This was written on the train after the news of Trump’s bathroom law broke. I’ve been somewhat anxious to post it due to how personal it is and (now) a little bit late, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
After the recent news of Trump’s attempt to overthrow Obama’s bathroom law- despite saying that he will stand with and for the LGBT+ community- I have seen an overwhelming amount of positivity and love for the transgender community that has left my heart feeling warm and has reminded me that, in the face of adversity, we are a community that will always fight back and come out strong.
All this positivity and acceptance made me begin to think and consider my own journey of beginning to accept myself as non-binary femme individual. It wasn’t an easy journey- far from it, actually- and there were many times where I just got things wrong. But what made the whole process a million times easier for me? What was the factor that made me realise that my identity was valid, that I should be confident with it and enjoy my journey?
The answer to that is easy to anyone who knows me, but to those who don’t, it may come as a surprise.
Drag was the one thing that led to me a place where I was finally comfortable with my identity.
It’s still completely crazy to me that the thing that made me comfortable with myself was caking on a ton of makeup and putting a wig on my head and if you asked why that makes me feel more me than anything else ever could, I don’t think I’d be able to explain it. Makeup- and drag- are forms of escape for me. Spending an hour in front of a mirror and experimenting with the various makeup products I’ve collected over the years made me feel safer and happier than almost anything else could.
Drag is my safe space, truly. If I was to pinpoint it down to one thing, it’d probably be that drag is a separate entity from anything else I’ve ever done before. It’s so far outside of my comfort zone, but all I could have ever asked for. It gives me confidence because I know that when people are looking at me it’s because I want them to stare. It gives you a certain kind of power that nothing else does. People who do drag are usually those who were called the freaks and the weirdos for most of their life, and it’s about learning to embrace that label and fucking owning it. It’s learning to accept what makes you different and, not only accepting it, but embracing it and maximising it to an extent where people can no longer use it against you. If you walk into a place with giant heels, a wig, a corset and makeup that can be caught from across the room then, despite what you may think, people in that room will admire you. Even if you may not be the most confident, you will appear it- and that’s enough.
Drag is the one thing that stuck with me for over two years now. It’s the only thing that has made such a lasting impact on me that I myself can’t even comprehend it. I went from seeing drag on a reality competition and as purely men in wigs to something that changed my entire life. It’s not just about the queens, or the TV show, or the fashion- it’s about everything. It’s about how drag makes me feel like I can do anything and I’ve found a community that does not give one single fuck.
Drag is everything and more to me. And that’s why I cannot begin to understand those who shame it, or do not see it as a legitimate career, or those who believe it comes from a place of hatred or mocking of identities. I feel like those people don’t understand it or see it in the same way that I do. I feel like they don’t understand that drag can change people’s lives because, as cheesy as it sounds, it changed mine.