Archives for posts with tag: Treyvon Martin

The Fairy Princess was sitting around this morning, a weekend morning, kind of relaxing, and then she read about an email that was sent by Mary Cheney.

Mary Cheney

Mary Cheney

Mary is of the Richard (insanely evil Vice President of the United States who got us into a War over WMDs that did not exist and then sold the war to Halliburton, authorized torture and rich people not paying taxes and left us in billions of debt) aka “Dick” Cheney clan, and in that email, she compared “Blackface”

TFP hates this photo with a passion, but it is Al Jolson, who was famous for his Blackface performances, apologies

TFP hates this photo with a passion, but it is Al Jolson, who was famous for his Blackface performances, apologies

To Drag:


What say you my Queens?


Mary Cheney posted her queries on her private Facebook page, a page which, of course, is meant to be just that – private. The first order of business, Ms. Cheney, would be, in TFP‘s opinion, is shut down your Facebook page – cuz you do NOT have a private Facebook page, or indeed any ‘safe’ place to write this:

“Why is it socially acceptable – as a form of entertainment – for men to put on dresses, makeup and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women (bitchy, catty, dumb, slutty, etc) – but it is not socially acceptable – as a form of entertainment  – for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans” – Mary Cheney


Usually, TFP stays out of politics, per se. She blogs about representation and visibility – however, she also blogs about LGBT issues as a huge supporter of the LGBT community, and she, in point of fact, was ‘raised’ as an adult by the LGBT community and so she is going to respond to this, and hope that Ms. Cheney, (who lives a life of exceeding white privilege while also being an “Out” Lesbian who has given birth to two children), was perhaps, just perhaps, was really asking.

It is totally possible.


Yes, really.

She could ‘really’ not know, because perhaps, in the circle she runs with, there is a decided lack of empathy and knowledge about what Drag Queens mean to the LGBT community, and about the LGBT community in general – take a look:


Mary Cheney is a Republican, after all.


Ms. Cheney could have equally less knowledge about what constitutes “Blackface’ because, as a practice, it was generally ended in this country two decades ago, and to TFP’s knowledge, has only been used again once in a main stage, Broadway production, and that was The Scottsboro Boys.


A show, Ms. Cheney, which was about racism. In 1931.  A show about racism towards black teenagers who are unjustly accused of a crime and most of them wound up dead.

Image by Banksy

Image by Banksy

But anyway, that show takes place in 1931. Ms. Cheney probably did not go see it.

So now, Ms. Cheney, TFP is going to ‘school’ you in what makes “Blackface” different from “Drag” and in one sentence it is this:

Blackface was used to denigrate, and Drag is used to celebrate.


Blackface, Ms. Cheney, was a socio-political tool wrapped in popular songs and comedy sketches that was used to justify white supremacy – it implied that Black Americans were slow, dull witted, unable in some sketches to read, and all in all, they were ‘creatures’ (not humans) to be laughed at.


If you never see someone as an actual person, it is much easier to dismiss their contributions, their humanity, and their worth as people, and as an Entertainer, TFP is horrified that performers had anything to do with it, let alone made money off of it, but they did.


And it was wrong.

Because those sketches and songs, and pseudo-co-ooption of Black American songs and imitations of Black Americans justified Jim Crow laws and people putting up signs like this:


It began in the early 1800’s in this country and it lasted, in popular performance until – wait for it – 1981. Yes, people, Blackface was ON TELEVISION in the UK until 1978 in The Black and White Minstrel Show.

Eventually it (mostly) died away in America with the Civil Rights Movement, as white performers began refusing to do it, both as a means to survive as a performer and because of personal ethics. Better late than never.


So that, Ms. Cheney, is “Blackface” – a degrading mockery of a proud people, whose long history with this Country has certainly had much sorrow and violence, in part because “blackface‘ performers allowed African Americans to be viewed as ‘less than’.

Let’s go on to Drag….


Drag is not just what you see on RuPaul’s Drag Race, there are varying forms.


What TFP likes about Drag and Drag Queens, is that Drag celebrates the many amazing facets about being a woman – the vulnerability to express feelings in public, the use of makeup to enhance nice features or hide self-perceived flaws, the art of sequins, the glamor of good fake hair, and of course, the fabulousness of a curvy body.

Drag says ‘be proud of who you are, no matter who you are’.

