Archives for the month of: June, 2012

Some of the best people in my life are Drag Queens. A Drag Queen is a man who dresses like a woman, and creates the illusion of a woman, on stage.  Usually, if you go to a Drag Show, you’ll see men dressed as some of our culture’s favorite Divas and they are on stage either doing comedy or lip synching to a famous song, or both. Some Drag Queens walk around in 1/2 drag all day, some only do it for performance. Some Drag Queens are Impersonators, and some are Originators – there is a hell of a lot of talent in pulling together a successful Drag look – there’s creative concept to ‘see’ it in their heads, sewing the outfit, makeup, and of course, ‘tucking’. Tucking is…look at the Gay Glossary in the back, but it’s sort of self explanatory.

I think there are lots of lessons to learn from Drag Queens as women, because to create the illusion of being a woman, they have studied women. Not just Divas, but real women – how we talk, how we hold ourselves, in fact, the best Drag Queens are better women than I could ever be – and their foundation makeup is flawless.

Here are a few lessons that I have learned from the Drag Queens in my life

Compassion

My Cousin from Australia was coming over to see me for two months – her Parents were going through a Kelsey/Camille divorce and she was an emotional wreck. Her dream was to be a makeup artist, and she had been taking courses at school, but she needed practical knowledge – which was why her Parents sent her on an impromptu trip to Los Angeles to stay with a Cousin she had not seen since she was six years old. Ahem.

The first day, we had a bit of a breakdown that happened when she told me about what was going on at home, and it was clear that she had not been taking care of herself emotionally or physically.

Anyway, as a stage performer, I know a lot about makeup, but I do not consider that I am a makeup artist, so I looked around for things for her to do. One of the best things I thought of was to take her to a Drag show that one of my friends, Calpernia Addams has every week at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood. After the show, we went backstage and she met DeTox Icunt, Willam Belli, Miss Barbie-Q, Shangela. When I introduced her, and she talked to them about what she wanted to do, they all fell in love with her a bit, and they all offered to help her learn makeup. On various nights, they would come to the theater early, without makeup, so she could watch them put it on. Willam even allowed her to come to his house, and enter his amazing closet (it was a bedroom) so that she could see what he did. Also helping me out was my dear friend, Danny Cassillas, aka Ms Freida Laye from Chico’s Angels and my pal, Celebrity Makeup Artist, Brett Freedman.

When she went back to Brisbane, she was a changed girl. She was confident, she was a B.I.T.C.H. – Broad In Total Control (of) Herself! Cuz RuPaul is exactly right – If you don’t love yourself, how in hell you gonna love anyone else? Give that man in six inch heels an AMEN!

One of my most important rules is that Fairy Princesses do not, I repeat, do NOT go to Circuit Parties. If you are reading this and thinking, “SHE IS NOT TALKING TO ME” –  YES. I. AM.

Now, if you are wondering what is a Circuit Party, you are a beginning Fairy Princess, or you’ve done so many drugs, you’ve blocked it out.

A Circuit Party is a party that extends for a number of days, involves very little clothing, drugs, dancing, all kinds of scandalous sex and NO WOMEN! Unless, they are lesbians – and even then, I don’t know too many lesbians who go in for Circuit Parties that are the non Dinah Shore ones.

This is not a time to cozy up to your Best Gays and tag along. Sometimes there are events where you, my dear Fairy Princess, are not welcome – and Circuit Parties are such events. No one at a Circuit Party will want to have sex with you – and people go to meet and have sex, ergo, you will just be in the way. (Unless you have been invited by the Promoter to perform your hit song from your Reality Show, don’t do it)

A discerning Fairy Princess floats around the scene and knows when and if she needs attend something, and is confident in her choices to not attend events.

Circuit Parties, however, are something you definitely need to know about, if only to figure out where all your Best Gays have disappeared to every so often. Be advised – if they have gone off to The White Party, or the Black Party – you are not going to hear from them till they get back. If you do not hear from them within a week after they get back, then you panic – but not before. You can stretch that to 10 days, realistically. Do NOT call the Police if someone goes ‘missing’ after they tell you they are going to a Circuit Party for at least 24 hours. Most recently a Mother in San Fran called a massive search for her ‘missing’ son who, as it turned out, was out ‘celebrating’ with someone he had met and his cell phone battery had died…ahem, they make you wait 24 hours to report someone missing – in most cases, they will turn up within those 24…if your friend is someone responsible and is not known for careless recreational drug use, just breathe, he’ll show up.

