Happy Birthday to my Spiritual Son, Andrew, and my Magical Daughter, Angel Electra

The picture here is of Andrew Pentecost, both as himself and as his drag persona, Angel Electra. This was a fun project we did a while back, using two images in one photo to tell a love story. I particularly like this photo. I think it captures a moment that can be typical in relationships. One person is totally engrossed in something that has nothing to do with the other person. The other person is curious as to what could possibly be more interesting than them, and secretly looks on to see.

Andrew and I have a very special mother/son relationship. We are alike in so many ways, and frequently serve as each other’s therapist. I never really wanted to have children, but as I have gotten to know Andrew, I realize that if I had, he would have been the perfect son for me. I love him dearly.

Today is Andrew’s birthday, so I’m thinking of him. Professionally, Andrew is a makeup artist, and a very good one. He can take anyone and make them into their most beautiful self. I have spent many hours watching him change himself to Angel. Such a process. I honestly have no idea how many photos I’ve taken of him. He is a fascinating subject to photograph, because he truly becomes another person as a result of the makeup process. I love to photograph him as he is studying his face, applying the makeup, and doing all the other steps that go into this change. The finish is always flawless.

I have also watched him do makeup on many women for photos I was about to take. The results never cease to amaze me. My approach to making up my own face (and the faces of others I am photographing if Andrew isn’t there to help) has radically changed because of what I’ve learned from him. Andrew is an artist in so many different ways. He is also a great teacher. Knowing him has enriched my life, and brought out a maternal side of me that I enjoy expressing. I know that we will always be connected, no matter where our different paths may take us.

Connections…a great part of life

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My husband, Fred, with our “son”, Andrew Pentecost, and our “son-in-law,” Kyle Brougham, after a lovely brunch at Balthazar.

When I think of the word “connect”, I think of connections with other people. One of life’s greatest treasures is the people we connect with. Fred and I have become deeply connected to Andrew Pentecost and his fiancé, Kyle Brougham. I met Andrew a few years ago when he did makeup for my dear friend Arnold  Myint/Suzy Wong. (I could also write a book about my connection with Arnold.) Somehow, in some organic way, Andrew and I became very close friends. At some point we realized that our relationship had evolved into something closely resembling Mother/Son. Fred and I have no children, but if we did, I think Andrew could easily be that child. We are so happy that Andrew has also made a connection with Kyle, a wonderful guy that we enjoy spending time with. So, the four of us have become a little family unit. Andrew and I remain very close, and we frequently take some time for just the two of us. He is like my therapist, and I think I play that role for him as well.

This photo was taken by me last Spring when the four of us met in New York. I am hoping that in the future we will have many adventures together in lots of places. Of course, we are also hoping that Marriage Equality will become universal, as these two guys were definitely made for each other. And, like any “Mom,” I want my son to be happy.

Ladies Who Lunch

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Ladies Who Lunch.

I love slipping out to lunch with a girlfriend. Jill Pullen is one of my favorite lunch
buddies. It’s a great way to keep in touch, and I love spending time with Jill. She is the most disciplined person I know, and I learned most of my food-nazi attitude from her.
This summer, when I was pretty much incapacitated from the stupid accident, Jill was a great trooper. She would come by, load me and the walker up in her car, and take me out. We even went shopping one day at Nordstrom.
Now, I’m happily back to full function, and Jill and I still get together for lunch. The other day we went to Burger Up and I grabbed the check. Being Jill, she protested. My response: sometimes a girlfriend just wants to treat a girlfriend to lunch.
It’s life’s little pleasures and comfortable relationships that make our time on this planet meaningful. Every day I see that more clearly. As my friend DeeDee says, “Life – live it while you’ve got it.”