Confessions Of An Awkward Drag Queen, part 3

… I do what I thought was a demure one-handed swipe at my wig. It comes right off of my head and tumbles down my back to the floor. My world suddenly goes quiet and cold and slow. All of the cool kids are staring at me, They are as still as they would be if they were posing for a group photograph on some gloomy occasion, a funeral perhaps. By the time I pick up my wig Candy Girl has vanished. Vanished! I haven’t seen her since that night. I speculate that she was a demon sent from hell to bring about my abject humiliation in my moment of greatest vulnerability.

I’m nauseous. I exit the scene of my debacle and lock myself in a washroom. I cry. I look in a mirror and stop crying immediately. I’ve never cried while wearing eye makeup before and I’m not prepared for the effect tears have on cosmetics. I look like one the inmates of the asylum in an amateur production of Peter Weiss’s Marat/Sade. I start to laugh.

I’m giggling at the sight of myself as I realize that I’m never going to be one of the cool kids and that I shouldn’t try to become one of them. That I can pluck my eyebrows and paint my toenails and pad my bra until the sun comes up and I’m still going to be clumsy, feckless, prone-to-social-shipwrecks, 4tuneteller. The drag ideal is to be poised, witty, elegant, comme-il-faut, and I’m never going to be any of these things. But I’m still going to show up in clubs dressed as a woman every chance I get. It’s something I love to do.

And when the drag cool kids give me the cold shoulder I’ll be thinking to myself: “Oh, you’re so pretty, you’re so hot, you’re so fly, you’re so perfect … hope you realize that I’m not in competition with you.”


Confessions Of An Awkward Drag Queen, part 2

I say ‘confection’ because her skin is tanned to the exact tint of caramel. I can see a lot of her skin because her costume leaves it bare from just below her perfect-on-a-thirteen-year-old breasts to 1.77 centimeters above her crotch. The precision of that measurement is an example of the heightened sense perception that one experiences in moments of irrational panic. She will always be Candy Girl to me because she reminds me so much of caramel.

And here comes Candy Girl to flirt with me. Double take. Triple take. Slack-jawed stupefaction. Candy Girl starts in on me, aggressively coming on to me for her opener, and then dissing me a moment later –  exactly what drag queens do to each other any old night at the Beaver. She’s set to rapid-fire and I’m the target and all I can do is stand there, flustered and frozen. I’m flustered for three reasons. The first reason is that, as I have been trying to establish, she’s hot like something you’d pour on a sundae. Second reason: on any other night at the Beaver, I’d have about as much chance of striking up a conversation with her as I have of becoming a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Thirdly, hanging over my head like a penis about to piss on me, is my single motivating wish; the driving force that has put me in this perilous position: inclusion. She’s hitting on me just as if I’m one of the cool kids! This is the goal, darlings. This is zooming in on the net to score in the aforementioned hockey game. And I’m not ready for it.

“Flip your hair back,” she says. “Just flip you hair back for me like this.” She demonstrates, flicking her luminous blonde wig  away from her face with a nonchalant supermodel’s flourish. Well, I had to do something. … to be continued …


Confessions Of An Awkward Drag Queen

I am a novice drag queen. When I say ‘novice’, I really mean laughably inept, impossibly gauche and socially awkward.But I have my heart set on being a drag queen and tonight I have laboriously put on my brand new wig and my newly acquired dress and heels. I’ve put on makeup. I haven’t done a good job of putting on makeup, but will you cut me a little slack? Can you give me a little credit for the honesty of my effort? I’ve only done this a couple of times before.

This will be the first time I’ve ever presented myself in public dressed in drag. I’m on my way to my favorite gay club, the Beaver. If you have never appeared in a public place wearing the costume of one of the other genders, you have no way of knowing what an important moment this is in the life of a cross-dressing gay man. It’s really big. By way of comparison, it is as much of a life-defining moment as scoring the winning goal in the final game of the playoffs of the Strathroy Industrial Amateur Hockey League would be for a straight guy. At least I think those two things would be roughly commensurate. I’m not entirely sure. I’m trying to reach across a divide here.

So into the crowded, noisy Beaver I go, around midnight on a Saturday night. I look like – well, I don’t look much like Candy Darling. I look like I aimed for Candy Darling and ended up somewhere in the vicinity of Iggy Pop. Into the Beaver I go, with pigeon-sized butterflies in my stomach and absolutely no idea what reaction I’ll get, if any. All the drag cool kids are there. I don’t need to name them, you know who they are, and they’re all there. I’m terrified.

I’ve been noticed. Toward me, from the heart of the cool kid crowd, comes a blond wigged trans confection.  … to be continued