Circuit Parties started on Fire Island as an offshoot of Tea Dances – no, not Tea Parties! This was before FOX News started scaring everyone and telling us that Gay People having equal rights would lead to the fall of our society. Originally Tea Parties were social mixers were there was no alcohol served, then there was alcohol served, then they became larger events hosted by Drag Queens, then came Gay Pride,  so obviously, they grew. Circuit parties generally have a theme and are professionally produced by Party Promoters and DJs. Sometimes they give their admission price to charity, and sometimes they don’t.

The larger parties are:

  1. The White Party in Miami, FL – oldest & largest
  2. Black and Blue in Montreal, Canada
  3. White Party in Palm Springs, CA (don’t call it “The”, you see the difference)
  4. The Purple Party in Dallas, TX
  5. Southern Decadence, New Orleans
  6. Hellball, San Francisco
  7. Gay Mardi Gras, New Orleans
  8. Volcano Party, HI
  9. Dinah Shore Weekend – for the Ladies, the Lesbian Ladies – NOT YOU
  10. Winter Party, South Beach, FL

PRIDE TIPS

  1. Wear shoes you can walk in all day – try and stay away from flip flops,

comfy can also be “hot”
be “hot” and comfy at PRIDE

(a)   they are not sanitary, Fairy Princesses should not have dirty heels.

(b)  they have no arch support, which you need for a long day on your feet

(c)    Leather Daddies can break your toes if they accidentally stand on your foot with their boots, those boots   are made for toe stompin’

(d)  flip flops do not go that easily from street fair to dance club or bar.

   MORE TIPS

  1. Charge your phone, and make sure your Best Gays are wearing some sort of pants where they can button their phone into the pocket. There is a lot of celebrating at Pride, people can get sloppy, so make sure the keys and the cell phone are buttoned in there, so they don’t fall out.
  2. Put an ‘emergency’ $20 in your bra. Because things happen. Say it: “ER $20!”
  3. If you have a huge ring of keys, pare it down for PRIDE, carying around that big ring all day is annoying. Just have your car key, and your front door key.
  4. If you are going to drive there together, make sure if you are going to cut out early that there is public transport or that you have a number for a cab company with you. I prefer to drive myself, because then I can always leave when I’m ready. Nothing worse than wanting to end the night, only to turn around and find your Best Gay in mid-flirt and unwilling to leave. Yes, he knows it’s 4a.m.: he doesn’t care. He could get laid.
  5. Do not bring your dog unless you are reasonably able to hydrate the dog, and you can take the dog home after an hour or two. Big crowds and dogs are not a great idea. Some open areas now don’t allow them because of the whole ‘pooping’ aspect, so it’s best to call the dog walker, and not stress out your pet.
  6. In wallet: cash, ID, Health Insurance card, ATM and 1 Credit Card
  7. Put your address on a small piece of paper that you can hand to a cab driver in case you do the elementary Fairy Princess move and wind up ‘overserved’ and unable to figure out where you live. This is a rookie move, but I know most of my friends have done it at least once. No – I have not, but I did come back so late to a parking garage that they had locked it and I had to cab it home, and then back there the next day. Grrrr. This is where ER $20 comes in.
  8. Check the weather. This sounds so easy but not many people do it.
  9. Bring a purse you can wear easily – if you need it a bit larger so you can put purchases in it, fine, but remember, you are going to carry it around ALL DAY, possibly into the night, so keep that in mind.

Be safe. Have fun. Live, live, live!

A Fairy Princess should wave a wand of kindness as much as she can – yes, occasionally you must smack someone with the pointy end, but that is rare, so for the most part; be kind. Kind goes a long way and is reciprocated.

Be conscious that many of the Drag Queens there may be working, in that they are going to Host something, so if you ask for a photo and they say no, likely it’s because they are running late – or they’re a bitch, either way…keep it in mind.

