Transgender and Drag

I’ve occasionally seen drag, mainly in Sydney over the last 45 years.

I’ve rarely enjoyed it as I find it far too gaudy, cliched, kitsch and garish. The queens try too hard, tend to be aggressive, vulgar and rude. And they use way too much make-up, overdress and their wigs are excessive disasters.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed Reg Livermore as Betty Blockbuster in his Follies at the Balmain Bijou in the early 70s.

reg l

To a lesser extent, I enjoyed the early Dame Edna.

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Transgender

Over the last few years I have been exploring my transgender self from time to time.

In the last two years I have visited 25 nations, so the extent I publicly do that depends on the attitude on the street of the nation I am in. Particularly the attitude and aggression of young males. And Afro-French women in Paris and Orlèans.

Whereas Tokyo, Turkey including regional far eastern Turkey, Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, the Caribbean and South America were pretty good with Tokyo the most tolerant.

I got violently bashed in Batumi Georgia by a 33 year old transphobic thug. I was chased with clear threats of violence by an aggressive, drunk 19 year old in Helsinki and harassed and hit on the head by an awful Irish-English 15 year old punk in Liverpool. The Afro-French girls ridiculed me in Paris and Orlèans. African women are generally oppressed by their macho men – boy do those women take on some of the phobias of their oppressors!

Gender & Sexual Orientation

I explore my masculinity and femininity as a male. I largely identify as a straight male and when in the mood, femme my obvious masculine body, keeping it clear I am a man. So far no wigs, some female attire fused with male clothing, make-up and painted nail extensions to accentuate my male beauty, not to submerge it in a faux female persona.

'Valium is Political' 1980 - Copy

This delivers an authenticity and ambiguity that often receives a very favourable response as by the owners and operators of a large roadside cafe outside Samsun in regional Turkey, middle aged Saturday night revelers in San Sebastian in Basque Country and young party goers in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. And on occasions, rapturous responses – as at The Colombian Bar in Darlinghurst, the Imperial in Erskinville and a lively Batumi nightclub an hour or so before I got bashed on New Year’s morning 2017.

Then there was A, an Afro Brazilian women I met in Rio in 2018. She followed me up after I had left Rio. That ignited an online conversation continuing right up to now!

Here’s A fucking some fella, not I!

Transgender and Drag

This excellent article from the Conversation clarifies some of the confusion around transgender and other identifications and orientations.

Transgender & Drag

Reed

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