I’ve spent the last several months on a self-imposed hiatus from writing because I, dare I say, lost my muse. Yes, that little voice in my head that gets me fired up or amused by something I encounter in life decided to go on vacation. And without so much as a farewell text message.
Perhaps this wasn’t a bad thing. Quite frankly, I was becoming a little weary about some of the conversations we were having in the gay community. Marriage equality! Yes, please, but I’m barely committed to a hair color let alone another human being. I have nothing to contribute to this conversation. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell! Yes, please, but I can’t relate. In every aspect of my life, I DO ask and I DO tell, so the struggle doesn’t really resonate with me. The It Gets Better Campaign. I have nothing snarky to say about this. My first boyfriend committed suicide in 1995. We were both barely 18. It has haunted me for 16 years. However grateful I am more light has been shed on this issue, I think it’s a shame we had to wait so long and that it took an unprecedented number of tragedies to occur for people to get the message that some serious shit goes down with gay teens.
But I digress. When you have nothing useful to contribute, sometimes the best thing to do is to shut the hell up. I think that’s the unspoken message my muse was trying to impart to me as she packed for her cruise to destinations unknown.
So for months I’ve been curled up on the sofa watching television, picking lint from my navel and occasionally turning myself as the world has gone on spinning around me. One bright spot while I was in exile: Rochester’s very own Domestic Goddess/Queen Kasha Davis’s YouTube videos. If you haven’t checked them out, you should. Her brand of humor is better than any SSRI. The voices in my head say so.
One night, I was sitting on said sofa watching my other favorite guilty pleasure, RuPaul’s Drag Race, while surfing the web. In a moment that I can only describe as life altering, I came across an article on one of the gay blogs I frequently skim. Under an advertisement for CockyBoys.com (shout out to my Twitter buddy Mason Star, their newest cutie and all around cool dude!) was the headline “Has Gay Gone Mainstream?”. The author opined that with all of the progress in equality and visibility today, gay businesses, groups and organizations were becoming obsolete. We were starting to blend in. Hooray!
What the fuck?
Yes, there she was. My muse. She popped back into my head just as quickly as she left. And let me tell you, she was one pissed off diva!
Ironically, reading this article and the dramatic return of my muse just so happened to coincide with the announcement of this year’s theme for our Rochester PRIDE Parade, It’s a Gay World After All. Think Disney and fairy tales. With all due respect to the committee who organized this year’s parade and theme and my employer who funded our business’s participation in it, my muse was not interested in playing by the rules. And now that she was back, she had only one thing on her mind: WE’LL SHOW THEM! WE ARE NOT MAINSTREAM! Caps fully intentional. She was loud and more than a bit overbearing (the similarities between my muse and my Mother are a therapy session in the making.)
As if she was never gone, my muse began to take over my life, or at least my PRIDE obligations. She decreed that I would step out of my comfort zone and do the whole thing in full drag, which as I’m sure you can imagine, is every 300 pound man’s dream come true. I was to be serving in your face defiance! And like the film Field Of Dreams, and I’m paraphrasing here, if you build an over the top PRIDE float, they will come. And they did. Ranging in ages from 21 to 60, straight, gay, black, white, Hispanic, male, female, gender benders, Goth boys mixing with Leather Daddies, a 7 month pregnant woman arm in arm with a queen, my peeps showed up to join my rebel alliance. We were diversity personified.
Armed with the wisdom of Lady Gaga (whose lyrics served as our anthems of individualism on the signs we carried) and borrowing more than one make-up tip from RuPaul’s book Workin’ It, I, in full glamazon hooker drag, and my merry band of fabulous freaks, took to the streets of Rochester to remind everyone that though we want to be treated the same, there is nothing wrong with being different. And while equality is our ultimate goal, we are not sorry we stand out. I am a little sorry we didn’t stick closer to the actual theme of this year’s parade (we might have actually had a better shot at earning an honorable mention by the parade judges instead of confused looks), but recognize that sometimes you have to color outside the lines to get noticed and get your point across.
Though that day I chose to let how I look speak for me, one set of false eyelashes (not to mention a whole lot of make-up and duct tape) reminded me that I have so much more to say about this crazy world we live in. As RuPaul says so eloquently, “My goal is to always come from a place of love, but sometimes you just have to break it down for a motherfucker.” Amen, sister.
Now that I've had my say, let's hear yours! Post a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!