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Big Freedia on how difficult it was growing up as a gay artist in New Orleans

If you don’t know who Big Freedia is, then here’s a quick rundown: She’s from New Orleans. She loves to twerk, and she basically founded the Bounce movement. But that’s just who she is on stage. Behind the moniker, her name is Frederick Ross, and she grew up as a gay artist in the South. She’s so open about her life that she has it documented on her reality TV show Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, which airs on Fuse. Before starting Season 4, get to know her a little better — from her LGBTQ role models to what you can expect from the next season of Big Freedia.

SheKnows: The trailer for Season 4 looks insane. What can viewers expect from the upcoming season of Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce?

Big Freedia: Viewers can expect more of everything: more stories, more drama and more me!

SK: What are some of the issues that you tackle in Season 4?

BF: My relationship with my boyfriend, the writing of my book, and we deal with some of the dancers’ family back stories.

SK: For those who are watching your show for the first time, how would you describe it in three words?

BF: Positive, uplifting and dramatic!

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SK: What was it like growing up as a gay artist in New Orleans?

BF: It was hard in many ways. I got called “sissy,” “fat sissy,” “punk,” “f**.” Thankfully, I was very close with my mom, and she was very protective of me. I think without my mother, it would have been much more difficult.

SK: How has New Orleans changed from when you were a kid to now regarding the acceptance of the LGBTQ community?

BF: New Orleans has always been more gay-friendly than other cities, but it’s now becoming so much more accepted on a national level; so it’s much more open today.

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SK: Aside from Katey Red, who are some other artists you admire and why?


  1. Sylvester: I loved his music, but he was the original gay artist of my generation.
  2. Patti LaBelle: I just love her music and style.
  3. Beyoncé: Because she is the Queen Bee.
  4. Sia: I just did a remix for her, and I just love her voice and her songs.

SK: What are three things your fans may not know about you that haven’t been documented in your TV show and memoir?

BF: Oh gosh, I’m not sure there’s anything that hasn’t been documented. I’m very open about my life. Maybe:

  1. I like to chew on ice!
  2. I make my own Big Freedia Beignets.
  3. My guilty pleasures are crime shows like ID, Forensic Files, CSI. I watch them whenever I can!

With Caitlyn Jenner getting mass media attention, who are some other modern-day role models in the LGBTQ community you think young kids could look up to?

BF: There are many: Rosie O’ Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, Adam Lambert, Laverne Cox, Lance Bass.

SK: Is there anything else you want to add?

BF:You already knooooooow” — please tune in to Fuse beginning Wednesday nights Sept. 30 at 11/10c!

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