Kat Von D, real name Katherine von Drachenberg, was born in Montemorelos, Mexico and raised in Colton, California.

Von D was raised in a strictly religious Seventh Day Adventist Christian home.1 In fact, when Kat was born, her parents–both Argentinian–were traveling missionaries for the church.2

One gets the sense that Von D isn’t too religious anymore. She has spoken frequently on the break she made from her family when entering her chosen career as a tattoo artist and the difficulties it caused:

Like, I was brought up Seventh Day Adventist, which is Christian. My parents had a hard time with me being tattooed. They were like you’re desecrating your body. I think it took them at least ten years for them to realize that it was a positive thing.3

Things are alright now between Von D and her parents,4 but with boyfriends like ex-Motley Crue singer Nikki Sixx5 and suspected Nazi Jessie James,6 it seems reasonable to assume she’s not a good little Christian girl anymore.

Counter-culture politics

Kat Von D isn’t political in the traditional sense. No candidate endorsements or campaign contributions, but she has become a bit of an icon for both tattooed women and women in the tattoo business.7

And she’s an immigrant of purebred Argentinian descent. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was four-years-old.8 So you can imagine her being sympathetic to the many immigrants–both legal and illegal–in the immigration battleground of Southern California where she now resides.

Von D is also sympathetic to the gay community, attending charity events for gay rights9 and speaking out on their behalf. She said:

I’m really supportive [of the gay community], and in California, where we work, it’s been a tough time because of Proposition 8. Look, I know what it’s like to be treated differently…and, for me, I chose my lifestyle. Oh, and I love drag queens. They’re great with make-up tips.10

So what we’ve got here is a liberal champion of marginalized American subcultures–pretty cool really.

  1. A New Canvas for Kat Von D. Military. []
  2. Leonie Cooper on the new female-friendly tattoo industry. The Guardian. []
  3. Transcripts. CNN. []
  4. A New Canvas for Kat Von D. Military. []
  5. Kat Von D: From Jesse James to Nikki Sixx, a relationship timeline. Zap 2 It. []
  6. Jesse James Linked To More Nazi Photos, Called Names By Ex-Employees. The Huffington Post. []
  7. Leonie Cooper on the new female-friendly tattoo industry. The Guardian. []
  8. Kat Von D Biography. Monsters and Critics. []
  9. Kat Von D attends an event for lesbians, brings Jessie James. Celeb Bitchy. []
  10. Q&A: Kat Von D. Metromix. []