Pride is many times, a Family Affair – so you will see plenty of straight people there, supporting their children, parents, uncles, aunties; so keep in mind that there may be some kids around, watch the potty mouth. Fairy Princesses don’t have to curse like a truck driver; that’s what Jackie Beat is for. As there are so many straight people mingling at Pride, it is perfectly ok to ask your Best Gay to keep a look out for your next Boyfriend, on the off-chance you are single. Kinda “Festivus for the Rest of Us” thing.

At PRIDE you will find speeches, rallies, and show stopping performances, many of which run adjacent to the street fair. There, depending on who is running the entertainment, will be a cavalcade of entertainers – singers, dance acts. Poetry, Drag Queens, Authors, and of course some celebrity that has a big Gay following. Yes, like Cher, or Deborah Gibson, or Tiffany, or RuPaul, or the cast of GLEE – you never know who needed their fix of unqualified love and support the day they were invited to sing.

People wander in and out of that part all day. I’ve done it, it’s fun – but not every act is going to be your taste, so it’s ok to cop a squat when you have some food, listen to the show, and then decide to wander again if you feel like it.

PRIDE generally spills into the local restaurants, and the whole area gets a festive feel – it’s one of my favorite things, oh look at that, I’m Maria Von Trapp…just when you think you have it under control…I digress. Sorry. Where was I? Liasons? No, oh yes, restaurants.

While I don’t believe in going to the Circuit Parties, partying with your Best Gays at their favorite watering hole is something I love doing, and I would cry copious buckets of sparkly tears if someone were to take it away. Do go out and eat and drink and have a mah-veh-lous time, and if you can, say marvelous like Marlene Dietrich. You can stay at some of those places all night and have a simply wonderful time flitting about, spreading glitter and sass in your wake. Sometimes the restaurants have a dance floor, and so it gets way ‘clubby’ at a certain time, and that is super fun.

The Marlene Dietrich says “Mah-vel-lous”

Dance Parties are also an aspect of PRIDE – look, it’s kind of Circuit-y – I generally wave my Best Gays who are off to the evening’s big theme party a ‘buh-bye’, and I continue on with those not going to that. Fairy Princesses can choose their own schedule. If you go to the Dance Party, no one will want to sleep with you, no one will really want to even talk to you – they will be busy getting sweaty and trying to get their groove on, you will be in the way. Even if your Best Gay tells you to come, say no – he’s not asking you sincerely.

Fairy Princesses do not have to poke their tiaras into all their Best Gay’s business.

Gay Dance Clubs during PRIDE, are different – as long as it’s not tied directly to Pride with anything other than a theme cocktail, in the Gay Dance Club it’s going to be business as usual and they’ll be all the fun aspects that you generally enjoy. Go ahead, sweat your ass off, why not?

Now, in other parts of the world, there are parades and are more tied to Pride and one of my favorite of those is, the Sydney Mardi Gras. You can find out more about this event at www.mardigras.org.au

They always have Divas and Drag Queens and lively events that Fairy Princesses are welcome at, and if not – go see the Blue Mountains, or the Opera House, or any of the hundreds of things Sydney and Australia in general, has to offer. You don’t have to feel like a ‘plus one’ in Australia, as there are tons of tourists and you can wend your way together or separately. Going to Australia for the Gay Mardi Gras is something that a Fairy Princess and her Best Gays should certainly do – at least once in their lifetimes.

(to be continued…)

As strongly as I feel about Fairy Princesses NOT going to Circuit Parties, I feel just as strongly that the Fairy Princesses MUST go to their local Gay Pride Celebration – at least for one full day. Generally Pride Events extend over either a week or a weekend, so while you do not have to go every day – you should go and see what is going on. Look cute, wear shoes you can walk in – it’s a street fair type atmosphere during the day, but your makeup is ON, your hair is DONE, and you look great! It’s PRIDE Dammit, be equally as proud of who YOU are. You can look up your city’s PRIDE on the internet, as many of them piggy back so people can go to one after another and city hop (this site www.gaycityusa.com/pride.htm and Wikipedia has the complete list of all Pride in the US).

