A few weeks ago I received a Facebook message from a drag queen in Portland asking me if I ever thought of writing a piece along the lines of "Reasons It's OK to Date a Drag Queen." Well, let me list some reasons.
As you see her up on stage, woozily doing her thing, you can't help but be happy for her. Amanda Lepore finds pleasure in the artifice of her body; with her immensely fake tits and voluptuous lips, she proves that her most authentic self can be all ornamentation.
When you are married to a drag queen, her art touches every part of your life. I constantly try to pull away from drag, because I need a balance. However, drag is like an eight-armed octopus, a dragopus, that can reach into every part of your life and pull you back toward it.
Let's be clear about something: While it's certainly true that the holiday has a universal appeal, the contemporary global, multibillion-dollar phenomenon that is Halloween night owes its existence, persistence, and fabulistence to modern gay culture. Why might that be?
At MTV and Logo TV's "Night of the Living Drag" Halloween party in New York City on Oct. 25, Detox served up a truly spooky spectacular dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein and performing to "Glory Box" by Portishead.
I never knew that drag was so political and, in some cases, so cutthroat. Who would have thought that friendships could be destroyed because of men wearing dresses, or that so many people aren't really who they present to the general public? I will honestly say that I didn't.
Vivian occupies an interesting position in the world of drag. She does not compete, does not have a drag family, is older than most of the other newer queens, and is a big girl. Each factor has its own challenge, but add them all together and you have one large obstacle course.
I find it dubious to cover up someone else's artwork for fear of being sued for sexual harassment. Also, I find it disappointing to think that business and art can't mix, especially since business operated just fine when Gallery 1526 presented images of women in the nude.
For me it is funny how some thing that can bring me so much frustration from time to time, Drag, can be tied to some thing I love deeply, music. I guess it's that love of music that allows me navigate the turbulent waters of Drag.
A piece of advice for any budding queen out there: Before you enter the drag world, make sure you have at least a drag "mother," if not a drag "family." Having one or both of these things is something I would say is essential for any drag queen. Vivian does not have either.
When I was 9 I took my parents' album of the Broadway musical Damn Yankees and memorized every syllable of Gwen Verdon's show stopper, "Who's Got the Pain When They Do the Mambo?" Once I was satisfied with my lip synching and choreography, the number was ready for public display.
Drag queens have amazing eyes, and I'm not referring to how they paint their eyes, even though those are fabulous. What I'm referring to is how drag queens see the world. In my opinion, drag queens don't see the world like the rest of us do, and that is a good thing.
Drag is more than entertainment, more than bookings, more than staying on top; it's a doorway to acceptance. Drag teaches us to be true to ourselves and accept others for who they are. If more parents took their children to all-ages drag shows, they would grow up more accepting and loving.
You do drag for the first time because you want to be called "fierce." You do drag because you really want to be on that boat invading the Pines. You do drag because your best friend told you that the only version you should attempt is the grotesque one, and he said that scoffingly.
The more Vivian performed and become known throughout Columbus, the more Jeff became Vivian. Now, when I say, "Jeff became Vivian," I'm not referring to his actions or his personality but to how others, including me, see him.
What is that, you may ask? Well, it's when someone in the audience, mainly gay men, but sometimes women, and on rare occasions straight men, begins performing to the drag queen's number like all eyes are on them. I find it extremely humorous.