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Can We Find a Better Word For It?

I first had this thought when I was in my 20s and first saw Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. These guys are drag queens. Drag queens are different from transvestites (primarily in that drag queens are gay), but the outward effect is the same - wearing high heels and makeup.

But here's where I run into problems. I am a connoisseur of transvestites, and the discoverer of the AGAWI tribe ("almost getting away with it" - you know, the ones that you have to watch for a while to be sure of) and the NEGAWI tribe ("not even getting away with it" - the ones who haven't bothered to shave). But the underlying concept with both of those tribes is the desire to pass as a woman. The problem is that men like the guys in Priscilla aren't interested in passing, because there are no women who look like that. I personally have never seen an actual woman wearing a towering pastel foam-rubber wig (although, I must confess, I have led a sheltered life) and not even Elizabeth Taylor wore that much makeup on a regular basis.

So, last night, the Pirate and I watch Eddie Izzard, who came onstage wearing a sort of a Chinese tunic, vinyl pants and high-heeled sandals, makeup by Earl Scheib and he looked every bit as feminine as Richard Nixon. I mean, it's not like he thinks he's fooling ANYBODY. He puts on makeup and fabulous clothing, I think, for the same reason that a lot of woman do it - it's just fun. Wearing two inches of makeup and a frock that can be spotted from the moon is a kick, and if you have the personality to carry it off, you should absolutely do it, whatever your gender.

But I can't help but think that there's got to be a better word for it than to put drag queens, men trying to pass themselves off as women, and the chronically fabulous all under one yellow vinyl umbrella with orange bows on it. There's got to be a better word.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
pirateguillermo
Mar. 24th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
He's not gay. He's not really even a transvestite. He's eccentric. And...fabulous.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )