‘The rules are there are no ‘nos,’” my faerie godmother said as we pulled into the parking lot of Value Village. “You have to try on everything I give you.”
It was a moot point. Once I had agreed to go to the Radical Faerie gathering with him, I knew there was no protesting whatsoever. That was the whole point of going.
When I imagine myself in drag, I’m wearing Pucci prints, pillbox hats and three-quarter sleeves. My godmother saw it differently.
“I look like Angela Bassett,” I said. The dress was a stretchy leopard print with a high collar. I could smell the sweat of the last person who tried it on.
“It’s sporty. We’ll take it.”
Later I held up the dresses for my neighbour to see.
“Just how I imagined you as a woman,” she said.
Buying women’s clothing is one thing; carrying it across the border, another. “These are not the droids you’re looking for,” I secretly chanted as the customs agent peered into the back of our car.
I asked my godmother what would have happened if the agent had seen the drag.
“We would have got through faster.”
I tried coming up with a drag name: Lima Beans. Polly Technique. Percy Scription.
“Those aren’t drag names,” said my godmother. “That’s what you name a sock puppet. Don’t worry. It’ll come.”
“Follow Your Own Weird,” urged a placard in a tree. I was trying.
Amidst the tree trunks, men in dresses went about their business, blending in with the flora and fauna. It was as though we were the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust and all that was left to wear were women’s clothes.
It amazes me how a man can become a dress. I had four different outfits, but I never disappeared into them the way the others did. I never became a character.
At dinner, the neckline on the leopard print was making it hard to swallow. I was about to excuse myself when my godmother pulled me back.
“You will do no such thing,” he said, staring me down between the bangs of his platinum-blonde wig. “Do you think women are ‘comfortable’ in women’s clothes? No! But do they look fabulous? Yes!”
Somewhere within was the meaning of life.
To prove my godmother’s point, a hairy-chested guy with six-pack abs worked a Hula-Hoop in thigh-high leather boots, cocktail dress and a spiky wig. He made it look effortless.
I had followed my own weird and it had led me here. And it was beautiful.