amw (amw) wrote,

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we don't want to be shady, just fierce

In 1999, shortly after i decided i was transsexual, i moved into a new place with a friend of mine. He'd had some bad experiences in the downtown rave scene and i'd had my bad ones in the outdoor party scene so we bonded on that and came together in the gay scene. At this point i was still presenting as a straight male - a long-haired rocker/skater kid at that - so i was quite the objet de curiosité on the scene. I would sit in the corner drinking beer and watch the drag queens with tears in my eyes.

I spent most of that year developing a very romanticized view of what it meant to be a woman. I'd cut off contact with almost every woman i had a real friendship with, so for most of my days drag queens was as close as i got. And boy, they were fabulous examples. They looked like the women i fawned over each month in the Vogue fashion spreads - make-up and glitter and bold colors and perfect lines and such grace and poise. I fantasized one day i could be even half as glamorous. Even the old and ugly ones were full of wit and unabashed ostentatiousness. In reality, walking around town i knew most women never looked that way, but as usual i preferred to live in my fantasy world where maybe somehow, some day i'd be living in New York City, or somewhere equally exciting and cosmopolitan, surrounded by style and wonder like i saw in the magazines.

It's been ten years now and i've lived the city life and still the only women i've ever known who make themselves up and costume themselves that boldly are performing artists and models. It's part of the art, creating a sense of otherworldly wonder, bringing fantasy to life. I guess if the world were as colorful on a day-to-day basis it wouldn't be so breathtaking. Like i said the other day, you get old and become a realist - but that doesn't take away the transcendental pleasure of art, i guess in some ways it makes it even stronger.

In any case, really all i'm saying here is that i've been fascinated with drag queens for a long time. At some point i caught a snippet of Paris Is Burning on TV and since then i occasionally go on Youtube journeys watching vogue dancers do their thing. It's not all done in drag, but the influence is there - a celebration of effeminacy in movement. I love it, but living in Australia i never got the chance to see it in person because it's a very American scene.

Last night J was invited to a friend's birthday party at some hipster bar in the west end - you know, the kind of thing i invariably refuse to go to - but i checked the website and i saw a local vogue dance house was performing so of course i had to go. I think J nearly choked when i actually said yes to something she wanted to go to :-) We only stayed for an hour because it was so late and we both had to be up early today, but i caught the show and it put a huge smile on my face. I realized i really miss my gay boys, as drugfucked and melodramatic as they could be, in measured doses they always made me laugh harder than anyone.

If only i'd grown up liking boys i'm sure i would've made an excellent queen. Shyness falls away when you're flaming, it's like every moment is a performance. Nowadays i'm just the odd lesbian smiling in the corner, lost in my own thoughts. I guess that's not too far from that confused 19 year old watching the drag cabaret so many years ago. Always the observer, never a participant. Heh.
Tags: looking back

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