And of course:


The TFP has learned many things from Drag Queens over the years, and she is grateful for those lessons.

In general, Drag pays tribute to the women most women would like to be – beautiful and outrageous with an ability to charm and enthrall a crowd while delivering a message.


Not every Queen is ‘traditionally’ beautiful,


but they deliver ‘realness’,

Jackie Beat - sometimes her 'realness' is intimidating and TURN OFF YOUR PHONE OR SHE WILL HURT YOU

Jackie Beat – sometimes her ‘realness’ is intimidating and TURN OFF YOUR PHONE OR SHE WILL HURT YOU

the vulnerability of being a woman,

The Lady Bunny, the filthiest Lady around

The Lady Bunny, the filthiest Lady around

even if their drag is not “Pageant”.


Not every Drag happens on the stage in a nightclub, or on your television set, America has lived with Drag as a tradition for as long as Entertainment has been around.


There have been some amazing Actors who have given performances in Drag.


Take a look:








Have those performances compelled you, Ms. Cheney, to take to your Social Media page in outrage?


So, it’s not really Drag that upsets you, is it?


TFP thinks what you are ‘suffering’ from is something else entirely, she thinks it is Sissyphobia”.

TFP believes that when you see Drag Queens ‘camp it up” on television, and call one another “Bitch” or “Girl”, you are not really seeing them ‘degrade women’ –  there are no women there to degrade, in point of fact.

(Let’s be honest, if you have never used the terms ‘bitch, dumb, catty, and slutty‘ to describe ANYONE, you are better person than TFP.)

(TFP can also ‘vouch’ for that intense eye makeup appearing on ‘real’ women, she grew up, in part, on Lawn Guyland, also, she watches MOB WIVES)


What you seem to be having a reaction to is men who are acting effeminate both in and out of Drag, and  you have a problem with it.

Or at least that is how TFP sees it. You do not seem to be a woman with a lot of humor.


Ms. Cheney,  though our Society uses the label ‘sissy’ as a weakness, in the Drag Community it is a sought after illusion.


As someone who is a ‘Proud, Out, Lesbian with a married spouse and two children’, who enjoys remarkable privilege given by birthright, skin color, and education, as well as limitless capitol, you may feel that you do not want anyone to ‘confuse’ your kind of LGBT with a Drag Queen persona. You do not want to be seen as a ‘sissy’, aka ‘weak’ and so you are wary of effeminate performers. You think RuPaul’s Drag Race is ‘holding you down’ as a woman.

You think Drag Queens are weak. Drag Queens are the strongest there are.



Or maybe you should just do an Internet search on the word, STONEWALL

Image from Stonewall Riots

Image from Stonewall

Some people, even LGBT people, even Cis-gendered people, would prefer that LGBT people act ONE way only – and that is ‘straight’.


But, Ms. Cheney, there is no such thing as ‘straight acting’.

There is only ‘being’.

There are ‘only’ humans.

People of all shapes, colors, sizes, (as long as they do not hurt children or animals) have the right to live as out and as proud as possible – even if they are not Republicans.

Does TFP think that Drag is degrading to women?



(Though she does wish they would stop using the word “Fish”  – which means, for those non Drag afficianados, aka “My Drag is so much like a woman that I smell like female parts” – shudder)

TFP thinks that Drag lifts you up, makes you laugh, makes you think, makes you feel ‘all the feelings‘, and allows people to be human, with all the flaws and missteps that we have. You can be any shape, any color, any ethnicity, any religion…


…and you would be welcome at a Drag Show.

Look, Ms. Cheney, we know your world is a bit…



But you should know the difference between Blackface and Drag – because NOT to know the difference is ignorant.

However, ignorance can be fixed – so now…..YOU ARE HEALED!


Mary Cheney – for confusing debilitating racism  aka “Blackface” – which btw helped bestow upon you the privilege that your family continues to live with,


with men in glittery dresses who lip synch show tunes and embrace everyone,


TFP fines you 10 smacks of the wand and a month long education session with your local LGBT center, and honestly, volunteering at a Homeless Gay Youth Center would not hurt you either.

Audra McDonald….drop that mic and take us home…



For some, the murder of Treyvon Martin is a story on the news to decry but one you will move on from- but for The Fairy Princess, it hits a bit closer to home, because she has had Great Grandfathers, on both the Irish and Chinese sides of her family, murdered.

