“Passing” is Coming!

“Passing” is Coming!

Next Friday and Saturday night (may 7/8), you need to be at Buster’s. The Lexington Art League is hosting a drag/fashion show with the help of the Imperial Court, Inspired Apparel, and creative partners Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova in honor of LAL’s current exhibit “Passing: Fashioning Drag.” Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP tickets are $100 apiece and VIP parties of 6 or more get a fairly deep discount.

Last year, as Visiting Writer at Transyvlania University, I was able to see Lexington’s first demonstration of what this show can bring to a community and I want to share excerpts from the article I wrote after attending (Confession: It was so packed, I had to sneak in through the stage to get a seat).  Hopefully, if you’ve never seen a drag show, never seen a drag queen in her natural element, then this will give you a reason to want to be in attendance not just one, but both nights! See you there. I’ll be the wide-eyed gal at the foot of the stage in a Cleopatra wig doing my best impression of FABULOUS!

(excerpts from “This I Believe” essay, Spring 2009)

This past Wednesday night, I went to a drag show part of the Passing initiative on Transy’s campus and in the community…The show was a riot! To begin with, I heart everything about drag queens…How could you not appreciate that kind of agility, flamboyance, dedication to a craft, and, just the…je ne sais quoi? Chile, they are too divine!

One of the things I love to see and feel is when a community comes together for a focused cause. I don’t think anyone expected on Wednesday night, the line python-wrapped around the innards of Mitchell Fine Arts and so much body heat it turned the hallway air into hot broth. The tickets were gone in ten minutes and the inside of Carrick was abuzz with the energy of a true fête! For two hours, I felt a part of the Transy community as a whole as opposed to just a department or a building. There’s nothing like a fanfare of dazzling, vivacious, be-still-my-heart, honey-what’s-your-excuse-for-not-being-in-heels-too, female impersonators to bring a campus together.

I believe in belonging. I believe in the ability of positive energy and play and dare I say, ART, bringing people closer together. I can guarantee that not one person left that evening and thought that they could have spent their time better elsewhere. The peals of laughter, the music, the crowd’s delirious response to the acrobatics and the high comedy/drama, the queens sashaying on up into Audience Land to hold us just as responsible for our own good time, probably had Transy’s founding fathers rolling over in their graves, or at the very least, their portrait frames.


Learning to belong to a community shouldn’t be forced. Like any relationship, in the beginning, it can be effortless. The work comes in later to maintain and propel that momentum. In other words, there should be more drag shows and events that push the lipstick-kissed envelope in a community. Thus we find that this process of collectively investigating our boundaries and challenging our core beliefs and programming isn’t the lonely process we’ve thought it to be. And the process can even be fun, a little naughty, and more than a little fabulous.