Sunday, April 22, 2012

What I learned from Drag Queens (and Kings)

There was a drag show to commemorate Day of Silence at my school on Friday night.  The performers were super cool and lots of fun.

I watched each one- of different body types, styles, lip-syncing ability, talents, personas, costumes-shaking what they had (or didn't), singing and telling funny jokes.  A particularly curvaceous woman looked fab in leotards and sparkles and fishnets and everything I thought I could never wear.  They flirted with the few males in the audience, and the males flirted back.  They were hot.  The drag king danced so well he made even me feel attraction, though he was short and chubby and biologically female.

And I sat there, dumbfounded, realizing that it doesn't matter if you are overweight or "too skinny," or short, or "weird," or biologically (and by identity, in some cases) a MAN.  You can be hot and fun and wanted and cheered as Nicki Minaj or a 50s stewardess or even a crazy cat lady.  You can wear what you want, sing songs written for females half in falsetto and half as a deep baritone while wearing a dress, you can drive the audience wild by being who you are and by being whoever you want to be.

All it takes is confidence.

Mostly, I'm still looking for mine.

An addendum:  Confidence never means everyone will like you.  It can be really hard to be who you are.  Whether you are transgender, a gay man who likes women's clothing, you hold values different from your friends or the society that surrounds you, your skin isn't lily white (or it is, depending on your situation), you do things differently than most people, you are socially awkward, you're female, you're male, you don't identify with a gender, or anything, anything, anything else, it isn't easy to be who you are in this world.  People are always going to want to change you.  We sure liked the drag queens, but I know a lot of people who do not.  But I think that is something even more beautiful.  Confidence isn't about being who you are in order to be cheered for it.  Confidence is about being cheered because you are who you are.  It takes the most confidence to be who you are when you know you won't be cheered for it.  But when people are cheering, they'll be cheering all the louder.

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