I’m just going to open this story begging for you to just give me a chance. Don’t let the parts where I sound like a Neanderthal cloud this story. Remember I am constantly trying to evolve, trying to open my eyes up to new things. But, for lots of things my eyes have always been closed. So, if you are reading this and a little further down the evolutionary chart that me, just remember that at some point you were probably exactly where I am at right now. Have some compassion for those of us not as cultured as you fancy yourself to be.
A few weeks ago my wife mentioned something about going to a Drag queen show in Boston with her theater friends along for a bachelor/bachelorette party for two of my friends that are getting married. I said of course I would go, I love those people and I welcome an uncomfortable situation here or there because to me it’s a way to grow a little.
I say “uncomfortable” situation, but what I really mean is sort of being the “minority” in a spot here or there. Drag shows, from what I have heard are filled with women and gay men. I’m neither of those things, last I checked anyway, so this was going to make me uncomfortable. I’ve seen lots of other people be uncomfortable, but handle it so well. My sisters boyfriend came over for dinner, hung around a little and is now part of the family. He’s a 6’4 black guy. I am the tallest in my family at 5’10” (6’0″ if the kids are reading this). He also met my entire extended family at a wedding for the first time. My family is whiter than ghosts. Growing up, we just didn’t really have anyone like him that I was around. Not anyone’s fault I think, it just wasn’t what I was used to. Anyway, he’s the coolest guy and I envy anyone who puts themselves out there. I just like that he cares for my sister. He walks in a room with my family now and he’s just Troy.
I went to a Kenyan wedding for my very good friend at work a few years ago. We were the only white people in the whole wedding. But, the only time I was uncomfortable was walking in the church. Once the music started in church and I got to experience the way his family and friends celebrated I was all smiles the rest of the day. I didn’t feel like I was different in any way. I always remember that when I am in a “minority” situation now. I think back to that day and how much fun I had, all because they didn’t see me as any different.
I’ve seen a few other uncomfortable situations with my kids. Singing, dancing and cheering on a stage in front of hundreds of people. Has to be the scariest thing on earth but they handle it like pro’s. So, a 2 hour drag queen show I should be able to handle no problem, right?
I think there was about 17 of us that went. A few couples, but lots more ladies than men with us. I think there was 5 guys and 12 women if I remember correctly. We arrived just on time for the show, sat in our seats in the basement of this club. It probably sat 75 to 100 people or so in total. Judging from what I saw and heard that night I would say it was 95% female. I anxiously awaited a waitress to come take the drink order and contemplated ordering a hundred or so drinks for just myself so I could stop my legs from shaking.
All the other guys I was with seemed very comfortable. Or at least they were not acting like this was anything other than a normal Saturday night. I talk a lot when I am nervous, I pace around and my wife can tell instantly when I’m nervous. She tells me to calm down, which makes me more nervous or makes me say something like “what, I’m totally fine” and she rolls her eyes and looks away from me.
So, the show starts and these men dressed in high heels, dresses, full makeup, leotards, and wigs come out and do choreographed lip-syncing and moving around in the audience. They were aggressive, funny and very entertaining. I laughed a few times, a smiled a few times, a blushed a few times. But, I looked around and people were having a blast. People were dancing in their seats, throwing dollars at these men and really having fun. My wife was cracking up, sometimes at the face I was making, but mostly she was just enjoying herself.
The show ended and we said goodbye to our friends and waited for our Uber home. I mentioned to my wife that I was happy with how the night went. I was relived to determine that I was, in fact, still straight. I mentioned how that was never on my bucket list of things I had to do, but I was very happy that it was something I got to experience.
People just being happy in their own skin. Celebrating being who they want to be. Seeing something like that reminds me that I still have a long way to go before I reach the end of that evolutionary chart, but at least I am moving to the right and not standing still.
Life is weird and awesome sometimes. Open your eyes to new shit. This world is filled with beautiful people, go find them…
Categories: Adventures of Me