Homecoming 2012 in DRAG

So it was homecoming weekend this previous weekend. There were old people all over campus and all over this small college town – alumni, you know. But I was happy to have them, because it is a super rare occasion for this town to have that many people and those are actually the people whose money keeps the school running, whose money becomes financial aid for students like myself. Viva alums! And … don’t judge me: I’ve fallen out of love. I’m moving on as quickly as I’d fallen for this guy. Something happened between us that I don’t know. Maybe he saw my blog and didn’t appreciate my post about him and my feelings for him. We don’t even talk to each other anymore, although we’re in the same class this month. (If you didn’t know, we have one class a month at my school.) But, oh well, let bygones be bygones. Now that I’m done with him I can get back to gawking at every single attractive male I see and I don’t have to allocate my free time tending to one person anymore, hahaha.

Our fallout started when I asked him out for Homecoming Dance – which was on Saturday – and he was already taken. I’m not gonna mention details since I don’t really know myself what happened and I don’t wanna sound like a sore little bitch. I’m perfectly fine with this prospective relationship fading into thin air. Where was I? Oh, I couldn’t get him as my date for the dance, so I desperately looked for an alternative date. Ok, for background information, I come from a place where high school was just classes after classes without extracurricular activities (no sports, music or theatre stuff) and school dances were nonexistent. Nobody takes college dances seriously. People do dress up, but they don’t mind very much what they wear or who they go with. We just don the best of our regular clothes and roll with a bunch of close friends (more so if you’re single). I wanted to do something special for the dance. I have a passion for dressing up in the first place. And I wanted to make a scene, which is one of my natural tendencies. I had two options – get a guy date, or go in drag. Guess what I did: BOTH!

Ok, my guy date wasn’t actually a guy. One of my girl friends and I decided to go in drag, she was my man. Do you get addressed by the pronoun of the gender you are in drag as? I’ll go for a yes. It happened almost last minute. We made the decision the morning before the dance. I had been looking for a guy date the whole week. As I have said many times before, my gaydar doesn’t really work, and my few guy friends, they’re either in a relationship or would feel uncomfortable going with me (even if I were in drag). They know I’m gonna do something outrageous, with the dressing up and/or the dancing, and they can’t live up to my expectations to be my date. You needed to be unapologetically gay to be my guy date for this dance. There was no one I could reach out to.

(Oh, by the way, we have 2 Homecoming Kings at school this year. We could vote for 2 candidates regardless of gender. One’s gay and he’s actually one of my good friends here. I, along with several other people, dubbed him the “Homecoming Queen”. Yes, I did vote for him.)

So, that Saturday morning, I got word from my date that she’d be my man for the dance. I slept in that morning, as I always do on weekends, and I spent literally the whole afternoon doing shopping downtown. I bought some accessories and winter clothing, some of which could be part of my dress-up for the dance. I got shaving cream, razor blades and I shaved my legs (downward from my knees) and my armpits. It was the second time shaving my legs and first time, armpits. I got only one leg well-done. The others went pretty badly. I got multiple cuts on my legs, but good thing I didn’t cut my underarm – that’d be bad. But they still itch up a storm from time to time, both legs and underarms.

I had to turn to my awesome girl friends for dress and makeup. I ransacked through a closet and found several amazing dresses. I don’t know if women’s clothes are supposed to be tight or if they were just small for me. She told me they fit me well. I picked one that doesn’t show my bulge in the front. It’s a red dress. I don’t know how to describe it. Look at the picture for reference:

Han Zaw as Sandra

“Don’t hate me coz I’m beautiful!”

My date’s roommate took care of accessories and makeup for both me and my date. The dance started at 9:00pm. We weren’t planning on arriving till around 9:30, so we started dressing up till 7:30. Obviously, I didn’t get any homework done that day.  The roommate wasn’t planning on going to the dance but she was responsible for helping a number of people dress up, including me and my date.  She had to brainstorm for everyone, more so for us because we needed to be in unconventional outfits.  I, being the girl and transitioning into a girl (for the night), took more time than anybody else.  I wasn’t yet done by 9:20 and I started to freak out.  We were only several minutes later than expected, and there was only a small crowd when we arrived.  My date was Tristan and I was Sandra; my date picked the names.

It was a fun night.  There wasn’t enough disco music but there wasn’t that much grinding. And the place wasn’t overly crowded – just the right-sized crowd. Most importantly, of course, Tristan and Sandra could make a scene. It’s more common to see a girl in a suit, so I could surprise people thoroughly. Some took a second glance to recognize me. My old roommate told me, “You make a convincing girl, an ugly girl.” I took it as a compliment. Also, I got to act as the obsessive girlfriend, getting any girl away from Tristan. But I did dance with multiple guys. So, yeah, I was a terrible date!

Tristan & Sandra

Tristan and Sandra at the dance … Ok, I lied: so my date wasn’t really in drag. She was just trying to be a butch female, although she addressed herself as my boyfriend for the night.

Funny story: I danced with my stiletto heels on most of the time and I had great balance, but the moment I started dancing barefoot, I fell. It was weird. I’ve grown very familiar to heels, by the way. I kind of hate flats now. I have to be either barefoot or in  heels – or in fancy curvy sandals.

Ok, enough with my ranting – although some people might enjoy it more than my preachy messages … There was actually a very good takeaway from the whole experience. It’s one for the boys: Never EVER make fun or complain when a woman takes her time to get dressed! This is my second time dressing in drag, and thus is my second time witnessing how dysfunctional women’s clothing can be. All that’s supposed to sit on a woman’s body – from head to toe, and inside out – is not designed to fit the body but to bring out certain physical features, is not designed for functionality but to make them move in a certain way. It’s all about the appeal, the looks. Why the looks? For the man! I actually wanna insert a Joanna Russ quote from her feminist utopian/dystopian sci-fi “The Female Man” where this one character complains about women having to please men in every way possible. But, unfortunately, I don’t have the book with me right now. (Maybe it’s time I started memorizing quotes.)

Those for-women clothes and accessories, they are hard as fuck to put on, they’re hard as fuck to take off, and – worst – they are hard/uncomfortable as fuck to be in. No girl or woman I know has ever told me, “No, they’re actually quite convenient. You just don’t get it coz you’re a guy.” It happens to be the other way around: girls know how unfacilitating the clothes and accessories are to their body structure and movement but put in effort to wear them and boys just think it’s too easy. For us guys, T-shirt and jeans could be a perfect for a night out in town. But for girls, there are more things besides tops and bottoms. There’s hair and makeup. They have to decide on shoes – heels, flats, sandals, boots, etc.  Pants, skirt or dress? And there’s colour combination and matching items and such.  Ok, not all of this is necessary.  But all you boys like a girl who knows how to dress, don’t you?  Whereas a guy can go from butt-naked to fully-clothed in less than a minute, a girl takes so much more time depending on what she chooses to do.  So, dudes, don’t fucking complain when your woman takes her time to look nice! It’s worth the wait.

And don’t forget to compliment her – both on the looks and the effort. You may not agree with her idea of looking pretty, but she’s probably trying for you. If you say she doesn’t look beautiful or that she looks (only) ok, you’re discrediting her effort. Listen to Marilyn Monroe, m’dears: “All girls should be told they are pretty, even when they aren’t.” If you do, you’ll cheer her up and everything will most likely go splendidly for your date. Celebrate her effort!

That’s all I have to say. End of post, goodbye!

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