When you are married to a drag queen, her art touches every part of your life. There really isn't any way to escape it, and trust me, I have tried over the last four years. To some degree you don't even realize it's happening, until the day you wake up and realize that your life has become all about drag.
I'm not saying that I wake up next to Vivian. That would just be creepy and not my cup of tea at all. What I am saying, though, is that there are days when I feel like I have lost Jeff to Vivian. It really is difficult to explain. The majority of each day is spent discussing either Vivian or drag in general. I can't tell you how many times a non-drag-related conversation suddenly becomes all about drag. Usually that shift is brought about by Vivian, but I will admit that I do it myself from time to time.
Along with all the conversations about drag, there is the time commitment that drag requires. As I have said before, it's not just Vivian's performances that take up time. There's the face time at other queens' shows. This is important for two reasons: First, it is important to support other queens in the community, and second, out of sight means out of mind, which translates into fewer or no bookings. Then there are the trips to KY, which are whole-day affairs. Let's not forget the trips back and forth to the studio to either pick up or drop off drag items. There are also the small trips to purchase necessary items for wigs and costumes, which may not take up a lot time individually, but when you add them up, they amount to a decent chunk of time.
After the time commitment there is the dreaded expense factor. I would say that this is the thing that touches every part of my life the most. You see, as much as I love Vivian, there are times that she loses herself in preparing for a show and doesn't even give a thought to the budget. When she is focused on delivering the best costume possible, nothing stands in her way, and that includes me and financial constraints. I can't tell you how many times Vivian has blown the budget because she needs just one more item to finish a look. Just like the small trips to purchase necessary items, these "just one more" items are usual inexpensive, but they add up and quickly become expensive. It is my job to try to keep Vivian budget-focused, and trust me, that is a full-time job in itself, and I'm rarely that successful at it. The number of, er, discussions we have had about this are too many to count.
I won't even get into the amount of time that the politics of drag consumes. That is a separate post entirely. However, once you add this in, it's clear that being married to a drag queen is almost like having a second full-time job, and in my case it's one that doesn't really pay well.
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.
There is no escaping the dragopus.
To read more about my battle with the dragopus, visit The Diary of a Drag Queen's Husband.