Earlier this week I recieved the latest issue of The Advocate, in it there was an article written on drag queens and their role in the LGBTQ community. There kind of a love em’ or hate em’ group. Me personally, I love them. 

To me drag queens represent homosexuality. My earliest memories of what I percieved homosexuality to be involved drag queens. I remember the first drag queen I ever saw was in a movie, most of us remember “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything…Julie Newmar”. Nothing was more captivating to me the Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes in a dress…nothing. 

Ever since that movie I have always had my eyes peeled to the tv screen and the streets looking for my next “drag” fix. I even tried o put make-up myself, I quickly figured out that I needed lots of practice and lots of time. Because clean-up before my mother got home was awful. I never got very good at it, though one time my cousin and I had a contest to see who could put make-up on the best. It involved our twin cousins and a closet on a farm…

Needless to say that I lost that competition, but, I am fairly certain that I tried the hardest. I was actually pretty embarrased because I knew that I wasn’t very good, but how do you tell your family that you want to learn to put on make-up? In my case, my Mother may have been supportive, but in those days it was doubtful, especially given our circumstances. All I knew was that I envied drag queens for their boldness and their stage presence and their effortless ability to just walk right into a group of straight men and own them. For me that was power and poise and the very definition of strength.

Quite frankly I have always thought that loving drag queens was wrong, but then again, I was kinda taught that homosexuality was wrong. Now I know better, love em’ or hate em’ drag queens are beautiful to me, in all their gawdy attire and bad wigs and square faces and spray painted make-up, I love em’. To me they are the early soldiers in my life, I compare myself to them and my coming out boldness to them.

March on girls, your beautiful and one day when I get out of this place, perhaps you can teach me about make-up tips?!

Love, your brother in chains…

Jeff Utnage