Recently I had a friend, who is a drag queen, ask if I would be embarrassed to be seen out with her for an upcoming event. I laughed, because no of course I wouldn’t be, but I was a little saddened she had to ask and it had me thinking to why I have such a passion for the drag community and why I am so accepting of these (well most of them) beautiful beings. I am not perfect, and how do I know she wouldn’t be embarrassed to be out with me? It was just a silly question.
I couldn’t tell you the exact moment that I knew I had a passion for drag queens and the men behind the makeup, but let’s give it a timestamp of say 10 years.
I have no shame in the support that I offer to the drag community. By “no shame” I mean that I talk about it openly and my friends and family know how much I adore drag and the queens that are part of my life. It truly is a sincere support I offer and something I have decided I want to be part of my life. Let’s put a little definition on this for those of you that are squirming in your chair because I am talking about men in makeup, dresses, and heels. I like to quote Miss Noxeema Jackson from To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything.. “When a straight man puts on a dress and gets his sexual kicks, he is a transvestite. When a man is a woman trapped in a man’s body and has a little operation he is a Transsexual. When a gay man has way too much fashion sense for one gender he is a drag queen.” I’ve had the pleasure of explaining this to many people. Now that you understand….
People ask me all the time where my love of drag came from. I’ve been able to narrow it down to a few things; confidence, creativity, passion, and pure balls (pun totally intended). I’m a pretty average girl and I admire these men who have decided to portray an art form out in public and make it part of their lives. It doesn’t matter how tall or short, how thin or not thin, how old or young, these men have found something that gives them life. The majority of queens I have been around exude this confidence, confidence that can’t even be put into words. As I walk around the club or an event with my friends, I feel a sense of pride being with them. It is delightful to stand next to someone you admire and adore and have people give compliments to them. Don’t worry, I am still human and get a little protective too. I just hope people are being sincere to my friends because what they are doing is hard work.
The creativity is endless. I am fortunate to know all different types of queens. You didn’t know there were more than one type did you? In Salt Lake City The Bad Kids Collective put performance art on the map. There are the pretty queens, the campy ones, the pageant queens, and so on. It really blows my mind the costumes, dresses, the shoes, the hair, and the makeup that transforms these amazing men into even more amazing, sometimes unrecognizable, drag queens. Then to pick a song they get to dance and lip-sync for their lives to in front of a crowd that will hopefully be fun and accepting… please girl I can’t even walk a whole day in heels!! (but I’m learning)
I hate to be judgmental because these queens fight people judging them all the time, but I do have favorites. Perhaps judging isn’t the right term. Locally I have favorites, nationally I have favorites. There are two queens that don’t belong to Rupaul that I thank my lucky stars I came across all the time. How we found each other on social media I don’t even know but I am so glad we did.
Miss Katerina Heights of Chicago and Miss Pollo Del Mar of San Francisco. Each has a different style of drag and each has a HUGE impact on their communities and on me. I will always have questions about drag, the process, and the human side to it. Miss Katerina has been an amazing support when I don’t understand certain things that are happening in the local drag community (I am still pretty new to it) and is the friend that asks’ how each other looks before going out for the night even though we are miles apart. Miss Pollo is, well, I’ve been trying to think of the best way to say this all week since meeting her in real life for the first time… she is my Vida Boheme (go watch To Wong Foo if you need the reference). There is a line that Stockard Channing says to Patrick Swayze’s character Vida Boheme at the very end of the movie, “I do not think of you a man, and I do not think of you as a woman, I think of you as an angel.” It really is hard to put into words when you find someone that you admire for so much more than their pretty face without sounding cheesy or like a creeper. Which let’s be honest, it’s probably the pretty face that the majority of people are probably drawn to queens in the first place. I wish I could say it was that easy for me and I feel fortunate I can see so much more than that. (I feel like Oprah right now) and YOU have a pretty face, and YOU have a pretty face, and YOU have a pretty face….
I feel like both of these queens deserve their own separate blog entries as do some of my favorite local Salt Lake City Queens. On one hand I want to keep their amazingness to myself but yet the world needs to know how freaking awesome they are and that they aren’t just pretty faces.
Oh! I almost forgot another reason I love queens… cause I am 5’2″ and I LOVE standing next to them. It’s that simple.
“I know, that I am very fortunate to have a lady friend who just happens to have an Adam’s Apple.”