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.
Like there was something in my eyes, or they just knew that was I was a drag queen everyday of my life. I didn’t want to “mess up my kid” and my husband found it to be “disturbing” Shame was everywhere I looked except when I stood beside a Drag Queen, then I felt open and free. Like magic and gay men often knew the way there for me. I followed them and I am so glad I followed my heart.
This was the finale and I had promised two performances to Eartha, the scheduling Queen. About 3-4 days before the show a queen contacted me about doing a performance together, as Gomez and Morticia Addams. I was very intrigued since I love to work with people more than alone, I find its more creative. I was excited to do this with BellaDonna – although anxious that we didn’t have much preparation time. Anyway, it made 3 performances in one night, that’s a busy night!
First the fact that if someone is a drag king, transgender, or gender queer in any way they automatically change the game and then what do you call that relationship – what changes the label the sex, the gender, or something else? Then I want to consider female sexuality in general and how all sexuality is oppressed, and what we can do to change it!
I want to explore the assumed empowerment of men. I want to strive for balance of male & female in myself. I want to learn as much as I can and put together a few performances. I want to practice my crowd manipulation as a man. Where can this take me?
As a teenager all of my friends constantly were dressing me, in order to “bring out my feminine side” I hoped they could inspire that “femme” side to come out because I was starting to get worried about the sexual feelings I was having for the girls putting on my make up.
Each time I analyze social gender I come to the obvious question every single time… “Why does it matter?” There is no need for gender in our social world, really there just isn’t. It is just another form of discrimination, like race and orientation.