By Araceli Cruz
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Keegan Hamilton
By Albert Samaha
By Village Voice staff
By Tessa Stuart
By Albert Samaha
BOSTONI have a love-hate relationship with drag queens. As a teenager, I spent the summer with my father in one of the gayest places on earth, Provincetown, Massachusetts, where some of my best friends donned wigs and gowns for a living. What I loved about some of the queens was their female masquerade, their brash sexuality, their fabulousness. But other queens left a sour taste in my mouth as I suffered through mediocre performances (if lip-synching is your craft, then fucking learn the lyrics already!), predictable characters (how many Judys and Barbras can one sit through?), and too many moments of misogyny, wherein femaleness wasn't performed, but stereotyped, denigrated, and ridiculed.
When a cute lesbian couple (including an aspiring drag king) invited me to Amateur Drag Night at Jacque's, a corner bar in the tony Bay Village neighborhood, I was skeptical. The clientele was that strange mix of gay men and men who like to have sex with other men as long as they are dressed as women. You might call these men gay or trannie chasers or queen lovers, but they are definitely a breed unto themselves. They look, well, straight in the straightest sense of the word, and their fashion is the giveaway: preppy polo shirts, bad haircuts, mismatched shoes and belts. I even spied a pair of golf shoes on one gentleman who seemed particularly smitten with the gender-bending waitress. There were only a handful of women at Jacque's, including the two butch dykes who brought me and a few others who may or may not have been born female. (I never make assumptions in a dark drag bar.)
An amazon of a womanand not a particularly pretty oneTisha Sterling opened the show with a sappy ballad, to which she did not always remember all the words. She had a long blond wig full of crimped curls, and I heard someone behind me whisper, "She's the love child of [aging Twisted Sister frontman] Dee Snider and Harvey Fierstein," to which I replied, "Maybe it's just Dee Snider trying to pay the rent." She had a moment or two of genuine presence on the stage and an absolutely fabulous dress, but I didn't expect anything more than a typical night of drag to follow.
When Tiger Lily took the stage, all bets were off. She wore a purple lacy body stocking, see-through in several places, over a matching purple G-string and heavily padded bra. She had a black wig, the front pulled back tight from her face, pale skin, extreme makeup, and dramatic eyebrows. She was almost a goth girl, with tattoos on her arms, chest, and left calf. Her opening number was a parody of Britney Spears, with the lyrics all about getting a boob job.
Ive never had sex with a drag queen before, so . . .
I am almost positive her resemblance to the porn star Tina Tyler was wholly unintentional. For one thing, Tina's considered a B player in the world of adult filmshe's not exactly well known, won't ever be a contract girl for Vivid, just works steadily, and puts in some solid performances along the way. Tina also does bisexual porn, which tends to render one a pariah in the industry. Since folks like to keep gay porn and straight porn separate, when the two worlds collide, homophobia and AIDS phobia step in to render bi players too "risky" to work with. Tina's a little bit of a rebel in her world, and I could tell that the pierced-tongued Tiger Lily was too.
On the heels of Tiger Lily came Sassy, who also offered a femininity that was beyond typical drag queen fare. Judging by her face (a narrow shape and a supreme Jewess nose), you think she would've gone straight to Streisand, but instead she donned ripped thigh-high stockings, knee-high lace-up boots, striped shirt with zippersa punk rock chick straight out of a Sex Pistols yearbook. Sassy was sexy.
Sexy does not even begin to describe the delicate body, beautiful face, full lips, and enormous (but not in a horsey way) mouth of Ivory. Each successive outfit Ivory wore in her different performances revealed her midriff, her long, muscular legs, and her sweet, perfect ass. One particular leather skirt she modeled was open on one side but for three thin leather buckles, revealing just enough hip and upper thigh to make me dizzy. Ivory was, quite simply, one of the hottest women I had ever laid eyes on. A consummate professional, she made eye contact with each audience member, and those sumptuous lips mouthed every word to every song perfectly. Ivory ought to have her own Broadway showfuck itshe ought to be the queen of her own nation, that's how fantastic she was.
Worked up from worshiping Ivory, I again noticed our sultry waitress, who caught my eye when she first took our order. Maybe it was her gorgeous flowing brown hair, or maybe it was the fact that I have the shirt that matched the skirt she was wearing (a red Chinese satin mini with black patent leather trim), but suddenly I really wanted to fuck her. Her name was Trinity, and I asked her later, "Um, do you ever do girls?" She replied sweetly, "What?" not because my question confused her, but because she couldn't hear me over the Mariah Carey song blasting around us.