The third season of RuPaul’s’ “Drag Race” kicked stiletto‘s to the metal tonight, as a bevy of fresh-squeezed queens paraded, pranced and pawed their uniqueness, nerve, and talent on the main stage. For me, the ultimate cherry to top off any super-sweet confection is the illusion of drag.
I marvel, much like a magpie, at anything razzmatazz and reflective.
Scoff all you like, but at a glimpse of showgirl and teaser, I bee-line happily as a horse to water. Maybe it’s the confidence one must have to actually flip society’s view on masculinity and toss off those tired sensible clodhoppers for six-inch stems and a wig.
Political? Not me, nor writing a term-paper on my qualms about sociological beliefs. Give me a painted-up face, a spotlight, and I’m golden. Hell, I’m a drag queen.
Every day I wake up and put on clothing that might show my personality, my love of anything vintage. A random Saturday with the guys, and I’m sporting something sleek and cool. Maybe on a Thursday I select my date denim: the perfect jeans that make my derrière stand up and praise Jesus about such a fine work of art.
So you see, a little bit of drag is tucked either right up front, or into the back pocket of our daily lives, the art of illusion. I have repeatedly been asked to try drag, toss on a wig, or hit Fire Island on July 4th in sequins. I have been told by more than one person, that I’d be perfect for it and so on. I have Queens as friends and have met some of the famous dolls at events and such. I enjoy it all, but for me, gosh no!
Sure, I do collect vintage burlesque costumes worn by the likes of Lynne O’Neil, “The Original Garter Girl,” a popular wartime starlet, who packed houses nightly. Closets full of men's vintage garments, fedoras and such, a few museum-worthy artifacts from vaudeville, showgirls and starlets. I have been lucky to be friendly with the alluring Dita Von Teese and I’m the proud guardian of a very rare, under lock and key, authentic Sally Rand ostrich feather fan, from her 1935 World’s Fair debut.
Maybe for me, it was sitting in the sewing room as a small tot, watching my Grandmother hand-knit couture garments for a Parisian fashion house, or my Great Aunt who was a hand beader of the glittery Miss America Dresses. Nothing fancy, I had the typical gay childhood. If it was not nailed down, it was perched on my head like a saucy cocktail hat. Bed sheets became long-trailing trains and the pool out back was my very own Esther Williams water playground. All that, and I'm quite butch, but things still find their way on my head!
Possibly it’s the 1890s images of my Great-Great Grandfather in a cape and beaded costume as a strong-man performer. Even my Mother, who was always dressed to the nines and said, “Even on a bad day, Joey, a little lipstick is all a girl needs.”
The show must go on. The gowns and guile, beads, brighter lights and balls go to the ones who turn-it-out nightly. Those are the gals who know, that a little lipstick is, all they need.
Tune into RuPaul’s “Drag Race” on Monday at 10 p.m. on LOGO.