Once upon a time, I went to my first Pride event.
(note: Dallas Pride is in September, not June, and here’s why)
It was 2013. I was still wrestling with a whole lot of stuff as regards my sexuality, and still pretty tangled up in the whole mental breakdown thing I’d had going on for the better part of the decade. It was hot and I didn’t know where to park, so I had to walk a long way. I did not wear particularly sensible shoes for this. I did wear a long sundress and a little knit bolero top, and I had my long poofy hennaed hair going on, and I did not look very queer at all, I looked like a straight hippie tourist who had maybe had a little LUG thing going on once upon a time. People at the festival straight up ignored me, or gave me weird looks, and at the parade, I got hit square in the face with some beads flung from one of the drag floats, and I thought, you know what, I don’t think I am a Pride kind of person.
So I didn’t go again. Why do something that wasn’t fun?
But, you know, now we are in 2018. Now I am definitely in “fun is what you make it,” mode, so I wanted to do something for Pride. I had rainbow socks! My hair was a fun color! I was a much improved person over 2013 me in so many awesome ways!
So yeah! Let’s go to Pride! Let’s do a whole entire long weekend of Pride shit!
Well. Never let it be said that Lissa Reed does not know the meaning of the phrase Go Big Or Go Home.
On Thursday, there was this:
One of the queens I had especially liked from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 was a New York queen named Yuhua Hamasaki. I thought she was hilarious and fun and interesting, so I was thrilled to find out she was coming to Dallas for Pride and would be performing in a few shows. She is indeed as hilarious and fun and interesting as she was on Drag Race, and very sweet in meet and greets – I had heard this before and I am absolutely delighted to confirm that it’s true.
Yuhua looks absolutely lovely here. I looked better in person than I did in the photos, as per usual. I don’t know why my tits always do that thing. Yes, I wore the sushi dress – I thought it was hilarious specifically because Yuhua is not Japanese, and there had been a whole exchange on Drag Race about it. Oh, hush. I think I am funny, let me have this.
I also thought my hair and makeup looked extremely awesome that night, and everyone at the bar was sweet enough to agree with me. My skills are coming along!
That was very, very fun and I made new friends, and have I mentioned how much I am loving Lissa’s 20GayTeen? Yeah, this is great.
I believe I have mentioned before that I hold Alyssa Edwards in fairly high esteem, but have never been able to see her live and in drag before. We’ve encountered each other a couple of times at bar parties where she’s been hosting out of drag, but that’s it.
By sheer luck I got a front row seat in the Rose Room for the Pride show she was opening for. Which means I got a couple of amazing pictures (and a slew of unusable ones because when people refer to Alyssa as the Energizer Bunny of Drag, I assure you, they are not at all kidding even a tiny little bit) and, er.
It turns out – and this shouldn’t surprise me but here we are – when you are in the front row of an Alyssa Edwards gig and there are chairs and you stretch out your hand with a tip in it towards her, she will grab your hand and you are suddenly thrown back to your cheerleading days while she clambers up on a chair to shake her hair and her sequined booty and you are holding each other’s hands in a very secure grip as she dances on the chair in high heeled boots and you are hearing your cheerleading coach in your head screaming if you drop her I will kill you with my bare hands!
(cheerleading in the South is no joke, y’all)
I have never in my life been so glad that I chose to do a short-nail manicure for my drag look that night instead of press-ons.
Oh, right. Drag. Yeah, I went in drag. In fact, in drag cosplay as Alyssa’s season five Drag Race competitor Jinkx Monsoon?
*facepalm* good one, self, not weird at all
But I looked pretty, I think.
My favorite local drag queen, in fact (the completely awesome Cassie Nova) said I looked gorgeous and that my wig was amazing, so, you know, that felt extremely good and I almost cried. Thank you, Cassie, I heart you big time.
I did get to hug Alyssa later…but it was awkward because I was super damn tired and had a lot of physical pain going on for reasons that night, and I forgot how to say hello and just… waved at her? After stopping her from proceeding back upstairs? I… I lost my fool mind. But she was nice enough to give this walking idiot a hug, and I am grateful. One day we might actually exchange words, but I expect on that day I will also drop dead.
I went home and de-dragged and it took forever… so many bobby pins, my God.
On Saturday, I slept. All goddamn day. Fuck off, I’m 41.
And then Sunday?
Sunday was the Pride parade.
I looked awesome.
And very, very queer. No mistaking it this time, thank you.
I walked in my Tee-Rico Pride shirt and my rainbow knee high socks and I met new friends and it was too hot to be out in it for long but I still went, and I had fun, and I looked great, and I left with a rainbow parasol and a Dallas Voice with Cassie Nova dressed as Betsy Ross sewing a Texas Pride flag on the cover and it was so, so many times better than that exhausting 2013 experience.
It might be another five years before I do another Dallas Pride, who knows. But I’m glad I went this year. I don’t think my year of living adventurously would have been complete without it.
Roll on, 20GayTeen!