Sunday, April 13, 2008

Over the Rainbow

I did a Fridae article about the closing of Mox Bar, one of the nicest gay bars-cum-community centres we've had in town over the years. So of course I had to go for the closing party.

Ain't it pretty? The sequinned dress is $30 from the Salvation Army. The shawl is from a market in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The theme for the night had been "Over the Rainbow", and we were commanded to wear colourful things. How dare all the other pretty boys disobey?

Someone told me I looked like Benazir Bhutto. So he suggested that I strike a pose depicting her "one second after the explosion".

I also brought kiddies.

Poet Alvin Pang, got these babies from Dunman High School after he did a poetry workshop there. They're matching Dunman boy and Dunman girl dolls, and obviously we tried them in all sorts of combinations.

Here's the full story: Alfian and I had just come from judging the ACS (Independent) Centrestage competition, which was, quite frankly, mostly very bad. Loads of talent, but only one group out of four managed to pull it all together.

I was going for the party anyway, so I actually changed into the costume during judging, and was prepared to deliver comments while dressed in finery. (Hey, the kids would've loved it, and Dr Ong would've finally got payback for having banned cross-dressing in ACS Drama Club back when I was the only kid in school willing to play the tragic leading ladies.)

The prefect was kinda squeamish as he observed me stripping down and zipping up in the Board Room, but he was perfectly civil. It was my old drama club teacher (who coulda fought back harder, back in the old day) who saw me emerging in my sparklies and applied all her moral force to make me change back into my shirt and pants before facing the boys. And ah well, it would've been kinda rude of me, really. And heaven knows, there'd been more than enough drag by the boys themselves that evening. I contented myself with a big congratulation to them all for flouting the official rules against Singlish.

Weird evening, really. And traipsing around in a Guatemalan shawl got very hot very fast. I traded it for one of Yangfa's feather boas in the end:

Someone uploaded this on Facebook and my 9 year-old niece saw it. She was very much amused. :)

It's weird doing drag at a party like that. You know you have to do it because of the joy it brings yourself and people. But you know that almost any good looking boy who sees you like that is never gonna want to date you.

Always that choice: be loved, or be yourself. Someday, they tell me. Someday I'll meet someone who loves me for what I am.


alvin said...

It wasn't a poetry workshop at Dunman High, it was a (gasp) Career Talk.

I may have scared a whole new cohort of talented writers into Law, Medicine and Public Service.

Ng Yi-Sheng said...

The Dunman people gave better gifts than ACS, ya know. We got AC plaques! Very hard to incorporate into costume, you know!