Monday, November 14, 2011

A Real Drag

In my first blog post I decided to kick things off with a nice fat acceptance, HAES message that I hoped would make me and everyone who read it a little more comfortable with MY body.  (And yours too. Relax.  I’m not a TOTAL bitch.)  However, I don’t expect every post to be about that because, as the subtitle of my blog explains, I have other issues to address.  Issues like this one:

I am queer.  Hold your applause and/or Bibles back for a second; I’m not done.  I am a bisexual woman.  (We exist, I promise.  Our male counterparts do as well.) But more than that, I am a bisexual woman who calls herself a drag queen. 

Say whaaaaaat?! 

Yes. Yes I do.

You see, I’m not trans.  (My girlfriend says I'm “gender fucked” and this actually seems appropriate.) Despite my whole weight-related insecurity complex, I am satisfied with my body and identify with the gender that I was assigned- for the most part.  Every once in a while I wish that I were a gay man.  I do not identify as one, I just occasionally wish that I did- there’s a difference.  Sometimes I feel like it would be so much easier to do what I’m doing if I were a man, at least there would be a name for it. Instead I find myself inventing terminology like “criss-cross-dresser,” a word which may have existed before it first escaped my lips but which I had never heard until then.  

A criss-cross-dresser: like Victor/Victoria, only less androgynous in my case.  

I have always loved and admired drag queens and drag culture.  Even in my ├╝ber youth (it sounds pretentious to say “in my youth” when I’m 20 years old) I was obsessed with the gayest, campiest movies known to man.  When I was little, Valley of the Dolls and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? were among my favourite films.  I wanted to be those ridiculously gaudy, over-dramatic, utterly fabulous monsters. I still do. I want glitter and feathers and loud colours!  I want to be a shimmering tower of confidence, creativity, and charisma.  I WANT TO BE BETTE MIDLER!!!! 

But I’m not Bette Midler.  I can’t be because my sexuality gets in the way.  Now, I don’t care about any positive things people have to say about inclusiveness in the LGBTQ community; I feel out of place at Gay Pride Parades.  Do you know how hard it is to be a bisexual woman and a drag queen at the same damn time?  Say what you will about Lady Gaga (I think we all have a problem with SOME ignorant and offensive thing she’s done, said, sang, worn, danced in/on) but she is making my gender identity issue just a little bit easier for me to define to other people.  I mean, it’s not particularly easy to go to a Pride Parade with two separate agendas:

1. represent bisexuality
2. be a drag queen

It’s frustrating!

I go into it trying to normalize my sexuality because no one believes it’s real.  Bisexual women are often treated like straight girls who fuck other girls for male attention.  That’s not okay.  And then bisexual men are treated like gay men with one foot still in the closet who don’t want to admit to being gay so they’re playing it safe by being bi.  That’s not okay either.  None of this shit is okay!  Yes, straight girls make out with other women for attention sometimes and yes, sometimes gay men are too afraid to come out at first but Jesus fucking Christ, whose fault is that?!  I might be a huge fan of blaming society but… society anyone?  Is there anyone here who cares to disagree with the plain truth that society is so damn homophobic some most times that you can’t really blame someone for being nervous about coming out?  Similarly, will anyone attempt to deny the fact that men impose their fantasies of getting with two women at once or of watching two women going at it so much that maybe straight girls have gotten it into their heads that it’s the only way to land them?

Hey society, stop fucking up!  It would make my bisexual life a lot easier.  Thanks. 

That’s on the one side.  On the other side we have my gender identity.  When I’m not promoting the idea that my sexual orientation a) exists and b) is not the devil in my pants (which sounds kind of awesome actually), I am trying to pass myself off as a subversive, gender-bending female impersonator. Whenever I get into my draggy persona, I assemble my outfit as a man who is pretending to be a woman might.  I do everything bigger and fiercer and adopt this confidence I don’t normally have, and pray that no one catches me faking it.  It disrupts the illusion, you know?  A drag queen knows she’s the shit.  But you know what?  It’s hard to be subversive when you’re a girl wearing make-up and a dress.  There’s not a lot to work with there.  

I guess what I’m saying is, it makes me mad when I watch fabulous cross-dressers like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror or Divine or any-damn-body in To Wong Foo and I want to express my gender the way they do in these performances because it feels so right to me and I just can’t because I know it wouldn’t come out right.  I don’t know what it’s like to be a man in heels and I never will. 

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