Sutan—A Person of Two Spirits

DSCF3497xw Last week Fred and I had a very charming houseguest, Sutan Amrull, aka Raja Gemini. I was quite taken with Raja when she won RuPaul Drag Race, Season 3. (I’m sure that if you follow this blog you know I am a huge fan of drag.) Because Sutan is a good friend of Arnold Myint/Suzy Wong, I met him a couple of years ago when he visited Arnold in Nashville. Last year I went to Raja’s birthday party in West Hollywood with Suzy. So, this summer when he was visiting Nashville again to work with Arnold on a project I was quite pleased when Arnold asked if Sutan could stay at our house while he was in town. It was a pleasure to have him here and to spend a bit of one-to-one time with him. Every now and then I meet a person that totally fascinates me, and Sutan is one of those people. He is an artist in many senses of the word. The drag he does is a form of art and a form of expressing the feminine side of his personality. Sutan talks a lot about two spirit people. This is a term used by some indigenous people to describe gender-variant individuals. Sutan not only embodies a blend of genders, he also embodies a blend of cultures. He is Dutch Indonesian, and has lived both in Indonesia and in the USA. He is a very creative person who expresses his creativity in many ways. Of course, he is known for his drag performances, but he is also an artist, a designer, a fashion stylist, and a world-class makeup artist. He is funny—check him out on Toot or Boot YouTubes—he is very sensitive, and this side is seen quite touchingly in a YouTube video, “Subcultures.” He is an actor—to see an amazing Sutan/Raja presentation, check YouTube for “Raja Sublime,” a music video by Andreas Anastasis. This short video is quite beautifully shot, and a very provocative perspective of fluid gender. His fluidity is what makes Sutan/Raja so interesting to me. I have seen him perform, both in person and on video, and when he performs, even when it is outrageous, it seems quite natural and genuine. We had a very fun morning routine while he was here. I got up at my usual time, 6:30, and had my usual protein breakfast with Fred. Then around 9:30 Sutan got up and we had coffee and champagne. Fred was a complete doll and just smiled and let me pretend this was my usual morning routine. I found Sutan to be very easy to talk to. While I was most interested in learning more about him, I found that I actually told him a lot about me. He’s one of those rare people who knows how to make another person feel special. I know that it is quite possible that some people who read this blog might not know who Sutan/Raja is, but—be assured—in the world where he lives, he is a major celebrity. He is a rock star. Plus, he does have that charisma and incredible beauty…but, the point is—it is rare for anyone to be that easy to talk to, especially a person who is usually the center of attention. In short, Sutan is a great guy. He is also a woman who is powerful and intense. He was a wonderful house guest. Fred and I both were delighted with him. He has many talents and could succeed in many different ways. I have no doubt that he will be one of the great, great drag queens of our time. I can’t call him a “female impersonator” because I don’t think he’s impersonating anyone. I think he is just being his total, complete self. And, for some reason, when he does that it gives other people permission to do the same. Every now and then an artist has that effect on people. That is what makes an Sutan a great artist. He has an effect on people. I look forward to seeing the ways he finds to express himself as time goes on. And while I will always be a great, great fan of Raja, Sutan has now become a dear friend. This is the video, Raja Sublime.

6 thoughts on “Sutan—A Person of Two Spirits

  1. What a warm and gorgeous man. I couldn’t have predicted I’d be watching Youtube videos on drag tonight, but that’s the wonder of blogs. You never know what you’ll come across, and those were fascinating. Thank you for sharing!

    • Well, I am so glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to realize that I could attach a video. The suggestion was made by another blogger on here. I am really enjoying all these interactions.

      • Oh, I checked out your blog. Now following. When I was working as a teacher (and in my thirties), I, too, desperately needed a year off from working, so I took one and explored some art forms. That’s what led me to jewelry designing as a career. So, enjoy your time off. You never know where it will take you.

      • I haven’t tried to embed a video yet; I’ll have to go back and visit your blog to see how it worked out!
        Keeping up with the class is sure hard, but SO stimulating! So many things to look at and people, interesting and nice.

      • Yes! I am loving this class experience. It is very easy to do the video thing. Just open the video on YouTube, highlight its address, hit copy in Edit on your tool bar, and paste onto your blog post.

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