There are many aspects to Pride – there’s usually a street fair of some kind where you can stock up on free condoms, well, ok, let’s start at the very beginning. The street fair part is always the same as any other street fair – in that there are booths to wander through and enjoy yourself.  There’s photo booths, health booths, food, temporary tattoos, and…dum da dum…the ‘specialty’ booths that cater to…very special tastes.

Yes, there will be opportunities perhaps to buy some items you would not want your Mother to find under your pillow – but channel your inner Auntie Mame and live a little.

Bring cash, a good attitude, and a recycled bottle full of water so you stay hydrated.

The main point of Pride is to celebrate – celebrate Gay Rights getting ever closer to equality, celebrate the freedom that you have to live and choose your own path – something still not available in many parts of the world, and for you, my Princess – celebrate the Gay Culture with your Best Gays. They love you, and you love them right back!

After Erin’s “No on H8TE” segment of her Cabaret with Ian and Ray

You will see the gamut of the Gay Culture – Twinks, Bears, Leather Daddies, Gay Republicans, Drag Queens, Regular Queens, Celebrities on the Down Low…it’s going to be fun. Try not to stare unless you get that the person on the receiving end likes it. For example, if you are passing a man who is covered in piercings and tattoos, and you sort of lock eyes, it is ok to smile and say, “I love that Dragon tail that’s wrapping around your throat.” More than likely, he’ll smile back, say thank you, and off you go.  I have found that in the Gay Community, the fiercer people look on the outside, the more vulnerable they are on the inside. Think of all that ‘look’ as their armor – remember, just because you are a kindred spirit, perhaps the rest of the world has not always been so.

(to be continued…)

This past weekend marked the start of New York City’s Gay Pride – and what better way to celebrate Drag Queens bitchslapping the Popo, than with the start of my new blog – The Fairy Princess Diaries!

Ian Paget, Erin Quill, Raymond J. Lee (from Left to Right)

What, you may ask, is this blog going to be about? Well, likely it is going to address things that tick me off – and most everything does these days because I recently gave birth, which makes you irritable, but what irks me MOST is the unschooled-ness of the new Fairy Princesses running around WeHo or Chelsea, who are giving Fag Hags a bad name.

Of course, me being me, I will likely sound off on things that I am also somewhat of an ‘expert’ on  – Musical Theater, Pop Culture, and People Who Parent Badly in Public, but mostly, it will be me being me, which means I’m going to teach you how to be a better Fag Hag aka Fairy Princess aka Fruit Fly.

What, you may ask, is a Fag Hag? Well, in old school parlance, a Fag Hag was used to denote an unattractive somewhat clingy woman who only hung around with Gay Men who seemed to be under the delusion that if she stuck it long enough, one would see the error of his ways, and fall madly in love with her, “Just as you are….”. But then Bridget Jones started singing Adele songs and a new world order was born.

I have been called a Fag Hag since, probably…well at least to my FACE (NOT THE FACE, YES, the FACE)…I would say college – and I both embraced it and resented it – and here’s why….
1. I never thought my Gay friends would give up the sexual member of both our choices and fall madly in love with me
2. I never hung out ONLY with Gay Men, although yes, the majority of my time was spent with Gay Men, it was likely because I was majoring in Musical Theater Vocal Performance…as in Real Estate, it’s ‘Location, location, location”
3. I had female friends – Straight ones, Gay ones, even Republican ones…& I like my Gal Pals
4. I felt that the term “Fruit Fly’ was more apt for me, because I kind of buzzed in and out and around the scene and I always dressed cute and wore makeup.

I think I was focusing too much on the “hag” part of the title…it just screamed “Witchy Poo” to me, come to think of it, she was always chasing after better looking unattainable mates she could not have…(OMG, I just outed Witchy Poo as a Fag Hag….God will get me for that, Stanley….)

