What the DRAG?! Why can’t I be a queen? đŸ‘‘

“Ladies and genders,

rupaul seen it all

…But I can tell you, you have NOT. The purist drag queen community is shaking on its full coverage foundation since a girl from Belgium decided to turn her brain on and ask herself a fundamental question even Quora can’t answer:

Can anyone, and therefor also ME as a woman, be a drag queen?

Old-school drag purists: (Gag)

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Now this is how it all started…

Me: As you all know I, Evelien Delgouffe, am a woman of many faces and interests. I am interested in everything that lights a little spark in my eyes and makes me forget the mess that we as humans have to face on a daily basis. Yes, I like to live in a self (wo)manifested dream world.

Therefor I am a fan of movies, series, adventure, science fiction, comics, cosplay, fantasy creatures, make-up… etc!

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And since a while, my most favorite way to let off steam after a rough day is watching 1 or 10 episodes of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’. It’s a little hard to explain, but those men dressing up as  queens makes me feel good about myself.

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TV-show host and drag supermodel extraordinaire: RuPaul!

You: “Ahm… About yourself Evvy?”

Me: “Well yeah, whenever I watch an episode of RuPaul I feel a small change in my behavior. As if I’m suddenly sliding down a rainbow of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Feeling good about myself and my womanhood.”

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I am also inspired by the different looks and how these queens carry themselves as almost alien like, supernatural creatures.

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… Vogue-ing, parading, skedaddling, lipsync-ing and even death dropping for their lives.

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… Topped with the occasional bitch fight of course.

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I decided to take my fascination to the next level and dive deeper into this magical world of drag.

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Since I am an investigative journalist (and not a ‘wannabe’ like my arch rival Lois Lane; she’s a drag but definitely not a queen…) I decided to do my research properly.

Now, asking the question ‘Can a women be a drag queen?’ turned out to be a stupid one since 1 search entry in Google taught me that women across the planet have been dressing up as drag queens (and I don’t mean drag kings, fyi) for many years.

Why didn’t I know?!

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According to my good friend Google:Picture 2018-06-02 om 09.04.02

See? ‘Artists of all sexualities’. So it’s totally fine for women to dress up as drag queens too!

Well… not really.

To begin with. Female drag queens are nicknamed ‘faux queens’, which is not really a name to take pride in.

Further research taught me there’s actually an ongoing vitriol surrounding female drag queens. Old-school drag purists don’t like women to act or perform as drag queens at all and even boycot them.

You: “If men dress up as women…Doesn’t it make more sense for women to dress up as men… in order to bypass that nasty ‘faux queen’ nickname?”

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Me: “Well yeah, but for me, aesthetics-wise, it is much more interesting to dress up as a drag queen and explore new depths of my femininity.”

Old-school drag purists: “But why would a woman want to parody a woman? It’s a complete oxyoxymo…. a complete TRAVESTY!”

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 Me: “Look errr… girl… That’s just one transvestite calling another transvestite a transvestite… You know, you really shouldn’t put people into boxes like that.”

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Me: While let’s face it: drag queens would be nowhere without women AMMARIGHT?”

Old-school drag purists:

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Doing this research I suddenly realized that the idea only man can be drag queens is unfortunately also promoted by my favorite TV show. In ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ only male identified drags can compete. Faux queens are not welcome. Transsexuals neither. #Dafuq?

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I wondered what RuPaul’s opinion on the topic of faux queens was. Does he actually support ladies in drag? Or not? Big was my grief when I discovered an interview of RuPaul with The Guardian in 2017 where he made the following statement:

RuPaul: “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big F-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”

Old-school drag purists:

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In the meantime RuPaul has publicly changed his opinion on the topic but still, coming from an LGBTQ ambassador, it was quite a controversial thing to say. Why should drag queen-ing be a ‘men-only’ sport?

Old-school drag purists:

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“I’m sorry Miss Delgouffe but we have to stop you right there: why would you even bother to do drag up? Why would you emulate what you AL-READY are? What is the illusion???”

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Me: “I’m pretty sure when I cover my eyebrows with a glue stick and draw on new ones, that’s called an illusion…”

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Old-school drag purists: “Funny how women always depend on men to give the right example.”