Not many people know that about me, but it’s true.

My Great Grandfather, William Fang Yuen, was murdered in 1922 in Innisfail, Australia. He was killed by a Caucasian man who was his Foreman. The Foreman was stealing, and he had been caught, there was an argument, the Foreman left. Later, my Great Grandfather was shot as he prepared the payroll.

The different reasons given for the murder are similar to reading RASHOMAN, the play. There were rumors of infidelity, of embezzlement, of jealousy….no one bothered to get the story straight, least of all the Authorities. What I was told as a child only grew more complicated as I became an adult, but it remains a blot on the history of The Chinese in North Queensland. My Cousin, William Yang, actually does a show called “Sadness’ on this very subject.

There was a trial, but it was superficial – much like the Zimmerman case, it allowed someone who was the acknowledged killer to go free, because, essentially Australia’s treatment at the time of their ethnic minorities and other immigrants was shockingly biased. I mean, if one could go to prison for killing “A Chinaman“, then what would happen if people were examined for their treatment of the Aboriginals! One of the reasons that the defense said that the fellow did not murder my Great Grandfather, was because my Great Grandfather had a very distinct large gold ring that had gone missing when he was killed – and they could not find the ring in the Foreman’s possession, ergo it had to be someone else. This was part of the case they made, and, he was acquitted.

When my Grandfather was a young man, he went walking in the town of his Father’s murder and he saw the son of the Foreman wearing his Father’s ring. A ring so distinct, that he would remember it from childhood. And, apparently, this was a ring that had been worn frequently in that town, once the trial was over – so everyone ‘knew’ that he was guilty, but nothing was done about it.

My Great Grandfather was a very wealthy man – he owned all the sugarcane farms in the area. He was ‘the bank’ for the Chinese community there, as none of the regular financial institutions would loan money to local Chinese who wanted to start a business. My Great Grandfather built the church and helped found that town. He was murdered, leaving behind a young wife and four children…and he was not accorded the dignity of his murderer being incarcerated. His wealth did not protect him. Money cannot protect against racism.

This changed the Family in many ways, perhaps, had his Father been around, my Grandfather and his Brothers would have made different choices – in careers, in who they married, perhaps they would still own the majority of the sugar cane in North Queensland, perhaps I would not even be here – but my life is a legacy of that murder.

On the Irish side, My Great Grandfather O’Shea was set upon by British soldiers as he made his way home from the pub in Kerry, Ireland. They beat him near to death because he was a member, in some fashion, of the Resistance. When he did not come home as expected, his sons set out looking for him – he had seven children. They found him and brought him home, and he lingered for three days, dying slowly of internal injuries.

During that time, as he faded in and out, he told his children that they were all to leave Ireland, immediately. After he was gone, they all stole away in the night and everyone took a different ship leaving Ireland – and they did not tell each other where they were going in case they were captured.

Some were never heard from again. At least one ended up in Australia, married, coincidentally, to an Auntie of my Mother. My Grandmother found out, after about 30 years in America, that she had a sister living but two towns over from where she eventually wound up.

Again, the legacy that I have inherited was based on the murder of someone who was not going to be given justice by any legal system. I have to, as a Parent, consider that my Child’s heritage is based on murder, and now I have to consider that, should he wear the wrong piece of clothing and venture out after seven p.m., it could be his future.

There is 90 years between the murders of my Great Grandfather and Treyvon Martin, but nothing seems to have changed. The statement of a Caucasian is valued higher than the evidence of a crime, the eyewitness testimony, and the presence of a dead body. A dead body who is…was…a minority.

The Fairy Princess has a child. I am the Mother of a Son. I am the Mother of a Son who is, in the United States, considered a minority.

My Son is many things that I can see right now, at the age of one – he is smart, he is quick, he is physically advanced for his age, and he has a wicked sense of humor that in the future is definitely going to be an issue. That, he gets from me – the humor. Otherwise, he looks like his Dad.


There are many things about my Son that I cannot tell yet, but his being viewed as a Minority in the United States is something that I know right now, will follow him his whole life. Being viewed as a Minority is an issue that both his Father and I have dealt with on a personal basis.

Growing up for my Husband, as an immigrant from South Korea who was then transplanted abruptly to a small town in Virginia, was difficult. To say ‘difficult’ is an understatement. However, my Husband survived.

