Desperate Drag Queens
“Chewing gum helps me think.”
“Sweetie, you’re wasting your gum.”
—The Birdcage (2009)
“Closets, however, are preferable,
it would seem, to chat groups.”
—Daniel Harris, Diary of a Drag Queen
Surely there must be a middle-ground between such a choice—drag queenery vs. the closet?
I can sympathize with the Heteronormatives and conservative Queer Theorists who think that Queenery as we know it today is a tres recent development a la Miss Foucault.
As if we’ve just been invented by Straights since records of illegality have been noted on the books. But even that concept seems rather dated—when one considers that Queenery has been around long before Miss Jurisprudence. Not only in Europe but also in the New World Indian-Mayan-Toltec-Inca societies as well. And other historical hotspots.
The new Wilde Boys poetry salon in New York City is an interesting example—in the sense that this whole profusion of jealous bitch queens started yammering away trashy comments online, dishing the Wilde Boys for daring to be ardent elitist worshippers of Youthful Male Beauty. As if that’s any different than Miss Wilde doing it herself—along with Bosie and the whole decadent Yellow Book coterie back then.
And so it really doesn’t impress me, for example, that John Harris’ 2005 book “Diary of a Drag Queen” is basically a rather long dreary expose of chat-room chicanery and bitch fests galore. Almost as if the diary anecdotes were nothing but a bitchy rehearsal for “The Birdcage” or “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” all over again. Been there, done that.
My own so-so transversive thoughts about drag queens, transvestite musicals, gay cabaret, face lifts—seem to me to be not very unlike the Wilde Boys literary critics. I’m just a jealous, bitchy, clueless, empty-headed old bitch queen like anybody else.
Actually, writing online for me seems to be very much like “The Birdcage” line—that chewing gum seems to help me think better.
But, of course, my dear, it’s just a waste of gum.