By Hollis Taylor Sometimes when I think about queer history I realize how old I am, what I have seen and witnessed unfold. As a young child I remember my mother’s best friend got a divorce. I was close friends with her son and we were very close while his parents divorced. I remember him…
Drag Queens and Kings bend gender all over the place. Many of us in the drag community disregard gender roles of all sorts. We lack the vocabulary but its really always been there. On my journey I have encountered many veterans in the drag community and again you find the same theme. Gender is pushed, its bent…. on purpose. Most of us in drag are behind the idea that gender is fluid, not binary.
This song brought a message I can stand behind. Giving love to everyone around you will bring emotional healing to the human race. Many of us talk about how we get sick of hearing all these negative things but very few of us consistently spread positiveness. Compliment people, tell people you care, and spread basic politeness. Try to find love and compassion in your heart for everyone – and consider that all of us just want love, happiness, and peace. Think about it this way, in a dark place if one candle is lit it lightens the room. If others light their candle from that one, no flame is lost from the first one but simply the room is brightened more. My performance of it was of a hippy dude, one of my favorite types of men. I find so called “hippy men” to be more in touch with their emotions and often more authentic. At my core I am peaceful, loving, and happy – but I wasn’t always this way. I want to spread love everywhere I go! That’s exactly what I do in this number with my very long dreads, yoga dub step moves, and yogi outfit. We all want love – so lets start the trend of “Giving Love” Here’s the song in case you haven’t heard of it.
I am super excited about this recent opportunity to help spread awareness and further discuss “genderqueer” This conference is a very popular PA transgender conference that has been around for many years. The Keystone Conference has attendees from all over the USA to attend workshops, entertainment, and activities related to gender diversity. The conference is from March 26th-30th in Harrisburg, PA.
This particular show was last minute due to some cancellations and an open opportunity. Jade DeVere, my drag mom, arranged for a “Quirky Drag Show” with 3 Queens and a King.
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.
New Years Eve I performed at a venue, as a favor for my “Drag Grandmother”, that was new to me. I am not familiar with the area, much less the bar itself. This is my Grandmother’s, Whitley, sort of home bar – she’s a regular there. Because she is a regular she knows the bar tender, owner, and so forth. This experience lead me to a completely unexpected New Year’s Eve, but frankly it was enlightening and exhilarating.
Gender is only garb deep. This leads me to separate gender from sex (n). Your sex is indicated by your genitalia, I will not argue with you nor deny that I have a vagina and I am female. But as far as my gender goes….well its flexible. Gender Flexible!
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.
But as performers if someone lives as a man, regardless of his orientation, but performs as a woman… she is a female impersonator. She could also be a Fishy Drag Queen. Well it appears as though I am a male impersonator. I have been explaining what I do to conservative people this way and the more I thought about it the more it made sense.
There is a portion of the book in which she talks about drag. She talks about how a lot of trans people end up in drag at some point…she was saying that it makes it okay for us to crossdress, it publicly removes the gender roles for all to see and be entertained by. Doing Drag is not just about entertaining an audience, its about being a Gender outlaw. She was saying that Drag is like the jester that made fun of the king, and he didn’t know it. Drag is mostly entertaining because it pushes the boundaries of gender for all of us….its different for all of us, just like gender is.
Anyway, as the year continues I am exploring all sorts of information regarding various ways of participating in the drag world. Now keep in mind even though I had many drag queen friends I didn’t know the details of their competitions it was more of an intimate backstage experience rather than whatever they were competing for. I don’t mean sexual at all, but rather as very close friends. So now as I am entering the details and depths of the drag world as a MALE IMPERSONATOR I am feeling a bit lost.