Recently, Drag Queens Galore received a rather long email from what seemed like a disgruntled reader. There were sentences like, “Allow me to relate to you the horror I just went through….” and ” because of the lack of up to date accurate information of this kind.”
At first, I thought, “Oh no, what did I write wrong now?” Try as I might, there will always be someone more informed, more “in the know” than me or my sources. But when I found out the message was about not having a drag show to go to, I thought, “The power of drag.”
The writer of the message, who we’ll call Charlotte, was frustrated from searching for a good drag show in her neighborhood. As you know, the search engines are getting more and more spam filled and depending on which version of some of the internet…. searches, you can get more commercials than actual answers to your inquiry. Charlotte was looking high and low, with limited available resources that you and I probably take for granted. See Charlotte lives in Colorado, she’s got limited mobility and due to a sexual assault, she’s got a slew of other baggage that comes along with the mental damage her assailant has left her with.
So, as is for many with limited mobility, she is on an income that has to pay for healthcare on top of the average living expenses. So she’s cut out cell phone service (no apps) and internet (she uses the public library) and doesn’t drive (she uses public transportation). Even with all of this going on, Charlotte’s concern? Break up the monotony of doctor visits, lawyer visits and working to see a drag show.
A drag show she couldn’t find even though the internet told her to go to a specific address to find one. Imagine the emotional roller coaster she’s already been on followed by the sucker punch of no drag show after all she’d gone through to get to the address she thought was right.
When Charlotte told me her story, I thought to myself, ‘how much do I take for granted?’ First off, I can walk around, to say the least, search things on my phone and sit at my computer all within the confines of my home. Everyone knows public transportation in California is a joke, so the car has become somewhat of a necessity, but I have to that access as well. But mostly, I take for granted that I can just go to a drag show any night of the week and know I’m going to get something great.
But what is it that makes drag so important? Why does a single show have such an impact that someone with such difficulty getting around would save up to travel such lengths to see one?
For me, I think it’s an escape. You’re in a club/bar/lounge/festival or whatever the venue, surrounded by people, some of who have been through hell to be able to call themselves LGBT, but all who appreciate the struggle and celebration of what it means to be part of this community. And a performer has completely transformed himself into this larger than life character who focuses on you for 5 seconds. In that 5 seconds, you matter, not only do you matter, but you matter to the person everyone is there for! And even if you spent your entire day being looked over, talked down to, or treated badly, this performer has made your day!
Drag Queens Galore has always stuck by the core value of being a promoter of drag. That doesn’t mean every show is shared here, it doesn’t mean you’ll catch the scoop here. But when the queens meet me and the first words out of their mouths are, “oh, you’re the nice one” it makes me feel like I’ve done it right. So, that being said, appreciating drag is not the same as being a fan[atic]. There are so many styles, so many versions, so many definitions of drag that no ONE in particular is the right one. As long as you’re bringing that feeling of, “thank goodness for this performer,” to your audience, you’ll win every time.
Charlotte is headed to a show this weekend, by the way. So don’t worry about her, she’s going to have a great time! As I hope you do as well. And don’t take anything for granted, because there are so many without, be sure to take a step back and be grateful.
How did Drag change your day, night, week, month, year or even life? What part of you did drag heal? At the end of the day, all we need is a little more fabulous in our lives right?