By Hollis Taylor

I have interesting perspective, simply because my life experience was unusual, compared to the average American. I try very hard to keep my ego in check – sometimes in drag its hard when everyone tells you how great you are. But I also know that from my perspective from a childhood of bullying, neglect, and lonliness how it feels to not get that. I remember exactly how it feels to be ignored, overlooked and underestimated. Sometimes I awaken to those feelings from nowhere…often people like to label that PTSD. I label it as a reminder. A reminder in a day that my life is so much better….I don’t get beaten and teased, anymore. People have began to notice me, even past all the distractions in our current world. I have a womyn at my side who loves me, unconditionally…something that is profound to me all in itself.  She continues to prove it daily. Then I also have friends and even a small community, right here in my home and neighborhood. I even have a great friend that I can be myself with. I have a drag family that support me in my creative endeavors and we do good things. We support things that help to change the world around us, particularly the LGBTQ youth. We support our community and get involved. We give our money, our tips, and efforts so that the world’s transition to a more peaceful, loving, and compassionate world is a little smoother. My life is way better today and I protect it with my heart. I am careful with it and myself in it, and am grateful for my perspective. I think most kings & queens have this perspective, since it seems that most of us were bullied.

When I had to choose a song for my opening to the Foundation for Hope I chose a very familiar song, Everlast – What its like. This song shows perspective, it reminds us that each persons journey is incredibly personal. Don’t assume their behavior is because of you, stop taking things so personal. Assume that, even if they lash out at you, its totally their journey. On the other side of the coin we are reminded how our own behaviors can effect the rest of the world. Many of us have lashed out at someone, and later realized what we have done…do you apologize? Consider the other person’s experience – avoid judgement. Remember its totally their experience, be kind and compassionate. The biggest lesson I had to learn is that it wasn’t ME. It was not because of being a bad child that my mother ignored me, it was because she was having her own life experience as an alcoholic workaholic. It was not because I was weird that kids shunned me, ignored me, beat on me, and hated me – it was because they were having their own journey with their ego and pain in their own hearts.  It is not ME that people ignore me, forget me, and take me for granted. It is their journey, I can choose to leave their journey today. As adults we have more choices about who we share our life with.

So I dressed like a bum, someone often ignored. I put him in the spotlight. I don’t know if it shed the light on perspective for anyone that watched it….but for me – it reminded me….perspective is the key to compassion. Consider other people’s journeys, choose to be part of it or not, that’s your journey. This is my journey.

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