Drag Versus Trans

Before you start, we’re not pinning them against each other. This is simply a look at how the two compare and contrast and the expressed opinions of some of the community. Now, hopefully the panties are unbunched and we can move on…

Recently I sat down with a very good friend who happens to be a drag queen (one of the most beautiful in the world) and we had a frank conversation
about drag queens and the trans community. During this mostly one sided conversation (I tend to quiet down when I don’t have any experience in the topic and want to learn) my friend talked about how drag queens should be more compassionate toward trans women and people in general. What trans conversation lately doesn’t include Caitlynn Jenner, so obviously, this was included but not in the manner most would think.

VanityFairJuly2015It seems there is a great divide within the LGBTQ (sorry if I missed some other letters that belong in there) community. Those who are angry that Caitlynn Jenner isn’t following the “rules” of her own community by being a republican or not being gay sympathetic enough and those who feel like she’s new to this and has a lot to learn and doesn’t see herself as the advocate for the trans community the media seems to be making of her.

Before Caitlynn was highly recognized for the trans woman she’s become, Bruce Jenner made the first media frenzy by breaking the world record for the number of points earned in the 1976 Olympics for the decathlon. Based on his previous performance in 1972, he was not favorited and overcame remarkable criticism to “make them eat it” in ’76.

When he re-appeared in the reality series that has taken over the world, Keeping Up With The Kardashians he wasn’t the main staple, but definitely gave some insight as to a day in the life of Bruce Jenner, beloved step-father of Courtney, Chloe, Robert and of course, Kim Kardashian and husband to their mother Kris. We got a look into Bruce’s children from his first two marriages, more so the second with Brody and Brandon appearing occasionally. And their shared children model Kendall and her younger sister Kylie, who’s making her own mark through social media and various publicity “stunts.”

Clearly Bruce Jenner is no stranger to the public eye and as a result should expect nothing less of what he was about to do. When Bruce revealed Caitlynn the world gasped a bit. It seemed like everyone took polar opposite views. In watching the reality show Caitlynn made, she stated she didn’t see herself as an advocate for the trans community, but an advocate for herself and her own personal journey. How she got from her own journey to everyone’s journey is simple, the media circus arose and to keep people engaged, there would be a number of stories about her political party, her thoughts on LGBTQ matters and of course the always intriguing, “who are you dating?”

As is true for any person who has a journey to their true self, there is definitely a learning curve. Becoming a part of the community does nwpid-screenshot_2015-06-05-08-03-352.jpg.jpegot mean the exact same views are shared, it means that at least a small part of you belongs somewhere. There really are gay republicans, lesbians who don’t wear flannel and bi-sexuals who never end up gay or straight (so I’ve heard).

The T of the LGBTQ community has placed further into the limelight with the advent of shows like Orange Is The New Black, Transparent, and of course RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked, and RuPaul’s Drag U. Shows that have gone beyond gay friendly and introduced beautiful trans women like, Sonique (RPDR Season 2), Monica Beverly Hills (RPDR Season 5), and Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black). 

Drag has been a part of many of the transgender women and men’s lives almost as commonly as identifying as gay/lesbian or straight, even though gender, drag and sexuality don’t always have to do with each other. Most drag performers do not identify as transgender and transgender people can have differing sexuality from what one might think. While it may all be a little complicated to go into, it’s important to reflect a bit on all of this.

Within the community there is always conflict and turmoil it seems. Someone is too gay, or not gay enough. He acts too feminine, she acts too butch or vice versa. But when it comes down to it, drag and trans from an outsider’s perspective, is the same. And if you’re talking about a trans person to someone who identifies themselves as a “biologically gendered male/female, straight person” “gay” “lesbian” “transgender” “bi-sexual” “pansexual” “queer” and all who identify as not quite that are all the same, different. They don’t necessarily hate us, some even “support the gays” but that’s it. They see the entire group as one. So why don’t we act as one?

Should Drag Queens support Caitlynn for being a transgender woman? Should it be a blanket statement that all “the colors of the rainbow” support one another? If a drag queen changes into “boy drag” at the end of the night, do they have the right to say anything they want about a drag queen who changes into to “girl drag”? Aren’t there drag queens who are transgender? Does everyone have to have the same journey for us to support each other? Do we have to have the same political views to fight for equal rights as human beings? Is it our job to police each other to ensure we all think alike for our “agenda” to work?

