I thought this series was going to be in a particular order. I decided this morning that since it is about what is on my mind, plus showing you photos, I needed to just decide each day what photo to post and what story I want to tell.Today, I have Sara Andrews on my mind.
Sara is a woman who was born a male. I have only known her as a woman, as she transitioned genders at a young age. Sara is a very talented performer. She performs drag. The women she creates for the stage have very little to do with Sara in her everyday life. She is a polite, well-behaved, lovely woman in her everyday life. At least, that has been my impression. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Sara for a few days a summer ago, when we both visited West Hollywood to go to Sutan Amrull’s Big Birthday party. We ended up all staying with Arnold at the place he was sharing with his manager and friend, Diana Coney. So, I would hang out with the regular-girl-next-door Sara during the day and then I would see her transform into her drag persona and hit the stage. Or, the night of the big party, I saw her transform herself into a movie starlet, who behaved a bit like Audrey Hepburn. She was not in drag that night. She was Sara Andrews all dolled up and on her best behavior. People loved her. I felt very glamorous to be her sidekick.
There is some discussion right now, provoked by RuPaul not welcoming trans performers to Drag Race, as to whether or not a person who has changed their gender identity can actually be a drag queen, as we usually think of drag as men impersonating women. And, I admit, that’s how I basically define drag. But, I also realize, that drag is not about the person performing…drag is about the persona that person has created. (I got this idea from a young man who posted a comment on Sara’s FaceBook.) Sara Andrews creates amazing personas of females. She does this as an art form, and a means of creative self-expression. And, I believe she has a ball doing it. She does it for fun. The audiences at Hamburger Mary’s loved her. Especially the women. She gets on the stage and behaves like the bad girl all of us would like to be. But, she isn’t cheesy…she is funny and just provocative enough to make sure her audience has as much fun as she does.
I don’t get all this argument. I know that RuPaul is not really a contest as much as it is reality television. The whole beehive that has been created around that show might be good for the art of drag, or it could possibly also have some negative effects. But, drag is always and forever drag….creating the female persona. Sara Andrews chooses to live as a woman and perform as a drag queen. Even though this can be a little hard to understand, I finally get it. Trans women and drag queens aren’t the same thing at all. That is, unless the trans woman is performing great, great drag!! There you have it.