Thursday, July 16, 2009

One more post before moving on for awhile - Drag in the Line

What was my first experience with Drag? Like so, so many of us it was the freak drag show of all time - The Rocky Horror Picture Show! I virginally wandered into a midnight showing of it at a local theater in 1984-5 range, having NO clue what I was getting into. I left later that night a life long fan. Given that back then I was this deeply sincere young church going conservative Christian, that should have been a clue...

(years and years later, comparing life events and time frames with The Back Porch Priestess, we discovered that she was Magenta on the stage below the screen at the performance I attended! Wonderful!)

Little did I know....


What is "Drag"? After blundering around looking at etymology - "Drag" - early 20th centurey Brittish slang for clothes", "Queen" for ether a flamboyant woman, or a gay man (and Drag King was the natural step from there for the opposite number), drag might be defined as dressing for entertainment performance purposes as a member of the opposite sex as a proffession or a hobby or as an art form. There have been and are now straight performers who do drag, as well as many in the gay communities. It does not nessesarily reflect a desire on the part of the individual to *be* or live as the gender they are portraying on stage, or in other venues. Its not about dressing like a woman or a man by a man or a woman - it's about portraying and amplifying the ideal or the concept of Man or Woman. As Rue Paul once said, ""I do not impersonate females! How many women do you know who wear seven-inch heels, four-foot wigs, and skintight dresses?" He also said, "I don't dress like a woman; I dress like a drag queen!". There is clearly more going on here than just changing ones clothing.


And there are all sorts of genres within the world of drag - from lip-synch to freak drag, from men and women who delight in creating seamless illusions to enterainers who go for shock and full beards with their bangles. It has become high entertainment and many such as Rue Paul or The Lady Chablis who player herself in the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" have achieved mainstream fame.





Another famous face is K. D. Lang - who while not perhaps a drag king performer per se, bends gender into a pretzel with her masculine presentation...and oh, that voice!



I also have lived with drag queens - bless them. To keep this post short and on topic, I am going to sum up that time frame in one phrase...
Three Drag Queens....Two Lesbians....ONE bathroom. You do the math.....
I should write a book...

I have since that long flung day ago at Rocky Horror attended any number of drag shows -including spending one never to be forgotten Halloween Night in San Fransisco in the Castro district! WOW! - oddly enough, they have all been drag queen shows. Which have been wonderful, but so far I have yet to make it to a local Drag King show. (being a full time non-traditional college student, working as an artist and a being a full time spouse, with us on a completely opposite schedule MIGHT have something to do with it...maybe...ya think?)

However...heres my confession (and all my friends *snort* here. as it is no great secret.)

I have done drag...not just my usual gender confusing self-presentation that I do every day like the air I breathe (I had a man appologize to me the other day for taking me as a woman!) but full on - get the spirit gum and the gymn sock out and attempt to fool the eye....

I dressed at a SciFi con as a man in a Rennasaince costume with a mustache - I managed to not only fool a proffesional costumer, but train-wrecked two friends of mine whom I see yearly at the con. They finally grabbed my name badge trying to figure out what they were seeing, which was no help, as I was not using my name, but rather a boys name on the badge. I am not sure they ever quite caught up with what was going on (yes, I have pictures, no, they are not in the computer and I would have to go find the box - when they surface I will scan them in and post 'em. )

I also went one Halloween as a Scotsman in a full kilt and claymore with beard stubble - Misbehavin was there that time....on our way into the dance hall, a woman stopped Misbehavin' (who was living with us at the time) and gushed "Oh, who is the adorable little Scotsman?!" Misbehavin' cheerfully lived up to her name, and gleefully with evil intent, replied "Oh, SHE is my roomate." and sailed blythly on her way, leaving the poor woman gaping! (it's a good thing she did too - I did not need anybody tipping that kilt!)

So...why do I enjoy drag? It's fun, of course, like all costumes are, when you are able to step out of everyday life and be someone else for awhile! It is fun to present fully as a male and be taken for one...and then it's also fun to blow the illusion and watch the train wreck when people realize what they are actually seeing. (I do have a sense of humor that should be kept in a cage, if you haven't figured that out by now...) I am hoping to do drag this Halloween as we are intending on attending a Gay Pride that will coincide with that High Holy Day of Witches, Dragqueens and and all such good folk!

But I worry a little. Dreamweaver has never seen me do drag. Will it be fun for her, or will it fuel her fears that I might someday choose to transition? I don't exactly turn into an umbearable ape, but I do present a lot more masculine in drag (DUH!) - can't explain it...it's like a switch going on. It's been years since I did drag - will it still be fun, or will it collide in my head and create confusion, now that the genie is out of the bottle in my subconsious about being GID? Will the freaking spirit gum work this time - we had spirit gum failure at one attempt - hence the beard stubble and not the goatee. Do I remember how to Zen breathe around duct tape, ace bandages and a sports bra? Oh, the things that go through ones head in the dark at night

I am looking forward to Halloween! I think it's gonna be a ball. I will probably recreate the Scot in a kilt out fit - note, this is the full medieval kilt of 4 yards of tartan plaid hand pleated into a kilt! I did some widgeting with the computer art program (not a good one and I am not a computer graphic artist, so those out there that are, yes, this isn't the best in the world.) But just for fun...here my drag alter ego is. He's kinda cute, isnt he! And Shhh- don't tell anyone this, but he's got this crush on a beautiful woman named Dreamweaver; he's hoping she will be his date to the Halloweenfest this year? Do you think she might go?


Here's hoping!

9 comments:

  1. Oh dear. I don't men. but I do have a thing for drag queens who..well...this is polite society so...use your imagination! And get the handcuffs.

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  2. I'd say you probably have a decent chance of getting Lady Dreamweaver to accompany you. Probably.

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  3. Ya think? LOL! When I read her post above, I snarfed about a quart of Mountain Dew! If handcuffs get involved, there may not be a choice about accompanying her anywhere! *grin, wink!*
    Cameron - aka: Dreamweavers slave for life!

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  4. Oy! Handcuffs? TMI!!! lol
    and did I say word one about your photoshop skillz? No I did not!

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  5. Cameron,

    Love the alter ego...He is cute!

    Thanks so much for the support you've given me. It means a great deal to me.

    Blessings to you,

    Raven

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  6. I've SEEN the drag photos and you were really hot! I wish I could be there for Halloween to see the two of you!

    -D

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  7. Fiber Geek, thank you! *grin* At some point I am going to have to get the photos before the invention of the digital camera scanned in. There is just TOO much there that applies that I can't get too! LOL! And given that the Gay Pride we are attending - or hoping to attend, given our schedules and so forth - is where you live, I suspect you WILL see us. Check the Gay Pride Website for where you live! Notice the date? LOL!

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  8. Yeah, yeah, yeah! *grin* LOL! But I'm cute!

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