By Hollis Taylor
Because of my value system I sometimes struggle with Christmas. In years past I wish I could just ignore it and let it pass by. Other years I wish for a less commercial Christian based holiday and instead an honor of the season in order to celebrate the diversity of our world which desperately needs ideas about COEXIST. In the past I have worked hard to reclaim the holiday, in my own ways. This year has been a completely different experience.
This year I did drag. A couple months ago I was invited to do some Christmas shows and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do a holiday I had personal struggles with. But I chose 3 songs that lead me to 3 different places. Preparing for the Christmas shows ended up being less about the holiday and more about the dance. Which was a great way for me to experience the holidays from a completely different perspective. I am so grateful for drag, it gave me a creative outlet for all of my mixed feelings regarding the holiday. Many of us have these feelings and it was such a relief to have a physical outlet combined with creativity in my dance and presentation, it completely made the season more enjoyable. Then having an excellent show at the Lebanon Drag Night at the Days Inn made it so sweet. Then venue itself is very comfortable. The crowd there is so much fun and the Queens that put on that show are certainly entertaining. Then being part of the Central PA Pride show felt like I was giving something to a good cause. Then this Sunday I perform with other Kings as one of my favorite queer friendly venues – HMAC – Harrisburg, Midtown Arts Center. Stallions is a fantastic safe queer space but I love the creativity of HMAC. They all are Fabulous and have various pieces that make them special. I have been so busy doing Drag I barely noticed the season – that’s a good thing for me. Drag brought the fun back into the holiday for me!
The first song – “Oh Come All ye Faithful” by Twisted Sister was a fun song! I remember when this song came out and I just embodied the teenage boy that loved to head bang and yell in people’s faces to get their attention. I love Twisted Sister and find Dee Snider entertaining in general. So I was honored to do the song. Props to the costume from a great young man that is very talented with a sewing machine! I did consider a wig like Dee Snider but it took away from my ability to pass. I like to bend the gender in a way that fools the eyes and brains, so the blond wig took away from that. I hope to do more from Twisted Sister in the future…
Then my next number was epic, simply because of the comedy factor. When I perform this song I am totally embodying the penis centered man, which is often silly to everyone but him. I love pushing sexual boundaries for people and a dick always does that. The Drag part of making everyone look in the box and creating a feeling of anticipation about what might be in there. Is there actually a dick in the box like the song says or is it something else? Why are we embarrassed about sex but not about violence? Sex is natural, violence is not. Sex is part of who we are, all of us. Even if we are asexual, polyamorous, monogamous, heterosexual, pansexual, homosexual, bisexual…. sex is a big part of our nature. Its fun to push those buttons for people.
This last song I wanted to prove to myself that I could tap dance again. When I was a child I loved to tap dance but it wasn’t always welcomed….practice makes tons of noise. I love tap, its just fun! So when I heard Harry Connick Jr.’ s Happy Elf all I could see was a Tap Dancing Elf. This made Christmas cute and playful. This is the part of me that is my inner child. It was totally cute, totally playful, and I even managed to add a touch of flirty to it – for the sake of adult entertainment. (Since my audience was adult, if it were children I would have interacted differently) Part of entertaining is considering your audience. I was thrilled to reclaim the tap of my youth and turn it boi.
I have refound my love for dance through Drag. I have reclaimed Christmas, again. I have discovered the community of drag. I have embraced the gender bend of drag. Ohhhh wow! This is who’s been hiding in here! Thank you Drag, I had no idea but I knew it would be powerful!