Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Last night I went to a party where I dressed in drag. Yes, I was a man. My gay friends were dressed as women of course. It was playful banter for the most part. One of my gay friends, who is six four in stocking feet, took the name Rita Rigatoni. We had an exchange that was as follows:
Me: Get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich. And while you are at it, make me a baby bitch.
Rita: Another one?
Me: Yea, and go swing off a pole and make me some money while you are at it. That way I can sit at home shirtless, play my Nintendo, and drink beer in our trailer.
Rita: And don't forget you can also fuck my mother who is also my sister.

The crazy thing about dressing andro/in drag is that it does make you feel different. While I am not a man in lipstick and a dress with stilettos, something that could get your teeth knocked out in some areas of Queens or Brooklyn, I did feel different. I didnt feel the stares most people who are M to F (male to female) feel but rather just different. Some straight guys did look at me, hair under my hat, no makeup, and butch clothes with an attitude of contempt. I could feel them rolling their eyes. One guy even said to his friends, "Is she a dyke?"

A few hours before, a regular on my facebook page, read my post about dressing in drag. He usually jokingly responds to my posts where I rant about men by telling me to get in the kitchen to make him a sandwich. He said, "I knew it, lesbian." While it was in just the remark disgusted me. I mean, what does it matter?

It is insane how closed minded straight men can be when it comes to gay culture, especially gay women. A lot of my straight male friends assume lesbians are two hot chicks just doing it. Okay, that's not the end of the world. They are guys, let them dream. Don't tell them about the flannels, the u-haul, the Ani DiFranco and Emily Dickinson.

What I am more or less talking about is the other attitude. The one that any woman who is a lesbian must need a good man in his life. Twenty four hours before I dragged I was having my coffee and bagel at the local deli. We are a friendly bunch and the topic of Tim Tebow came up. I mentioned I had met Timmy and his clan once upon a time and they left a good shine. I said they never mentioned anything anti-gay, and I said this because a lot of people are fired up about his coming to NYC because of his affiliation with Focus on Family. This construction worker replies, "Well I am pro-life as well as anti-gay. Being gay isn't natural to me." I didn't feel like fighting. The week prior I had to set an idiot straight who felt the need to inform me most butches just wanted a "good dick." I just would let this slide. This man, who kept going with his unsolicited hate said, "Well, I think it's disgusting when guys do it. Women who go that way are lost and it's because some guy hurt them."

I just want to dial reality and let him know to build a bridge and get over his own male ego. On the other hand, the encounter made me want to purchase a hard hat and tool belt of my own as a part of my costume.

When I was dressed as a boi, which is a lesbian slang term meaning either butch who doesn't want to commit (playa) or a young transman, I almost felt a sense of confidence. While I felt naked in the world, without my makeup or pretty dresses, I was not lost. If anything I was confident. When people looked at me they didn't see someone who had done some modelling. When people looked at me, they didn't automatically assume I was dumb because I was blonde. When guys looked at me, they didn't try to hit on me or say something rude. If anything, they moved out of my way because they were scared I would come with the tool belt or hard hat I so secretly coveted as a part of my get up.

My opinion of myself changed. I didn't feel dumb. I felt like someone who used her brain to get around. I felt like I sort of knew my way around a box of power tools. When I walked down the street I walked with a sort of swagger of a cowboy, or rather cowboi.

Then I realized there are a lot of things that are very masculine about me. Most of my friends, gay and straight, are male, because we tend to think alike. We all see the bigger picture and know the secret to life is a positive attitude. Women fixate on smaller details and are petty, I was never that way. I also have shot a gun and would do it again if there were a firing range around. I like to climb mountains. I love boxing, football, and other contact sports. Not to mention I have used the line, "It's not you, it's me......" And I have been told I freeze up and don't know how to get in touch with my feelings. A crying woman scares me. More than anything, I do comedy which is notoriously male dominated. Oh, and then there is ventriloquism. There aren't many chicks there either. Did I mention my sister is going to be a doctor and science always has a shortage of women?

I had never given a thought to these things until recently. Maybe it's my mom who was captain of her college swim team and did sit ins in the seventies so she and her teammates could have letter jackets like the guys. Or perhaps it was my Great Grandma Young who ran and played tennis when women didn't do these things. Who knows?

While part of me thinks it's easy to be a guy, and was always envious of the freedoms my brother was awarded going up, I know it's not true. Guys feel this need to be macho because John Wayne tells them they have to be in those Westerns. You never see John Wayne cry. Guys also feel the need to get the babe, and then always are pressured to make the first move. And then when the babe shuts them down it sucks. Plus girls play games. And girls are cruel for the sake of being cruel. Does any gender have a free lunch? No.

But football, cars, Shark Week........easy to please. Give me a poker night over a Women's Coffee Club anyday.

As I ready myself for my latest photo shoot, beautifying to the hederosexual norm of what a woman should be, I feel the experience has changed me. It has made me realize gender is not concrete, but rather fluid. I read this in college and my father pointed out it also dictated which restroom one could use. This is true. At the same time, gender stereotypes box people in. I got to shatter the mold which felt good.

I want to dress in drag again. Not just to prove a point. Not just to feel smart instead of pretty or sexy. But rather for fun. I wouldn't mind even doing a drag kind show.

I know. I am such a pretty boi

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