Misogyny and my definition of queer

I'm a tough broad but I feel like shite right now, rather than wallow, I'm purging to you dear reader.
In the twelve years I've been Holestar the drag artist, I've been the subject of misogyny on numerous occasions. Since winning the London Cabaret Award for Best Drag Act, that misogyny is less passive aggressive, the hate is real.
Last night, after the weekly screening of RuPaul's Drag Race I'm currently hosting, I was called a cunt for being a female drag queen and stealing jobs from gay men. It stung a little but I've been called worse.
What saddens me is that this young gay man clearly has insecurities of his own to deal with. He comes to drag with certain expectations where gender is binary and gender roles and expression of those roles are distinct and final. Rather than have a conversation with me about it, he chose to attack.

He also attacked my sexuality, presuming me to be heterosexual. Not that it should matter either way but I'm not. I'm not a lesbian either, or bisexual but queer. My last partner may have been female but I fancy humans. What I find attractive in someone is not designated by what's in their pants. My gender is queer. I may have female body parts but I have high levels of testosterone coursing through my veins and my ovaries don't function properly. Makeup free, out of drag, I'm frequently mistaken for a man. I don't feel female. I feel  and am human, other, queer.
Academics will give you numerous theories but for me, being queer means sexuality, gender and/or lifestyle, is open and fluid. Nothing is final or black and white on the scale of sexuality, gender or life choices. Queer runs the gauntlet between male, female, gay, straight, heteronormative and anarchic bohemian lifestyles.
I'm not queer for politics, it took me a long time to accept that I don't need to be in the boxes that mainstream society expect of me. Growing up, I had no queer heroes telling me I could be whatever I choose to be. Heteronormative society told me to be a breeder, passive, cute, depend on a man, marry young, 2.4 kids, car, mortgage etc. Lesbian and feminist media told me to be angry and I'd be betraying the sisterhood if I even considered the "dark side". Certain sectors of the entertainment world told me I can't be a woman parading around as a drag queen (as I maintain, drag isn't what exists between your legs but the art form, transcending gender).
It it took me a long time to ignore these negative messages and accept who I am. A big old fabulous queer.

I'm no role model or warrior in a quest to fulfill my ego by standing on stage, screaming at people to change their minds. You fight fire with fire, you get more fire.  My role is to continue to be me and to be visible. If anyone having difficulty dealing with who they are can take strength from me being open about my queerness, showing off, depression or any of the other twaddle I come out with, then that's marvelous. Virtual hugs all round.
Be you. Be nice. That's it.
We all shit out of the same hole. Crude but true.

As for the small minded, misogynist boy. I hope he can get over his hate and misogyny soon but shan't be welcome to the screenings again.  I've a whole room full of people to entertain. Ain't nobody got time for that!

WINNER! Best Drag Act at London Cabaret Awards 2015!!!

Yes me, I won!!! Shit the bed etc... Being long listed was nice, shortlisted an honor but to win the darn thing is incredibly exciting and humbling.
I honestly wasn't expecting to win so my speech at the awards ceremony at the Cafe De Paris was a baffled ramble so here's one in the form of blog.  How very modern.

"First of all I'd like to thank the judges who judged me on my talent, not what's between my legs. My parents who taught me to keep my feet on the floor and take each day at a time. Excess All Areas, my fellow nominees, everyone in the wider performance community and anyone who has got on stage to make an arse of themselves for the entertainment of others.


I'd like to thank me, myself and I for persevering through a minefield of misogyny for the past twelve years. To the small minded promoters and venues who won't book me because of my gender, stop underestimating your audiences. It's 2015. Get with it.

The biggest and huge thank you to anyone who has helped, encouraged or booked me. Bought one of my pop songs, been to one of my shows, sang or danced along, liked or followed me, read my witterings, wrote about me or supported me in any way.
Without you, I'd still be fantasising about larking around onstage instead of living my dreams. Thank you."

I know I'm supposed to be all louche and indifferent about winning but I'm utterly chuffed. There have been some who have tried to rain on my parade ("Holestar shouldn't have won, she's a woman") well let them. I've got a big brolly and the hide of a rhino. I won for BEST DRAG ACT. I'm a Drag Act. So there.

I've a nice little trophy, the title for a year and the biggest smile on my face. Will it lead to other opportunities? We shall see but to be given the nod for what I love to do in a mans world, I'm a very happy girl.

x


Above image (c) Lisa Thomson exclusively for This Is Cabaret