More Queens

It turns out, my posts objecting to the domination of drag queens in more than a few of the LGBT Pride events elicited several wonderful comments on the three platforms I am writing on now (Blogger, WordPress and Medium).

Here is one from Michelle: 

” I have to say that you might be a bit wrong about the Queens doing nothing for the community. Connie is right about how most trans women just want to blend in but the Queens help to off set attention so that we can blend in without too much trouble. You have to remember that it was the Queens and gays of the Stonewall riots that brought the subject of trans into the open. That one incident helps so many find that they were not alone in the world.Yes, Queens are know for looking and acting over the top but one has to remember that they are like that because they are entertainers if nothing else. I also know that many of them don’t always dress or act outlandish all the time. Many try to wear “normal” everyday wear most of the time. Unfortunately many still end up wearing the heavy makeup to help hide the male flaws.


I remember when I first met a Queen in the Rittenhouse area of the city. She was both beautiful as well as sometimes outrageous. One thing that she did for me was to help me see what life was like for transgendered individuals back in the 60’s. She helped me understand the problems I might encounter through life, many were very accurate, even to this day.
I found a very informative unabridged version of a book chapter from “Trans bodies Trans selves”. It’s a bit long but well worth the read.
https://www.umass.edu/stonewall/sites/default/files/Infoforandabout/transpeople/genny_beemyn_transgender_history_in_the_united_states.pdf”


Thanks Michelle.

Send in the Clowns?

 Recently I wrote a post concerning my opposition to drag queens having too much of an impact of
various Pride celebrations and received this comment from Connie: 

“It would make for a pretty boring parade if the drag queens were replaced by trans women “just wanting to blend in.” Not that one group necessarily shows more pride than the other; just different ways of expressing it. Personally, I much prefer to exhibit my self-pride with a quiet confidence – but, then, I’m not trying to entertain anyone with it. I’m not saying that drag queens are clowns, but I think that they serve the same purpose in a pride parade that the clowns do in a more-traditional parade.
I’m sure that the TV news show file clips of drag queens, when referencing Pride, because it’s sensational. The real life of a trans woman or man is rarely newsworthy or sensational. Although, I must say, just being able to be myself feels quite sensational to me!”


To be sure, drag queens make for good television but again the whole spectacle takes away from my respect for the whole event.  
As far as your comment about transgender women just wanting to blend in goes, I would prefer to see any of the trans women or men who are making a difference in the overall community be spotlighted. Perhaps a few of the big corporations are contributing to the event would be made aware of the problems the transgender community faces. Instead of the brief support  given the LGBT community, it could be more of a yearly process. 


Clowns are fun for a day or two promoting their weekend drag shows but do nothing for the transgender community. 

Pride

Drag queens wearing red, orange, yellow and green are walking in the street at Montreal Pride.

 June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Of course (per norm) I watched the local morning news  and almost the first story I saw was promoting two of the local Pride activities coming up this weekend. This year, the biggest local event (Cincinnati) was again canceled due due pandemic considerations. Even still, the television station used old footage of drag queens’ in convertibles for the story. Which leads me to this:

One of my biggest problems with the various events is the number of drag queens which are featured. 

My dislike for all the attention drag queens garner goes all the way back to my earliest days of  coming out into a feminine world. A world I desperately wanted to succeed in. The mistake I made was going to male gay venues…places which were nearly impossible to exist in as a novice transgender woman. I ultimately learned  I could be accepted much more easily in straight venues.  At the same time, I began to grow bored of the same drag queens performing the same songs. 

All of this brings me back to Pride. My earliest trips to Prides were immersed in the usual garishly dressed queens followed close by by cross dressers teetering by in their high heels and tight dresses. Very little appealed to me. I will say though, as the years have gone by, I have noticed more and more transgender women and men enjoying the day. 

Interestingly, the Trans Ohio organizers who are hell bent to put on a virtual event of their own, have a whole other take on why Pride does not represent trans people as a whole. Their take is the money these big Pride events bring in.  The big corporations who are lining up as sponsors are spending money in the wrong areas to truly help the immensely needy segments of the LGBT community. Too much of the money goes to support the event itself or back to the cis male gay groups whole are already doing well in the financial areas.

At any rate, Liz and I can’t attend any of the regional Prides this year for several reasons and even though I don’t like the attention the queens get, I still like to “people watch” the rest of the crowd.