Growing up as a multi-ethnic female in New York was not without it’s own problems. Add to that a tendency to be chunky and like musical theater, and you can see that I was in for some stressful moments. However, I survived. (Power ballads are particularly useful under duress)

One day – much sooner than either his Parents, his Immediate Family, and his extended LGBT Family will like – my son will be a teenager.

Yesterday, with the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, what it means to be the parent of a teenager who falls into ‘the minority’ changed how we are able to feel when our children leave the house.

They could be leaving to go to sports practice, or to play computer games with a friend. They could be leaving to go and sketch a particularly interesting tree they saw on their way to school. They could be leaving for a million creative and interesting reasons, or they could just be going to get some candy and a drink, and they might wear a sweatshirt.

But they will, we now know for certainty, never really be safe – even if they walk the streets they grew up in. Because someone who lives in fear, or in hate, or in combination of the two will see my Son, your Son, our Sons, as ‘the other’. They will see our Sons and they will see opportunities that they feel they missed out on, or they will see someone to focus their anger on, and they will take a shot, or take a knife, or use their hands – and they will attack our Sons. Perhaps they will maim them and our Sons will recover. Perhaps they will kill them, and our Sons will become another news story.

Should such a horrific thing happen, our Legal System will then allow the Murderer to gather a Jury ‘of their peers’ who will let them go. Because their Peers will understand and make excuses for their racism, fear, and hate – because they too, have it as part of their makeup – even if they do not think so.


My Son is not African American – I am not trying to co-opt that experience. But one need only to look at the news this past week to view how America views Asians in this country.

It seems it is perfectly acceptable to many to mock the names of people who have just been through a horrific airplane crash where people died. It was blamed on ‘an intern’, but think about how many channels and levels those ‘approvals’ had to go before they wound up being reported as fact, on the nightly news. It was not ‘just a mistake’, it was racism.

This past week on a television show, Big Brother 15, some of the “Houseguests’ told the Asian American contestant to ‘go make some rice’ and were shown degrading the other contestants on the live feeds. They were not ‘jests’ or ‘all in fun’ comments – it was racism.

Remembering Vincent Chin

Remembering Vincent Chin

The name, Vincent Chin, may not be as familiar to mainstream America, but to Asian Americans it is ‘our’ Treyvon Martin story – it vibrates with the reminders that every time we hear someone yell “Chink” or “Jap” or “Gook” from a car, from an alley, in a bar….. we could be moments away from be bludgeoned to death simply because we exist in this country. This is a fear that is shared, in some respect by every person in this country who is a minority – either due to their race, gender, or sexual preference.

Apparently we, the pesky ‘minorities’, are only in this country on very specific terms, which can be challenged at any time by a man – usually a Caucasian man – who has been somewhat of a failure in his own life. So of course, instead of working hard, or studying, or taking responsibility for his own actions, it’s much better to ‘blame’ the minority for his own shortcomings.

That chick is a BITCH” because she will not date you, “That Gook took my job” because you stopped your education at High School, “That Fag wants to touch me” because you have latent attractions you are unable to deal with in a constructive way. We, the minorities, are cluttering up ‘their Country‘, so we better ‘watch ourselves‘.

This country, which so many seem content to claim, but which was stolen from Native Americans by men whose Napoleon complexes resulted in Manifest Destiny.

This is America. Lest we forget, us ‘minorities’.

Ok, Angry Undereducated White Guy, you sure told me!

What do we, as minorities in America, take away from this horrible lesson? What is our next step?

I will tell you what I am going to do….

I am going to hold my Son tonight – as I do every night – and I am going to worry more now. I will probably go to the ‘dark place’ quite a bit – but I will teach him how to grow and achieve to his fullest potential.

We must empower our Sons to live full lives filled with achievement, education, and art.

We must teach our Daughters that they are shining examples of courage, education, and self-sufficiency with the right to control their own bodies.

We must teach, in spite of all the terrible things that we are being taught right now, about America through this case, we must teach our Children that in America, we expect them to treat people equally regardless of their race, sexual preferences, or gender.

America, as a country, is not ‘there’ yet – but Our Children may get the chance to make it so, as long as we, The Parents, do not give up. We need to work to change laws, we need to empower our educational system, we need to continue to invest in our communities through the Arts and through Social Programs. We need to show one another respect and tolerance and understanding.

We all must do this, because if we do not….the shitheads win.