The Right to RULE ManifestoTue 21 Aug 2012
Renegade drag queen trixxie carr (below, left) takes Manchester’s Gorilla bar by storm on Sat 01 Sep. Tickets are on sale now, and everyone is welcome to channel their inner queen, the person they want to be, imagined or existing, turning the inside out!
We’ve been gaining an insight into the alt drag scene in preparation for the event thanks to this extract from her forthcoming web-manifesto, The Right to RULE…
Let me begin by explaining that I come from Northern California, where things rule.
It is hella beautiful, and a lot of the people are super strange, and I like that. I grew up wanting to be fucking awesome, knowing that I was, and not having an outlet – I made music, never had a band, I went nightclubbing excessively but only danced, never performed.
I spent a lot of fucking time alone. I have some issues, but I think that everyone does. I learned from friends and album covers and trial and error how to do my hair, my make-up, warrior fierceness, because dressing up was bonding time, meditation, preparation. I learned how to sew and glue gun and get the line I wanted on my blush and how to wear lashes and glue sequins to my face. And make a wig from wigs. And go out onstage and challenge an audience of my community, people with common ideals, supporting each other in self expression. I love records and I love my music, and style. I sing, I dance, I can create.
At a certain point I realized I fucking ruled. At a certain point I realized that I was a queen. But don’t tell anyone I’ve been around for so long – I’m still so young!
So the right to rule, though, the right to the stage, the spotlight, the mic. The right to control the flow of energy, to direct. Drag has always been transformative, and we all adapt to our circumstances, which is why I am so lucky to have landed in the midst of so many talented individuals with such vicious intelligence and beauty.
Trannyshack was where I found my home; I can’t even begin to describe how many amazing people have been and still are involved with that club. It was fucking punk rock when it was at The Stud bar, bodies crammed like sardines, chaos in the tiny backstage, epic performances. And hella sex. And of course everything else awesome. And a challenge. Because I wanted to impress and inspire and give what I make, as the woman I am, and as my drag persona.
It was there that I learned about drag families. Every other queen had a mother, a lineage of drag, a person bringing them up. I had just busted into the place with my blonde bob (I got so much shit for wearing the same wig those first years… ha!), eighties blush and demanded the stage to do Hall and Oates numbers. I was encouraged to perform more, I was supported and welcomed. I was in competition, the good kind. It would always happen – someone would do a sickening number, the bar would go up, someone else would blow our minds, the bar would go up, and so on, like some improv game… and then at some point everyone would do a butt (as in sucky) number and we’d all talk some shit and then get fierced the next time we saw them. Or if not, talk more shit. The thing is, the shit talking went so well with family lines, you could really tell relations from more than just makeup.
And that’s a form of love. The standards were always high, and always are, and criticism takes on new meaning when it’s coming from a place of love. So if I sucked onstage, I knew it, but I knew it was safe to come back and perform again. Luckily, I never sucked! (I only blew!).
I learned to always take a read and turn it, I learned to trust myself and that I could be trusted. There is so much fixing, mistakes all over the place. I’ve fallen off the goddamn stage and it was hilarious and amazing – this shit is all about taking control and making things werq.
So it should be with leaders. There is something to be said for really being able to know your audience. Your people. If you really know them, you can give them what they want, and the satisfaction from that is immense. You can also challenge what they accept, and ask that they step outside of their comfort zones, and if they trust you, they will. But you really have to consider their needs/desires, whether onstage or on throne or in office or whatever. So the right to rule really should be based on realness. Not passing, not lineage or gender, but realness, and ability to transform things into beauty. Not looking ‘real’, but being really really fucking REAL.
Being awesome, whether you are saying something people want to hear or not.
Using your talent to better the world.
A ruler is a top with an obligation, as is a drag queen, even if she is making fun of herself. The right to rule is merely one you must desire to have, and take if you so desire. I do not desire to rule countries, though, I desire to rule onstage, which to me means also in hearts. I have fallen in love with the queens I perform with, a unique love of talent and bravery I saw when they were onstage, and I hope that some people feel that way after seeing me perform.
I really am fucking awesome as a drag queen. And I don’t think I would have believed it until I started doing it. And yes, the term ‘faux queen’ is totally fine with me now (I used to hate it as it felt like saying ‘fake queen’ and I am not fake). I embrace it as a way to hopefully speed up explaining that I am a drag queen with a vagina. That is beyond accepted in my drag community of San Francisco, although to get respect you must be ferocious, engaging, funny, beautiful and scary, be you with or without a cock, real or fake.
I wouldn’t say I am genderfuck, but I would say fuck gender in relation to the art I do, and the art I like. I can appreciate beauty, but I fall in love with freaks.
trixxie carr, web-manifesto (extract), August 2012. For more information on The Right to RULE visit our event pages or come along to Gorilla, Manchester, Sat 01 Sep, 22:00 til late!
Photo: trixxie with Honey Mahogany, who will also perform at AND on Sat 01 Sep. Photo by Jose A. Guzman Colon.