At the end of the day, we’re all human, we’re all working at life, we’re all just doing our best in life to reach our goals. Let’s just do our best to be the best and wish the best for those who are kind to us. For those who are not so kind to us, let’s just hope whatever they’re dealing with that’s bringing them to bring us down gets better. As for Drag Queens Galore, tell us what you think.

Monica Beverly Hillz Shares The “T” (Interview)

We spent some time speaking with Monica Beverly Hillz from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5.  Most noted for outing as a transgender woman on the show,Monica Beverly HIllz she has since conducted several interviews where she’s let the world know her struggle.  We asked her to spill the “T” a little more.

Monica Beverly Hillz grew up in Chicago with her adopted mother, who is also her Godmother & Mother’s Sister. She grew up with everything she needed, took nice vacations and had openness about her relationship with her birth mother. Her aunt was a beacon of light and brought her up right.  She was so thankful for never having gone without and always having an open and honest relationship.

Her mother passed when she was in junior high school and it left her in a terrible state. She ran away from home to her birth mother’s hometown bordering Kentucky in the southern tip of Indiana. When in Indiana she said she’d felt more comfortable living as a girl, so she would during the weekend; five days at school as a boy and two as a girl.  People called her “Miss” and she didn’t understand it, but there was something more than just being gay.

When in high school, her freshman year, she “ended up in the hospital, I tried to kill myself.” The torment of her gender issues with the kids in high school kicking, punching and hurting her because she was different led her to feel the need to die. Her sophomore year she decided to keep true to herself, she “grew out [her] hair,” and stopped trying to fit in. It still didn’t feel quite right to be in Indiana so she dropped out of school and returned to Chicago.

Fast forward ten years. Even though she’d been doing drag for a decade already, she admitted it may not have been the right time to participate in RuPaul’s Drag Race because she was still discovering herself during the show. She has since developed her inner self and she looks back thinking, “I was going through so much stuff that nobody even knows.” It put a level of doubt in her head that she could do what she was being asked to do. She was glad she was cast on Season 5 with all the experienced queens.  She bonded a lot with Coco Montrese while on RuPaul’s Drag Race but “the first to know about [the] T was Roxxxy Andrews… I look up to her.” M-Nestorsphotography4 (1)

“Drag is what I do, Trans is who I am… People don’t realize how hard it is to explain the situation.” Monica Beverly Hillz turns into “Victoria The Vixen” when she’s performing and admits when she’s performing drag she does have some sense of empowerment that doesn’t exist as her daytime version.  But she does have a lot more confidence during the daytime about herself since she’s come to terms with herself.

As far as future plans, she does hope to do more public speaking and possibly turning her life story into a memoir or chronicle.  She wishes she could help everyone who writes to her because she knows the difficulty of a transgender woman. She received  fan mail from someone who was in the same place as her when she was an escort and she felt really bad but didn’t “want to be the person to say, ‘it’s gonna be ok,’ it’s not gonna be ok… If you don’t get yourself help now it’s gonna get worse for you.”

She did say she was a shy person. She has “a horrible fear of speaking in front of people.” She said, “I’m shy as hell, but I just know how to hide it.” But she did admit to once she opens up she is “loud as hell.” She doesn’t consider herself “this huge freakin’ superstar.” She considers herself, “a person who has followed [her] dreams, who has [not] let [anybody] come between what Happy  MBH[she] believes and what [she] expects.” She said she’s always followed her heart and isn’t on a pedestal.  She wants to go “down in history as the person that had enough courage to speak for those who don’t have that voice.”

In her down time, she’s dating and enjoying her fan base.  She’s got a very supportive group of fans who she’s very thankful for.  She’s able to enjoy the day to day more than ever and we look forward to seeing what’s next for her.  She gave a big shout out to her current management company, Shooting Star Management Company.  She said they are so professional, personal friends and confidants.

We want to thank Monica for spending time with us and letting us in on her journey and congratulate her on being honored as one of the 30 most influential people in the LGBT community under 30, “30 Under 30.” Monica’s strength, endurance and resilience is astounding and inspiring.

We’re Not Mad At The Country Version Of Monica Beverly Hillz

Anyone who can pull off looking this great like this, deserves so much praise.