I read all of the fashion and Project Runway blogs in the blogosphere: Project Rungay, Manolo The Shoe Blogger's, Jay McCarroll's, The Sartorialist... on and on.
I know, my obsession borders on the pathological, but all people who have a dream are that way.
Jay's (which is kind of eccentric but worth waiting for) mentionned the other day the documentary "Paris is Burning" in reference to the way Christian Siriano (aka Chicken) acts sometimes. That whole "Fierce, Big Deal, Shashay-Shantee" way of acting is a whole culture and tradition on its own. A tradition started as a scream of rebellion and self-assertion by black gay men in NYC. And it grew and transpired into the mainstream with people like RuPaul
A tradition in which I have been steeped since the 80's.
I think that because I think and feel and process things like a gay man, gay men flock to me and love me and feel secure with me, because they know that with me they are going to find understanding and unconditionnal love. After all, me being born with the right hormonal combo and breasts and female reproductive organs to make me a girl was due only to a toss of the coin and my mother's wishful thinking. Otherwise I would BE a Mexican-German Chris March. There is no doubt about that. I think I am the only woman in the world who has gotten into a cat fight/reading with a drag queen about who looked more "real". I have breasts and a vagina and have given birth and have my period. I am real for fuck sake. But that is how surreal and how steeped in gay culture I am. Geezus, I think that 75% of time, if a man was attracted to me, he was either gay male-minded ( there are gay male-minded straight males and females like me) or came out as 100% gay in the next year.
And being that I already experienced tremendous rejection and ostracism because I was a girl and not blue-eyed and chubby and weird, me coming out a gay man would have made my life in upper-middle class Mexico City unbearable. I seriously don't think I would have made it to 21. So I think God granted my mother's future prayer and made me a girl because he means for me to do something extraordinary in this world. I needed to live past my teen years. And I did barely.
I fled Mexico in 1987 for college in Fort Worth, Texas of all places.
And there I found my people. I was a Dance major. Seriously. A 170 pound ballet major. And I was AWESOME at that. They gave me hell and buried me in eating disorders and emotionally abused me until I broke.
But the gay boys just gravitated to me as if they were bees and I was the most beautiful rose ever. And I started going to gay bars and balls and drag shows and parties and I started Vogueing and I was in Heaven because for the first time in my life I felt like I was accepted and celebrated as I am. I became a minor gay icon on my own right. A mini-Madonna, or Cher or Lady Miss Kier or something.
I lived a small, Texas version of that life. In Dallas and Fort Worth.
Since then some of my friends from back then have died. An unusual amount at an unusually young age. Suicide, murder, od's, sexual assaults... things most people in the "square world" think are are far removed from their universe. Plenty of HIV positive diagnoses in my corner of the woods. The ones of us who have made it to the ripe old age of 40 are doing ok, barring the usual curve balls that life has thrown our way. But even with all that, we still had it good. I mean, we were the cusp of artsy bohemia and rebellion ( for freaking North Texas..lol), but we were college-educated kids that came from middle class families. Ours was the tragic and infamous house of Alpha Gamma (which meant Artistic Geniuses) of which I was the founder and Mother. Our way of mocking the obnoxious Greek system that dominated social life in Universities in North Texas.
I was watching the "Paris is Burning" movie last night and I wonder what has happened to the people in it since. There were kids in there living "La Vida Fabulous" who were freaking 13! Puerto Rican and Black kids mostly. Poor kids mostly. Kids with no parents or who were better off without the parents they had. That is why they formed their own gay "houses/families" like St. Laurent and Ninja and Xtravaganza and Labeija.
I wonder what happened and what became of all those people. I mean, some of those kids stole and turned tricks on a regular basis to eat.
I mean it is HARD in this world when you are different or a minority in one way. But when it layers and layers and layers.... I mean I am Mexican and fat and woman and gay-minded and life has been a constant struggle and battle and roller-coaster.
I can only imagine what it is like to be gay and black and struggling with poverty since childhood.
Why is it that in this world we allow intolerance and prejudice and oppression to continue to go on? Why is it that life is made into some sort of epic odysee for those of us who happen to not fit the white-straight-square-middle class mold?
Why is the crime of social conformity and oppression still being perpetrated on so many?
Almost 20 years and things have changed some. But not much.