… 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.”