Life’s a Drag (Show)

In what is quickly becoming an annual ritual for me, I attended last night’s March Dragness show at Hollywood Casino. Not only was this year’s show bigger and better than last years – it’s clear that these ladies are going to need a bigger venue next year. The house was packed beyond SRO and the performers amazed.

Ms. Candy Cane stole the show and the gains she’s made in her performance year to year are remarkable. This year featured a Drag King for the first time. Justin Case (love his name) rocked the house. Valerie Honeywell remains my all-time fave and her leopard skin outfit was scandalous!

If you’re someone who loves people, you can’t do better than the audience at this show. Rarely have I been in the company of such diversity, acceptance and love. Lots of folks came in drag and it’s so obvious they look forward to this all year long. Maybe it’s the only time many of them leave their homes dressed as they most want to be.

I stood next to Valerie at the back of the room for a time. I felt invisible – a standard straight white guy wearing khakis and a button down shirt. I felt small standing next to her. Flashy dresses, big hair, everything to the nines. I didn’t just feel underdressed, I felt like I wasn’t saying anything at all. Humbling, that. I’m a guy who always has a lot to say.

Living in greater Bangor, I’m accustomed to being pretty conspicuous just by virtue of having waist length gray hair, tattoos, earrings and bearing a (sigh) increasingly clear resemblance to Gandalf the Great. I’m not trying to say anything with my appearance. It’s not self-expression – it’s just who I am. There’s no cost for me to be who I am publicly. I get branded a hippie and that doesn’t phase me at all.

I don’t go to drag shows for the lip syncing and dancing. I go because it’s one of the few places outside of AA and NA where I see folks being celebrated for showing who they truly are. We live in a world that celebrates individuals for what they do I want to live in a world where we celebrate people for who they are.

I’m unsure what words could adequately describe the respect I have for the Queens. I do know that I learn from them and aspire to their level of dignity, style, and grace. Can’t wait for next year’s show.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.