THE BLOG

Soul of a Drag Queen

01/24/2014 09:02 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016
  • Tom Bartolomei aka Mr. Von B, husband of drag queen Vivian Von Brokenhymen

Drag queens: Can't live with them; can't live without them. Well, at least that is how I feel sometimes. However, when it comes right down to it, I have a huge amount of respect for these entertainers and what they do.

The one aspect I respect the most is the fact that these individuals are putting themselves out there and take risks every time they take the stage. I honestly wish that that was something I could do. No, I don't want to do drag; it's just not a fit for me. However, I do wish I could take the risk of putting myself out there.

There are times that I wonder whether it's true that if I'd put myself out there more when I was younger rather than doing what was expected of me, I would now be in a different place in my life. Don't get me wrong: I have a good life. Yes, there are times that I don't see it, but I stop and reflect on it objectively, and then I realize that I do in fact have a good life. I also realize that if I were in a different place in my life, that could mean that I would have never met Jeff, and that is something I just can't fathom.

So when I talk about being in a different place in my life, I'm referring to what I do for a living. Growing up, I always succeeded in academics, so it was just assumed by my parents and family that I would go on to college, get a degree, and get a job in a cubicle farm. For the most part, that is what happened -- with a 10-year detour -- but in the end I went to school and received not one but two degrees, and I work in a cubicle farm.

Now, I am extremely grateful that I have a job, especially given the current state of the employment world. However, I can't stop wondering where I would be now if I'd taken risks and put myself out there and pursued interests that I had a passion for. When I was younger, my passion was for music and art. One of my dreams was to compose music for Disney films or even create the artwork for them. Instead of taking that risk and pursuing music or art, I went the easy route and started in engineering and, after the 10-year detour, finished with business degrees.

If I had had the soul of a drag queen back then, I would have thrown caution to the wind and gone after what I loved, not what was expected of me. See, to me, that is what drag queens do: They go after their dreams, their passion, and they put themselves out there and take risks.

Like most people, I find that risk scares me, and it has always prevented me from pursuing things in life. Part of that is the way I was raised, but most of it is due to the fact that I'm just afraid to put myself out there. I'm always too concerned with what others might say or think. That kind of thinking makes you sit on the sidelines of life and watch it pass you by.

Drag queens take life by the horns, and they enjoy the ride no matter where it may take them. Sometimes they fail, and sometimes they succeed, but the point is that they actively partake in life. If there is one lesson I can take away from my life as a drag queen's husband, it's this: The soul of a drag queen is a beautiful thing, and it's something that more of us should inspire to have.

To read more life lessons from drag, be sure to read the Diary of a Drag Queen's Husband, or even ask a question of the Von Bs for your personalized life lesson.