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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Issue 277 > CHEWING THE FAT

CHEWING THE FAT

ARTIST. SOCIAL COMMENTATOR. AVANT-GARDE ANARCHIST, SCOTTEE THE CORNER OF THE OPPRESSED AND DISPOSSESSED… AND REGULARLY CALLS OUT FAT-SHAMING THROUGH HIS BOLD AND BRILLIANT SHOWS

It’s difficult to describe Scottee: drag queen, queer performer, internationally acclaimed artist, creative, clown. So, when we meet outside his favourite brunch spot on the Southend seafront, I’m pretty much ready for anything. “Sorry, I should have warned you I’ve got ice cream all over my face from the photo shoot,” he giggles, as we take a seat in the wintery sun.

I order a beer, but Scottee tells me he’s now teetotal.

“I’ve had my fair share, don’t you worry,” he says, asking for the waitress for a cup of tea.

Brought up on a council estate in North London, Scottee’s was hardly the theatre school childhood that many performers can thank for their success. “Growing up in London was shit,” he says. “People think that growing up where I did my life was all mung beans, poi and purple tiedye but it wasn’t — that was at the end of the road.”

Life on the estate was tough. His dad worked as a roofer, his mother a cleaner. “If I wasn’t at school, I was sitting on the stairs outside posh people’s houses while mum cleaned inside,” he explains.

Scottee’s not one for violins and feigned sympathy though, happily reminiscing about days spent playing with friends, climbing roofs and scaffolding, committing the occasional mugging to fit in with his crowd. “There’s a greatness to the camaraderie of growing up how I did,” he assures me, “but then masculinity is quite claustrophobic on estates. Being a fat queer who liked to wear different-coloured shoes wasn’t the easiest.”

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About Attitude

On the cover, pop superstar Robbie Williams talks exclusively to John Grant about drink, drugs, sex, fame… and finding happiness. Elsewhere in this issue, Spice Girl Melanie C on her new album, gay rapper Cakes Da Killa, artist and activist Scottee, and the real lives of TV’s most famous gay ‘housewives’ as we meet the Gogglebox Gays. Plus, Outliving a Death Sentence: meet the men who have been living with HIV since the bleak days of the 80s and 90s.