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RuPaul: “The time has come for you to form a conclusion, Evelien.”

Me: “Well hang on RuPaul, let me just call up a dear friend of mine to close this case on my behalf…”

how this turns out

*Drrrriiiiiiiing driiiiiingg*

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Me: “Miss G, I urgently need your help on something. Could you come to RuPaul’s ‘Werk Room’ real quick?”

(5 min later)

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Me: “Queens, I present to you the only woman who has ever been really accepted for performing as a drag queen. Bow down for the one and only…. LADY GAGA!!!”

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Me: “Now that I have all you queens’ attention. I would like to let this marvelous artist explain to you what drag, regardless of gender, is all about to her:

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(Thank you hellogiggles.com for the nice layout of this immortal Lady Gaga quote)

Me: “See? We are all looking to fill up voids in our lives. Whether it’s with money or with glitter. We are all eager to lift ourselves to the most fabulous echelons of whatever universe we want to belong to. Faux queens or real queens, in drag there is no room for misogyny, sexism nor racisme.”

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“It’s about expressing what femininity means to us and defying sex-role stereotypes. It’s about art and performance. Whether it’s political, aesthetical or just satirical or for entertainment purposes. It shouldn’t be a ‘boys only club’ since we have so much to learn form each other.”

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“Let us try to see drag as ‘genderless’ until it becomes the new norm and (meno)pause this ongoing bitch fight right here.”

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“Or to say it with the words of a wise wo-man:”

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Me: “Heu…well thanks Momma Ru, but I actually meant that other thing you always say…”

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EEEEEEEEEEEEXACTLY

Now can I get an Amen up in here?

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Disclaimer:
This blog post was a sponsored feel good message brought to you by ‘I don’t give a Tuck’. You can be a beautiful individual no matter what. Appearance and good looks are mostly a matter of behavior and perception. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then add on as many illusions as you want until YOU, the beholder in the mirror, finally feels comfortable with what you see…PS: The Kardashians do it every day.

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After publishing this blog only one drag queen has decided to take a step back (…)

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…But now that the rest of the purist drag community has opened the boundaries, all ‘femme bodied individuals who want to try on drag every once and a while, for real or just for fun’ are more than welcome to play along! 

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As for me, I thought about where drag will take me. Since ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ maybe isn’t that representative for my understanding of the drag art, I will take my interest just a tiiiiiiiiiny step further….

…By going to a show in my local area and hope someone mistakes me for a real guy!

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To be continued?

All in favor say AAAYE!

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XO

 

 

The self ridiculing act of nomad bashing

Hi all!

You: “Errr…?”

Me: “Ahm… what? Do I have something on my face?”

You: “Why do you start your blog entry with an hello? Usually you just talk away. About your life. Or god forbid… your sex life. Ugh.”

Me: Well today I would like to change things up. And maybe start a dialogue…”

I can’t help but feeling there is a little bit of underlying tension going on these days. Not between you and me, per se. But more frequently I discover some kind of mockery against nomads, backpackers and everybody who chooses the great outdoors to gain some personal perspective.

Since this blog is called ‘backpackersguide…blablabla’ I feel I need to take a stand and address the non captivated/exploited, happy-go-lucky elephant in the room. And try to analyze what’s going on.

There are two obvious camps here:

* People who are drawn by adventure, who temporarily run away from obligations to live in the here and now and diss on people who rot away in their comfort zones.

* People who steer away from adventure and diss on the people who recklessly throw away all securities and comfort zones in the idle hope they will find all life’s answers by swimming with sharks, taking a selfie on top of Machu Picchu or eating a fried scorpion at some random Chinese farmer’s market.

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(I plead guilty)

Well, let’s just settle this friendly battle here and now, why won’t we.

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Let’s draw a little background sketch. We (20-30 year olds) are the generation that’s been handed too many choices. Our parents were children of parents who had survived the war. They had a harsh upbringing. In a bid to turn things around they decided a different approach for their own offspring. The velvet glove. Let’s just be motivational towards our kids. Let them become whatever they want to become. Let’s bring them up with a sense of freedom. Some analysts would say this prevented some serious quakes on the puberty scale. Why would we start a riot if everything is allowed and negotiable? It didn’t eliminate it; it just postponed it. To a much more difficult timing later on.

