Reclaiming

By Hollis Taylor

My last performance at LUX nightclub in York, Pennsylvania included a song that I just had to perform. Back when I was competing in the Amateur Drag Race at Stallions in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania I was eliminated by failing a lip sync for your life song, Soccer Practice by the Gay Pimp. Frankly I had never heard the song before Amateur Drag Race but when I listened to it in preparation for the competition… I said, “Regardless, I gotta do this song!” Now a lot happened to me that week including having someone close to me die and I often accompany people on that journey. I hold their hands as they leave this realm. Regardless of uncontrollable circumstances I only listened to the song two times before it was time to compete at the Amateur Drag Race. So I wasn’t prepared to lip sync that song on that night. It eliminated me fair and square from the competition, I like things like that.

Anyway, I loved the song for many reasons. First of all I think gay men were a large part of my life. It was the only type of man I could talk to without feeling like a sex object. I realize this is my own experience and it may not always be the reality, but still it was my experience. So I am comfortable around gay men, like they are my brothers. I can feel close to them without feeling the weird sexual attraction from them or reliving experiences like that from my past. As I matured things have evolved more and more but I am still left with a brotherhood feeling towards gay men as a whole. I spent a lot of time with the Radical Faeries in Washington, DC which was 99% gay men and they were supportive of me when I came out. When everyone else was ashamed of me, they stood by my side. Before I came out, it was queens, they always knew I was a king. I would hang out behind stage with them, zip their dresses, adjust their wigs and fetch them drinks. At moments of bonding they would look me in the eye and say things like “Maybe some day you will be a king.”

Cross-dressing for me was an experience that was mixed with shame and a sense that I was “creepy” or something. Until I began to hang out with gay men and Drag Queens. They lead me to a place of self acceptance and love. As a group those ladies could see the king in my heart, somewhere under all those super femme clothes, long hair, and a natural love for Cher! Like there was something in my eyes, or they just knew that was I was a drag queen everyday of my life. I didn’t want to “mess up my kid” and my husband found it to be “disturbing” Shame was everywhere I looked except when I stood beside a Drag Queen, then I felt open and free, like magic. Gay men often knew the way there for me. I followed them and I am so glad I followed my heart.

So back to my song – well I know gay men and I love gay men! Not in a sexual way, in a brotherly way. I know they would love to see a king do that, just like I would love to see a queen do KD Lang, Melissa Etheridge, or Janis Joplin.  I could see this song was sexy and sort of ridiculous, and even silly. But, I knew it would be fun! It was so much fun to embody the stereotypical over the top modern gay male personality of Gay Pimp. It was also amazing to own the dance moves, slam the lyrics, and make the audience feel dirty. Also I opened the show with it, bravery and all. I was so happy to completely reclaim the performance.

Now I been preparing for my Christmas performances. My Christmas kick-off will be in Lebanon at Drag Knight at the Lebanon Valley Days Inn on December 14th, 2013 at 10:30pm.  I am not a huge Christmas fan but I will say that I am looking forward to this show. It has some really amazing queens that truly bring the art of drag to the stage. They bring it in different ways, each of them, but I love to watch them perform. I am also looking forward to doing some benefit shows and pageants this coming year!

 

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