Playing Dress Up
January 22, 2007

I'm a member of a wonderful church - wait! this isn't a religious, church post, I swear it! You just have to understand a little bit about our church in order to understand the story.

Back in the late 80s, the congregation was thinning out, people having moved and died. The remaining folks brainstormed for a few years, did studies ... trying to decide to what group or groups they felt a call to mission.

In the early 90s, they decided to become "open and affirming," meaning that they would not turn anyone away due to race, disability, sex, AIDS status or sexuality ... or any other issue. They reasoned that Jesus often reached out to those whom society rejected ... and so they should follow that example.

Fast forward to two winters ago ... time for our bi-annual coffee house. Our MC for the evening's entertainment was a lovely man who does a nice, clean-ish drag act. I mean, if you've ever seen a real drag act ... ummm ... wow ... some of these folks would make a sailor or a longshoreman blush a brilliant red! But "Jake" has a nice act which includes a mild version of the cattiness that keeps it fun ... and family-friendly.

In the audience this night is "Michael," his mom, "Judy" ... and Judy's two granddaughters, around age 5 or so.

The girls are utterly and completely entranced with MC Jake ... or "Ginny" as he was called that evening. Now, there are three basic types of drag queens. One, the idiots who think they look good ... but they don't. Think of some of those folks who audition for American Idol who honestly think they are a gift to singing - and they're really really really not. Two, the ones who look wonderful. A lot of these drag queens you might never know were biologically male.

The third category is gender-fook. These drag queens are simply playing with the various gender roles in voice, appearance, mannerism and the like. Maybe not shave the beard, but wear a dress. Maybe talk with a deep voice, but have beautiful make-up. Basically, they're challenging what is male and female roles and stereotypes and having fun blending everything together.

Ginny was this type.

Apparently Michael's girls were completely fascinated with "Ginny" and her wardrobe changes. HERE was a grown-up who understood dress up in ways they had never fathomed! There were no questions about whether Ginny/Jake was male or female. All the girls saw was a grown up who understood how to play.

For the next week or two, both girls played dress up incessantly ... but not just dress-up, no! Michael got a great kick out of telling people that his girls were playing "Drag Queen Dress Up" ... proudly MCing imaginary shows, artful use of scarves around the neck ... and, apparently, some questioning of Daddy as to how they could draw beards on themselves.

If playing dress up ... if playing pretend ... is about stretching our minds to the edges of what is possible instead of merely plausible, these girls have a head start on learning to think outside the box.

Remember, there is no spoon.

Posted by Red Monkey at January 22, 2007 4:03 AM | People Say I Have ADHD, But I Think - Hey Look, A Chicken | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


MsDemmie said:

I love dressing up !

January 22, 2007 9:27 AM
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