Enter the quarter life crisis.

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I am…. (feel free to pick one for yourself)

a) who my parents made me to be (=realist, acceptance, no crisis here)
b) everything opposite my parents made me to be (=the rebel)
c) better than everyone (=the jerk)
d) a loser (=negative thinker)
e) Egon Ewin Kisch (=dead)

Of course the problem is not good or bad parenting. The initial problem is still the fact that there are too many choices. And the fact they eventually lead to choice stress. The way we react to that would enable some older generations to call us: spoiled narcissistic brats with no sense of reality.

But it’s just hard these days to really say:

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We pick a road but from the minute the scenery doesn’t appeal to us any more, we bail and try another road. Because we can. Because we should. And because we want to. Or think we want to. Because -actually- we really don’t know. We just assume. Because -let’s face it- there’s too much choice.

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So what seems to be a choice a lot of youngsters take these days? Right, the high road.

Due to the pressure of (social) media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, …) and the ad hoc commercial strategy of the travel industry using internet cookies and tailor made stalker advertisements to their power it looks like the only evident way to get rid of your stress is to step on a plane and travel to a galaxy far far away.  noseviaja

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Where else are you going to get the opportunity to do a shallow water scarf dance?

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Get the most out of your opposable thumbs?

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Or cosy up to a complete stranger?

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Of course not everyone dares to take the high road. Because they

  • are scared
  • financially in a pickle
  • scared
  • scared
  • scared

The list with reasons is endless.

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So some of them -in fact- rot away in their comfort zones. And forever regret not making exciting life choices. Walking around like little time bombs. Others find a way to get over/around it and end up appreciating what they got and eventually lose the need to jump from one continent to another.

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“I don’t need to go to Asia to solve my life problems, thank you”, someone slingshotted at me recently.

That’s fair. If you really mean it. That means you’re much more likely to solve your problems one on one. Or maybe don’t have any problems to begin with.
… For now. Let’s just see what midlife brings.

I can’t help but feeling when people say it like that, they take the diss out of people who do need it. It has become a phenomenon to ridicule the act of traveling the globe to get to know oneself. I call it nomad bashing. Backpacker bullying. Globetrotter battering. Wanderlust shaming.

Well, don’t blame us for having a sense of curiosity.

… Or for having better stories than you.

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In reality those people are just shifting the blame, changing the conversation, greatly hoping one day a scientist with a PhD will stand up and tell them:

‘You were right, you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world. It’s not going to help you. I have the proof!’

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So the bullies can go on and say: ‘Told you so’

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I don’t know

Our stories could be the closest you’ll get to a little adventure.

Too bad you don’t see it that way.

It must be hard living a life with bad eye sight, no cojones and a synthetic identity.

It might just be you are trying a little too hard to conform to a closed system, pushing a synthetic identity onto yourself which enables you to avoid looking if the chosen identity matches your own deeper wishes and competences. You choose to be unsupportive towards other ideas to protect yourself against potential doubt about the irreversible road you took.

So, who’s dealing with the real crisis here, Sherlock?

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Not to be worried though.

“A crisis is no such thing as an inevitable disaster, but must be seen as a necessary turning point, a critical time when the development in one way or another should continue and opportunities for growth, recovery and further differentiation will be mobilized.

An identity crisis, like any crisis, is an initially negative perception of emotional experience, but mostly an inevitable obstacle to achieve further development.

In that turbulent phase lies ample opportunity for growth.”
(Erik Erikson)

“Real winners are those who dare to lose everything” * 
(Evelien Delgouffe)

I hear the Maldives are on sale.

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Great travel agency by the way. It’s the one I used for my awesome adventure. If you want to I can tell you ALL about it some time.

XO

* (Not to be taken literally by heavy gamblers with debts the size of the Grand Canyon.)

… Although I do hear the Canyon looks great this time of year.

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Less hating. More hiking.

Safe travels!

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XO