Now though, I embrace it – it’s who I am and I would be lost, lost, LOST, without my Gays. I would have no one to complain to about how awful the TONY Broadcast was…again (WHAT is up with the sound issues? It is Radio Damn City Music Hall and no one can get through without subbing in a hand held mic? WTF!), no one would stage an ‘eyebrow intervention” (“You are coming to my apartment every three days until that mess is FIXED and there is no debate about it, Quill!”), no one would offer to beat someone up after a particularly bad date (“Give me his address…now), and I would have a rainbow shaped hole in my heart. They have been ‘there’ for me in every aspect of my life, including most recently, the delivery room, where, during a particularly bad 26 hour labor, my friend John, the nurse, talked me down while I was semi-hysterical because I could not feel my legs for several hours. They walked my Sister & Mother down the aisle at my wedding, they helped my Husband with the wedding proposal, they have given me love, support, and a career….I would be adrift without them. My friend Dennis once said to me, “We lose most of our Girls when they get married, but you’re still here”, to which I replied, “What’s the saying? You dance with the one what brought you?” Yeah, it’s like that.

Yes, Virginia – Fag Hags can get married!

I think, what it really comes down to, is that people like to tell me things, and I listen. I have had more Gay Men come out to me than an Open Call at an Ice Capades Audition. I used to joke that Fag Hags in WeHo should have special parking priviledges, and when asked why my cell phone was pink, I would respond ‘Because every time it rings, it’s a Gay Emergency.” In my younger days, I admit, I may have helped shove one or two out of their Lion, Witch, & Wardrobe (I do not advocate that now), but I have been the recipient of much love along the way. I am constantly amazed at the things I get told, why, today I was at the diner with my Husband, and the waitress wound up telling me how she had terrible Post Partum Depression. I turned to him after she left and said, “What was that?” and he replied, “It’s you. It’s just you, this is why you should blog, people just tell you stuff.” so if you don’t like it, blame Chil. No really, he’s on Twitter – @ChilKong send him stuff, he can take it, he’s tall. I’m on the Twittah as well – @EQuill – I do not have a separate twitter for this blog yet, and to ask me to double tweet when I have a newborn is redonkulous, I won’t do it – you are not the Boss of me….

My point, and I do have one, is that  I respond a proud YES when asked if I am a Fag Hag, or a Fruit Fly, OR a Fairy Princess – it’s all a YES – I like Princess best, because let’s face it, I’m not Kate Middleton and every girl wants a crown once in a while – whether or not you are willing to stroll through a Gay Mardi Gras to get it, is up to you.

They say to ‘write what you know’, well THIS is what I know – and before you make some crazy judgements based on what is previously written, I’ll let you know a few things that may surprise you:

1. I’m married, to a straight man (though he did coach Beauty Pageant Contestants  once upon a time)
2. I sing Show Tunes for a living, and my dresses are as glittery as any drag queen would want them to be.I was an Original Broadway Cast Member of the musical, Avenue Q, I was in the 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song, I have been in front of the camera and behind – having written 2 screenplays that became films (The Mikado Project avail on DVD on Amazon.com & QWERTY which is in ‘post’). I have worked in Casting, Commercial Production, as a Director’s Rep, written on Diversity issues, and…before people “Watched What Happens Live” 5 nights a week, I did a talk show Pilot for Bravo with Andy Cohen, which you must admit, ups my Fairy Princess Street Cred quite a bit. I also have friends who are very fancy and they run Broadway and Hollywood, no, I mean really, they REALLY run Broadway and Hollywood – so….I might have a few insights along the way that you might appreciate.
3. I have a kid, he’s a newborn, but he counts…ok, he doesn’t actually count or even talk yet, but his very existence means I am writing this at bitch in the morning in between feedings
4. I am ‘thanked’ in 5 Gay Books in the credits, what can I say? I’m a Muse – yes, JUST like Sharon Stone – however I am very fond of Filipinos, particularly Alec Mapa 🙂
5. I advocate and support the GLBT community and this blog is all in fun with a grain of truth – I’ve helped raise $$$ for Broadway Cares/EFA, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Desert AIDS Project, The LA GLBT Center, The Trevor Project, and so on and so on…
6. I am writing this because I have noticed as I get older that…well, them young’ens do not seem to have been taught Gay Community ettiquette – and there is just NOT enough of me, or some of my equally strong minded Fairy Princesses to go around..we’re busy, we have lives, so this is, if you will, a road map on how to be a good friend – a good friend who probably has only one or two straight men in her phone. (I have 7, straight men in my phone…none on speed dial except the Husband).

AND SO IT BEGINS…..