the drag you wear

I know your secret.

I’m talking to you, the guy at the gay bar with the beer in his hand, wearing the baseball cap and worn baggy jeans. You would never wear designer clothes, and you mock people who do. You make sure that you mention to everyone that you can that you dress to feel comfortable. Just to feel comfortable, that’s all. After all, you’re not as shallow, not as pretentious, as the people who dress to “look good.” You don’t care what you look like, because you are a deep person.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone your secret. I won’t tell the thing that you are afraid the people will find out: that you are wearing drag right now.

You see, the term “wearing drag” does not actually mean “dressing like the opposite gender.”  Or to be more precise: it does not only mean that. Drag just means that you are wearing a costume, you are dressing in a way to project an image and create a character, to forcibly manipulate the way that people see you.

Drag can serve many functions, and usually does serve many functions at once. It can make a political statement, or a social statement. It can be entertainment or it can be shocking. But it always, always forces people to see a character, and as a result forms a mask that hides the real you from the world. Drag queens perform on stage, and they wear their gender-mind-fuck drag. Punk rockers wear their spiked and colored hair, and that is a different form of drag. The hippies in the 1970’s wore their blue jeans as a form of rebellion, thinking it stood for freedom and sexual revolution, and they were in drag, too.

And you, holding your beer can like a prop on the dance floor, are wearing your “I’m not like the other gays” drag. You are wearing your “I want people to think that I don’t care what people think” drag.  Good for you! It’s a good look; a lot of people like it.  I applaud you and think you should work it for all its worth.  Go to the right places, and it’s sure to get you laid.

But just so you know: it’s still drag.