|Empress XXXVI Chablis, columnist Pollo Del Mar and Empress XXV Marlena enjoy the birthday festivities.
Notorious Glamazon About Town
It isnâ€™t often I find myself with a weekend off. By some twist of fate, though, I opened my calendar to find last Friday and Saturday completely free. It was a terrific opportunity to exercise the rest of my life, trade in the dresses for jeans for a moment, and dip my toes into the dating pool. Itâ€™s an arena I seldom discuss here, of course, and for good reason.
While leading a rather public life â€“ or at least one which has brought me into the public eye â€” I hold onto the more personall aspects of who I am fairly tightly. Unlike many of my friends (translation: Heklina) who put their sex life onstage for all to see, I try to keep my private lifeâ€¦ wellâ€¦private. As a result, I generally never discuss the subject in this forum â€“ especially since I find it so incredibly confusing. Unfortunately, I had an experience last weekend I just canâ€™t seem to shake.
After meeting a man online â€“ so clichĂ©, Iâ€™m almost embarrassed to admit it â€“ we went out twice to terrific results. In an increasingly rare twist, as someone not involved in the â€śscene,â€ť he had never heard of one Pollo Del Mar. In fact, he had no idea I do drag at all. This refreshing change of pace always frees me to be myself without expectations or preconceived notions of who or what I should be.
It also presents a tremendous personal obstacle. Fear of misunderstanding â€“ no, I do not live my life as a woman â€“ or rejection always hangs close at hand as Iâ€™m trying to figure out how best to spring this information on an unsuspecting date. Never knowing how a man will react when he finds out the intricacies and rigorous schedule of my chosen career and realizes he has to, at least in part, share me with the public is intensely stressful.
My date, who at first seemed to take the news reasonably well, found out exactly this by Sunday, when it was time for me to once again put on my face and hit the town. There was simply no way I could â€“ or would even want to â€“ miss the joint birthday bash for Empress XLI Galilea and Miss Gay San Francisco 2006 Patrice or the memorial service across town for dearly-departed Miss Trannyshack 1996 The Steve Lady.
Though my new friend hoped to spend a low-key afternoon together, to his chagrin I disappeared instead to Marlenaâ€™s to mingle with the masses celebrating 50 years of the lovely ladies. It was a glorious turn out, too.
Emperor XXVII T.J. Istvan, who I remember voting for shortly after arriving in San Francisco because he was so handsome, was behind the bar. David Lassman brought Empress XXXVI Chablis out of semi-retirement to femcee. Still reveling in their recent election, â€śAbsolute Latin Leather Grand Dukeâ€ť Carlos Medal, his â€śGoddess of Glitter Grand Duchessâ€ť Landa Lakes and a sizeable Ducal Council contingency including, of course, my new â€śgrandmaâ€ť Grand Duchess XXXV Big D were also on-hand. Even Empress XXV Marlena dressed for the occasion. (Feel better soon, lady!)
After, Landa, Anjie Myma â€“ rumored to be the the Ducal Courtâ€™s next â€śPrincess Royaleâ€ť â€“ and I had to race to Harlot (46 Minna) to pay respects to the first-ever Miss Trannyshack. Friends, family, performers and fans circulated through the stunning two-story facility, watching videos, admiring photo montages and sharing favorite memories of The Steve Lady.
There I caught up with legendary Nikki Starr. A true inspiration in her ability to successfully straddle the Imperial and Trannyshack drag worlds for more than a decade, Nikki reflected on her Miss Trannyshack predecessorâ€™s grace and beauty. Outside, a usually stoic Jordan Lâ€™Moore admitted being shaken by the passing of The Steve Lady, by all accounts an â€śuntouchableâ€ť and â€ślarger-than-lifeâ€ť personality.
When my date asked to spend the next day together, I had to again postpone those plans for an appearance â€“ my third â€” on the Comcast TV show OUTSpoken with hosts Tim Gaskin and Donna Sachet. Backstage I mused with my BRAIN FARTS gal-pal BeBe Sweetbriar, who with Sister Roma launches the new â€śtalk showâ€ť-style benefit Show & Tell at Kimoâ€™s on Tues., Nov. 11, about the difficulties of dating.
What I didnâ€™t know, though, was that by that evening Iâ€™d be stood up, waiting for a call which never came (and still hasnâ€™t) and feeling hurt, discarded and more than a little foolish. Why on earth I am putting this in print, honestly, Iâ€™m not sure. There is, however, something cathartic about knowing most everyone can relate to this experience.
Who hasnâ€™t been flooded with doubt? Perhaps I told him too much too soon? Could I have done something different? Maybe my schedule, life and decision to embrace those so fully are too much and leave too little of me after for anyone to fully accept or understand?
Logically, I know any number of circumstances, including my dateâ€™s impatience, contributed to this scenario. Really, it was only two very nice dates, but great dates are rare, so my first response was to blame the drag. â€śIf onlyâ€¦,â€ť I thought. Then, as so often is the case, precious words of wisdom floated back to me. â€śNever forget your past,â€ť Patrice told me after our photograph together, â€śEverything in life is a circle, so your past might be your future.â€ť
A few short years ago, I felt disconnected from our community. I remember struggling to meet and make friends. I was looking for a place, any place, to fit in. I was lost without purpose or goals. It was certainly not an experience I hope to revisit â€“ and much of the credit for my life being so different today goes to drag. Any man who finds his way into my life will need to understand and respect this fact, as I certainly have no intention of changing it.
Though I still feel â€śtenderâ€ť writing this, and the whole dating process remains equally mysterious and uncertain, one thing has become abundantly clear. Itâ€™s a good thing I wonâ€™t have another drag-free Friday and Saturday to dedicate to dating for quite a while. No matter who the prospect, I ainâ€™t trading this woman in for a man anytime soon.
Single? Contact â€śThe Glamazonâ€ť on Facebook and MySpace. Pollo_DelMar@yahoo.com