Drag Queen of England Tea Party

Invited

When I was in 6th grade, a classmate was having a big birthday bash to which it seemed everyone was invited. We’ll call her Kayla. It was still summer vacation and I ran into my best friend at the beach. She asked me if I was going to Kayla’s birthday party and I told her I hadn’t received an invitation. “Oh you’re invited!” my friend … Continue reading Invited

Mona’s 440 Club, San Francisco, California, c. 1950. Photo c/o foundsf.org.

Facts about Lesbians

In her show “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby quips that she “knew more facts about unicorns than about lesbians” for a long time. She then has to double-back and clarify for the audience that “there are no facts about unicorns.” It’s a solid joke, one that is all too relatable for queer people. The internet has made an enormous difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ people, that’s … Continue reading Facts about Lesbians

A goofy self-portrait from 2011

Progress

If you played an instrument for any length of time while you were growing up in the United States, you were probably subjected to an adjudicated music festival at some point in time. Since I grew up in New York, ours was called “NYSSMA,” which referred to the organization that ran it, the New York State School Music Association. My mom once called it “lambs … Continue reading Progress

Me being my goofy self, circa 2012.

Permission

“Do you understand what self-deprecation means when it come from somebody who already exists in the margins? It’s not humility, it’s humiliation. I put myself down in order to speak, in order to seek permission to speak…” –Hannah Gadsby When I saw “Nanette” for the first time and I heard Hannah speak these words, it was as though someone had put a large bell over … Continue reading Permission

Feminine self-portrait, circa 2009

Femme’d Up

We all get “dressed up” for work in ways we wouldn’t dream of on our downtime, but if you’re a gender-not-normal person, this often includes an extra layer. Personally, I tend to “femme” myself up more than usual for work, which I don’t love, but it feels necessary. How “out” I’ve been at my place of employment has fluctuated over the years, so I’ll start … Continue reading Femme’d Up

Me dressed up as a Seaweed Queen for the Mermaid Parade. Pharaoh is giving me kisses.

Freaksaurus Rex

On my last day of high school, I wore the most ridiculous outfit I could assemble: striped tights and armwarmers, one black ballet-flat and one white, a loud skirt that looked like it had escaped from a modern-art museum, my black work polo and my name-tag that read “Melon Girl” (my job at the time was at the local supermarket assembling those overpriced fruit-and-vegetable party-platters), … Continue reading Freaksaurus Rex

Hannah Gadsby performing her show "Nanette" / Copyright © Ben King/Netflix

Coming out, Again and Again

“Coming out” is a bizarre rite-of-passage for queer folks. Part of what makes it so bizarre is it isn’t like there’s one “coming out” you do, like a Quinceañera, and then you’re set. You have the pleasure (or misfortune) of coming out over and over again in difference situations. Unless you gathered ALL of your family together for one big announcement, you probably come out … Continue reading Coming out, Again and Again