By Hollis Taylor
There were many reasons I chose to enter the State Street contest . First of all it was for a good cause, Black & White Party, which helps people with AIDS with living expenses. Second of all the rules were loose and sometimes I think rules are created in order to control people. I’m not always behind control. Also, it seems to be a place that drag queens and kings could express some of their deepest darkest ideas without being shunned or punished for them. As the community discovered I was running for state Street there was a question of what sort of reputation State Street might give someone. Of course I questioned this so-called “reputation”. I presented the idea that there is a time and a place for everything. If we don’t provide these outlets for people we will only hide them and feel shame for them. If we feel shame for our dark ideas then we are only left with more shame and guilt for being who we are. Dark ideas are meant to come out and show that everyone has a dark side. Although you don’t have to act on that dark side all of the time and hurt others intentionally or unintentionally. You can still recognize it and have a healthy outlet for these dark places. I am so happy I entered the State Street contest.
Interestingly as my first pageant I was surprised to find that there was less songs to choose. Actually it was more about costumes. Costumes and makeup are not exactly my strength which is why my wonderful creative partner, Arial, helps me with this. It also gives her a fantastic outlet for creativity. Together we create Izzy Ahee.
So the first costume was “trash your favorite celebrity”. I chose Elton John because he IS one of my favorite celebrities and frankly its rare to see him made fun of. Second, I thought well a gay community will recognize him immediately AND will enjoy the absurdity of it. Also I had his costume readily available. I wanted to show Elton John doing a “Nelly bottom” walk of shame in his drinking days. I implied all sorts of things with a jock strap, magnum condoms, and a wine bottle strapped for insertion. I implied a bit of kink and a size queen. I also had a great pair of black dress pants that have a broken zipper and I wanted to put them to use, and this was perfect. The crowd pointed and whispered in each others ears that I was “Elton John” so I knew they got it right away. Check out the video below, I am dead last in all of these.
The next category was “Walmart Realness”. At first I struggled with this because I don’t shop at Walmart and its not my flavor of comedy. But after looking through some of the photos about this topic I found something I not only had on hand but could have fun doing. A redneck, belly hanging out, cowboy hat, and screwed up teeth. In my real life I am having dental work and currently have a temporary tooth that can be removed from the front. The photos and video don’t do it justice, but it certainly added that little touch. It was interesting that a drag queen had recently stated how some people were making fun of her for her dental issues and I spoke up as support for her. Telling her I also was having dental work. The next day my creative partner asked me, “Would taking your tooth out for the redneck be too embarrassing?” and I immediately responded with a NO! Simply because I wanted to show that we can take our most embarrassing flaws and bring them to the floor for laughter. Why is it funny? Because its an absurd version of our flaws, laughing at our flaws is simply a good outlet. So I presented my two biggest flaws a large floppy belly and a missing front tooth. Then I added a mullet and my cowboy gear and was sure to have beer on my breath.
The next category of costume was “Night-In wear” What would “you wear for a night in with a client” said the description on the contestant packet. I thought about this one a lot and thought, well that depends on my mood and the client. Since I had brought the nelly bottom and the manly redneck already I choose to jump into another type of man. I chose the perverted playful type – still sexy but in a sort of cute Superman type of way. We also had to answer a question by the judges and sell shots to the crowd in these outfits, so I wanted something comfortable. I also decided to wear the most important part for “night-in” – I pitched a “tent” in my pants. It made the piece so “State Street” which for me was a great “dirty joke” type drag.
Then of course was the talent, which certainly brought out my dark side. One of my favorite things about drag, particularly State Street, is the lack of limitations. There is only the local laws to follow but otherwise you can shock the crowd all you want. I love to shock people, its my dirty little secret. I think its what drives me to be so out of the box, drag is a great outlet for my shocking habits. Also, a big part of my masculinity is my domination. I have had many experiences in BDSM. Even before I came out I prefered the more masculine style of domination over dominatrix. I use BDSM as an outlet for my “control issues”. We all have problems and the secret to overcoming them is finding a healthy outlet for them. I believe BDSM provides a healthy outlet for many people. This number was not only sexual in nature but it also crossed some interesting lines for the local crowd. I shocked them and loved every minute of it. I chose a song based on its lyrics and feel of the music. I did “The Bondage Song” by London After Midnight – a well known goth song. There was major issues with getting someone lined up to do this for me. Finally I ended up using a drag queen friend known as Hollywould, about 20 minutes before the talent began. Interestingly, that is a nickname I still use from long ago. I use it at my real job with the elderly, it helps them remember my name. So this Drag Queens name was my girl nickname from almost 10 years prior. Thank goodness I had another good friend in the audience to jump out and join in on the fun. The other 5-6 people that promised to participate were unavailable for various reasons. I do suspect that what I did in this talent made a lot of the locals very uncomfortable, even though I thought it was pretty tame.
Turns out that I won that night! I was honored to win the contest with my cardboard burger king crown and rhinestone Pimp cup. I was Mr State Street. I was so proud of my acceptance song for good reason, it is one of my favorite songs regardless of who sings it. The lyrics are an all time favorite and it was my nod to all the classic drag queens out there that have done “Sweet Dreams”. The song is just awesome in a lot of ways and I adore Marilyn Manson.
The best part about winning for me was simple. My absolute favorite queen, Belladonna, won with me. Belladonna and I have done several duets together and every single time we have a great time. Our chemistry is fantastic and its comfortable for us. She always brings darkness to the stage and her talent number was completely over the top. I wish I could have seen it live but I was behind stage getting dressed for my talent, that’s the trouble with working with your favorite performers. Fortunately, we won together and together we will “work the corners”. I am proud to win with my fellow queen and look forward to our year as Mr. & Ms. State Street…oh we have some great duets in the bag to bring out.
Here is a video of the winners being announced!