyone. She would take selfies and stop and chat. Chad kept trying to get her to go back to the hotel because they were running on almost no sleep. But she’s a social butterfly and you could tell she loves what she does. The next night, I got to see her perform. And she sang Battle Axe so I was super happy. The squad got some ridiculous snaps those two nights. (laughs).
India: The first time I met her was so surreal but it was incredible. I was super happy and it was such a lovely lovely experience and she’s so easy and amazing to talk to.
Amy: When I first met Sharon it was a mess. I saw her at BOTS in March but didn’t have a m&g. I had loved her on Drag Race, but then seeing her in person – the second she stepped on stage – I was in love. I got my first tattoo of her literally a week later. Then, she wasn’t back in the UK until October, so I had a very long wait.
When the day finally came I’d made the bitch ball look from scratch. My boots had given me a million blisters walking to the venue, I got there late, so I was at the back.
Right before Sharon began her performance, I felt faint and passed out (as in my head fully hit the floor, eyes rolled back and next thing I know I’m being carried out of the club by a bodyguard and sat down on the side of the road with a bottle of water).
First thing I said was HAVE I MISSED SHARON and they told me “no, she’s not on yet”. I went back and got to sit in a disabled section, close to the stage.
Then, Sharon came out and I started crying. At the end of the show, I ended up at the back of the m&g – so I queued for well over an hour and finally it was my turn.
I met Chad first at the merch stand and he said “hi” and I showed him my Cerrone tattoo and he said “Omg it’s you – let me give you a hug” and ran around the table and gave me a huge hug. After that, I went up to Sharon, she held me by my shoulders and was like “Omg this outfit is an exact replica of my dress! She hugged me and when I showed her the Cerrone tattoo she started crying.
We talked for ages and she asked if I was going to any more shows which I said yes so she hugged me again and thanked me for coming. I can’t remember all of what we said, but my friend told me I was with her for ages. I gave her some gifts when I met her: my dead rabbit’s leg bone and the fake Jeffree Lipstick (yep that was me).
Fulya: I’m not gonna go into details of my Meet & Greets, beccause it gets awfully long but Sharon was perfect and made sure everyone had the best time and I appreciate her a lot for that. Though, I am still in shock that Chad and Sharon gifted me a copy of Battle Axe. (Thats also most likely thanks to Stephanie!). And singing with Sharon (editor’s note:At Heels of Hell in London, Sharon had Fulya sing along to Ouija Board – we were there and it was truly a night to remember!) was literally my dream.
Steph: All my encounters with Sharon have been magical, too.
Iona: The first time I met Sharon I literally pissed myself with happiness, she said my name before I went to meet her and I was in complete shock. The photo below is from when I met her at Heels of Hell Glasgow and she signed my skirt.
Aysu: I’m the only one of the group who hasn’t met Sharon yet, but I will eventually meet her some day.
DA: Will we see you guys at the Battle Axe Tour?
Steph: I am going to all the shows. I am traveling from the U.S. to see Sharon and to meet the other members of our little family that are going. I love Sharon for all that she is and does, but I love her most of all for bringing these people into my life. Sappy i know. Sorry not sorry.
Fulya: Aysu and I were supposed to go but things didn’t go according to plan.
Amanda: I have finals for my masters so I’m not going.
DA: What are you most looking foward to during the tour?
Fulya: Sharon reading them for filth for spending their life savings for this tour
Amy: I’m just so excited to see so many of SDS they’re my bestest friends ever and I love them so much I just wish Fulya was coming.
Fulya: I will be there with you all in spirit!
DragAdventures would like to say a big “Thank You” to the whole SDS and we can’t wait to see you guys at the tour!
Sharon Needles will perform seven dates in the UK and Ireland this April with Holy Trannity and DraggedUP. She will be supported by three fabulous UK queens: The Danny Beard, Victoria Secret and Ginger Hunter. Ticket information here and here (for Dublin).
Image Sources: Instagram // The SDS.