My first time, I was so extraordinarily nervous that afterward I could not remember much of what happened. I still don’t today. Entirely unexpectedly, I have actual amnesia. When I try to remember, I see flashes of images, I feel a few bursting emotions, and there are a handful of distinct thoughts that I can recall. But these span no more than a few seconds – brief moments that randomly intersperse those five minutes.
My debut performance as a drag king was terrifying, and I’d do anything to never experience that debilitating terror ever again. I’ve never really shared this, but honestly it was a disappointment for me the next day when I realized that perhaps I should not continue with it. I had thought I would fall in love with it in my first try, but the enjoyment simply did not measure up to the level of fear that overtook me.
However, I did continue, and I can earnestly say that I’m incredibly happy for that. Initially, I stayed because I simply wanted to avoid disappointing my new troupe brothers. I had made a commitment, one I would be ashamed to break. But with time, my anxieties toward performing fell to the side and I was able to begin embracing how amazing it is.
With Bros B4 Ho’s, I have performed about twenty shows (…wait, really? Is that it?), with most being at Bubbles Bar in Green Point. The rewards have been phenomenal. The choice to begin performing was one that drew from a desire to have the space to dress and behave openly as a man. The real outcome has far surpassed that though. To be publicly celebrated as a man, again and again, has proven exceptional to my budding sense of self. If only I could, in just words, express the magnitude of dragging’s impact on my ability to finally, FINALLY, allow myself to begin transitioning to male. After nine years of knowing who I am meant to be, I finally feel as though I finally have the courage to begin the process to becoming that person.