Foundation for Hope Pageant 2014

By Hollis Taylor

As for drag, although I have been supporting shows for years in various ways, I am very new as a Drag King myself. A reminder that my first public performance was August 2013 at the Amateur Drag Race in Harrisburg, PA. I did one at a private party at my house about 2 months prior for a group of women.  Most performers have been at this for a year or more, I remind myself that this is all very new to me.

The reason I chose to participate in this competition was for one simple reason, I personally suffer from depression and suicidal tendencies. I have a life-time of stories of being bullied from being kicked almost to death on a city street at 8 years old to being bullied at work. I insist that not only can we be healed from depression and suicidal tendencies but we can also stop bullying. I don’t like to say “never” but it will be awfully hard to change my mind about these subjects as far as them being permanent and an acceptable part of human nature. Human’s can be kind to each other and the abuse CAN stop among us. I am not the only one that thinks so and many expressions of this idea have emerged. The Foundation for Hope is an example of that idea. Hence the drive to compete, even though I am so new at this whole Drag King thing. Also I don’t really enjoy competition as much as I love cooperation. I know many lesbians like this, its not unusual in the lesbian culture.

Anyway the first part of the competition was the personal interview. The packet welcomed us to arrive as chose to present “professional” to the judges. For me, professional means WOMYN, and when I say WOMYN I mean that woman that makes everyone part on a city street. A powerful professional strong WOMYN with a mission. That’s exactly how I presented myself. Gender means nothing to me. Plus the whole fun and art of drag is the gender bending part, well and the outrageous part. I love genderbending because its comfortable for me and makes more sense than sticking in a gender box. I DO NOT CHOOSE a gender. Plus, powerful women are sexy.  The interview itself was easy for me… especially if your asking me questions about my passion. I have no issues being on a soap box, my issue is stepping down. I feel so strongly and passionately about things I am constantly trying to tame my emotional reaction to things. But this interview was the TIME & PLACE for all that passion to pour forward. It did and I won this category.

The next part was creative costume, The Hobbit. I chose to do a Hobbit type of costume in honor of a young man that I was a youth leader for. Creative, intelligent, and he looked like a hobbit. Not on purpose just by his build, body hair, hair, and he hated shoes. During his youth he was bullied, ignored and underestimated. Since I had similar experiences in my youth I befriended him and we together we had a kinship that carries into his young adult years today. He truly embraces his Hobbit today, he has a job as a Hobbit innkeeper. So actually I did him, not the Hobbit, but most people wouldn’t know the difference. Plus all the things that make me weird in my everyday life are a lot like the Hobbit. My eating habits, my fear but love for travel, my bravery, love for trees and hills, and my desire for a hobbit house has a deep place in my heart. Plus I love to host my friends at my home. I have a lot of Hobbit traits I could just sit here and list for you. But truly I love my Hobbit costume even if my legs are sticky for a week afterwards.

 

Then the next portion was formal, my least favorite. I have never been good at politics or anything proper, I always am annoyed at the fakeness. If just feels fake to me, hence why I added my own style. I added a top hat and my father’s hand carved antique cane. Frankly I thought it was pretty good but a few mistakes were made, likely cause our hearts just isn’t into it. But next time we will be more careful. My comberbond was messed up and I am not totally sure about how to walk as a modeling proper male. I will get it next time, it was a lesson for us.

Next was the talent of course. I did a song called “Embers” by Owl City – which actually has more meaning than just the message in the song itself. Embers is about me spinning fire this summer. I learned to spin fire and this winter I have accumulated everything I need to take a spiritual journey with fire. It sits beneath my computer now awaiting my first beltaine fire. I spun my flags which are simply a less “dangerous” form of poi than fire and frankly I think it was pretty dam cool. Along with an amazing wig from my Drag granma Whitley Nycole DeAire. It was amazing but I made a few mistakes likely because I just love spinning poi so much and looked up a lot, which likely lead the judges to think I didn’t know the words. I know the words to that song so well I don’t have to think about it, they flew out of me like the flags spun around me. But I was caught in what my soul needed at that point. After 10 hours of a room full of competitors I needed me time and those flags do that for me. They gave me exactly what I needed, an outlet. Except it wasn’t the “time or place” for it.

 

 

I lost the pageant by 7 our of 1000 points. Seems like strange luck to me, odd even. But for me it is just a clear message from the universe. Embrace your Mr State Street – show the world your goofball – make the world laugh. Don’t keep him hidden. I love comedians because I love to laugh, laughter can help me get out of a depression. Sex is also part of Mr State Street, at least for me, and frankly sex positivity is another passion of mine. Sex positivity is important in our world because removing the shame from sex can empower humans to heal sex offenders of all kinds, therefore healing a lot of depression, suicidal tendencies, and bullying.  Sex positivity is powerful, it IS part of our human nature. “Sex is part of nature, I go along with nature.” Marilyn Monroe – and I am not the only one that thinks so. Buck Angel is my sex positive and gender hero!

 

 

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