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Phoenix's 'Drag Queen Extraordinaire' Barbra Seville talks self-expression, politics, and the future of drag

12News spoke with Richard Stevens, better known by his stage persona and drag name, Barbra Seville.

John Tanet

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Published: 8:34 AM MST January 25, 2023
Updated: 8:55 AM MST January 25, 2023

Despite jokingly introducing himself as "Phoenix's Gay," Richard Stevens says he never expected to hold that title. But after two decades of performing as the drag queen Barbra Seville, it's no surprise he does.

With an acting career in the Valley spanning 25 years and a recent high-profile political feud, the self-described comedian and civics geek has found himself as the face of Phoenix's drag scene - even being invited as a V.I.P. to the inauguration of Gov. Katie Hobbs.

It's a perilous position to hold as the LGBTQ+ community finds itself the target of increasingly hostile rhetoric and violent attacks. Recently, Arizona Republicans introduced a series of bills restricting drag shows. 

We sat down with Seville to talk self-expression, politics, and the future of drag.

>> Editor's note: This interview has been edited for context and clarity. 

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