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Drag Queen Juke Box’: Chi Chi LaRue takes over Atlanta turntables; Acquires Catalina Video

WWW- Chi Chi LaRue, the porn mogul-turned- party DJ, has reason to celebrate. Her company, Channel 1 Releasing — already among the largest and most prolific gay porn companies in the world — announced last week that it acquired Catalina Video, the company where LaRue began her career.

“It’s good karma, kind of apropos,” she says. “It’s full circle. I started 20 years ago at Catalina, and now I’m part owner, so I think that’s amazing.”

LaRue is set to make an appearance at WETbar in Atlanta on Aug. 16.

Few would have expected that the salesman who first walked through the Catalina doors would skyrocket to fame as one of the faces of gay porn, but LaRue is no stranger to defying expectations.

“When I first started, I was this big drag queen, and people didn’t think that should be in the forefront of the gay porn industry,” she says.

She enjoys taking moments to sit back and smell the sweet irony.

“It was always part of the plan to be as big and in your face and famous as I could be,” she says. “From the day I walked into Catalina, I didn’t want to be a salesman. I wanted to get my foot in the door and be around all these naked boys.”

LaRue went on to direct and release hundreds of videos, with no signs of letting up. She says the wonder of working in the industry she loves still hasn’t worn off.

“When I went on my first set, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is fantastic! I’m actually watching people have sex!’” she says. “It can still be a little surreal and daunting, but it’s far less than it was 20 years ago.”

In two decades, Larue has made names for herself in several arenas. The one she is probably most passionate about is as a safe sex advocate.

“I’m very pro-condom,” LaRue says. “I just want people to know that someone that works for me and comes on a Chi Chi LaRue set can leave that set knowing that they’re as good as they were when they walked on.”

She says the safety of her actors is first priority, above even free speech, of which she is also an advocate.

“I’m all about freedom of speech and those people can make those [condom-free] movies,” she says. “I just don’t, and I don’t support them.”

A name she more recently forged for herself is that of DJ, or “Drag Queen Juke Box,” as she likes to call her turntable gigs. It’s the main reason behind her stop at WETbar, which features a DJ set in addition to performances by LaRue boys Jesse Santana and Guy Parker.

“I don’t use headphones, I don’t mix,” she says of her fun, no-nonsense approach to spinning. “I go from one song to the next. I play everything, and it’s a party when I play.”

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