Recently my drag involvement has lead me to the label of male impersonator. For sure because my goal when I dress in drag is to fool someone who doesn’t know me. I like to push boundaries about gender roles and I get into that in my recent blog post on “Do I have to Choose” but in this post I want to talk about owning my lesbian/dyke label.
At this point people often ask me “Do you want to be a man?” and I respond with a sincere, “No.” No judgement on any trans-person but for me and my value system it doesn’t work. First of all I don’t want to take hormones every day. I don’t want to deal with facial hair daily. I have never been the type to change for my peers or for my community – I have always had that “kiss my ass” attitude. Love me or hate me, whatever! My gender varies there are things I do that are masculine and other things I do that are feminine. I also do some things that are typically androgynous or that you can easily find both genders involved in it. I love gardening but I also love Faeries. I love survivalist camping but I also love hiking. I love to dress up, but like a man. I love to impersonate men, but I wouldn’t dare leave the sisterhood of woman, mothers, and womyn. I just don’t think its necessary for me to put myself through such a tough transition, although I totally honor it in others. We all have our own personal journey! I often wonder how trans-people would exist in our world if we didn’t make such a big deal on gender/genitalia. What if it was separate, what would our trans-sister look like if they were raised as little girls because they wanted to be at age 5. What if it was not assume what your genitalia was? What if it didn’t matter? I imagine it would be like some ancient cultures that embraced beyond the binary of gender. I will remain a butch, androgynous, lesbian male impersonator just to rebel against the binary. I stand against the binary, as a whole.
I like to show all the fabulous men in the world like Dee Snyder, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Elton John, Marilyn Manson, and Prince. I am not a man hater. I can think of so many and many of them have a sort of androgynous feel to them. But I also like to embody the energy men have and present in a fashion that is both entertaining and helps push boundaries. As an activist I want to question gender roles, I want genitalia to be private. It is no ones business what your genitalia is unless you are going to bed with them. Then you can have that discussion along with how you plan to have safe sex.
But as a male impersonator I have a blast finding ways to truly create the illusion of my male gender. I flatten my chest, add real facial hair, and pack a package in my pants. Although you can rub it all day long and I will stay limp – its a blast to impersonate and get away with it.
As a lesbian I try on the gender male and am in real contact with the pressures and the privilege that comes along with it. When I do pass I notice the male privilege. I also notice how man communicate in body language and if I don’t do certain things I am seen as less masculine. I notice how many people see masculine and wonder about the pressure that must put on men. I see women from a different light. I can see that many of them suppress their inner lights and men are expected to keep theirs lit constantly. Like how women often do things for husbands and children, but don’t always master including themselves in the priority list, they often move themselves to the bottom. Men are expected to be unemotional, shallow, and tough – at all times. When I visit each gender I realize how we are all doing this to each other and no one side is responsible for the oppression of women. Once we realize this we can easily forgive, heal, and evolve.
From my feminist perspective I am lead to my activism about gender roles and genitalia privacy rights. Our culture needs to change its ideas about gender. I also want to spread my thoughts about love, acceptance, and the connection of mind/body/soul. I am in real support of the evolution of the human race into a compassionate & loving race. Where we all love and care for each other equally. Where honesty, integrity, and compassion are at the forefront of our value system. What can we lose by making these priorities in our communities? These values are like a candle light. If my candle is lit and you light yours from the same flame, we simply gain in more light. Nothing is lost. The message of love is like a candle flame.
Which is why I steer my Drag King persona towards benefits that support these messages like for the Foundation For Hope in Central PA. I was severely bullied and now in my journey with yoga I have come to the conclusion that this is the only way that the human race will survive its own existence. We must evolve, we must pass the flame. No one is perfect but if we simply try, just a little, we can help bring light to the world. There is a revolution and I am not the only one who feels this way, there are many of us. How can I spread the message of love in our world? I trust in the universe to lead me to a way in which I can help light up the world. Follow your heart, it will lead you to YOUR light.