This Is My Voice

Posted: 12/04/2012 by erichblayde in Activism, Drag Queen, Uncategorized
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You. Me. This city. This country. We will always have a choice, when you stand up to be counted, tell the world,

“This is my voice, There are many like it, but this one is mine.”

-Shane Koyczan-

What words can be found to explain the realization of a dream? How possibly can I sit here and put to (technological) paper the feelings that occur when you are finally given something you have fought for, sacrificed for, dreamed of and finally given up hope on?

And yes, I really had just about decided to quit fighting on this one.

For years I have persisted in being me, and especially being all parts of me. From being a butch (ish) guy who loves going camping, foraging for berries and other edible delights in the woods, to a leather boy with a side of masochistic free loving radical faerie, to a self professed faggot that wont accept the constraints of traditional homosexuality I have never seemed to fit into anyone’s various little boxes (or pretty little round packages if you’d rather). But the biggest fight I have ever encountered didn’t come from any of my wild and crazy ways.

It came from something as normal as a love of pan stick and high heels.

It has long been my forte to “rock the boat” as it were. To throw systems into chaos and try not to get burned by the resultant flames. And really I am prettydamn good at it, and at ending up doing whatever the hell I want to do wherther it’s conventional or not. But being accepted as an FtM transgender drag queen? Waayyyy different kettle of fish. Shit being a gay FtM trans leatherman was hard enough to force people to back off about, in fact there are still parties we cant go to because the people running them, gay male members of our own fucking community, dont think we’re real men. But the tide is slowly changing on that one. It’s slowly changing on the drag side too in some ways, but completely not in others.

I love performing, it speaks to my heart in ways I can’t begin to explain. From crafting each number to fit a specific audience, choosing just the perfect song to speak the message that is in my heart at that moment and seeing the audience react to it, to dressing myself up and feeling like, just for those few moments I am safe, protected behind my cover of eyelashes, hair and make up, someone else, someone that’s not the freakshow but the main fucking event.

In some shows I have been fortunate enough to see glimpses of that dream. My first ever show as a queen, performing to a room full of primarily trans and lesbian folks, none of whom had ever dreamed a trans guy could be a drag queen, I saw it when watching their faces  as I stepped the fuck out and threw everything I had at them. I saw their dreams made a possibility by the example I was blessed to be able to bring them. I saw the desire for a life without limits written indelibly in eyes that night.

But mostly since then it’s been a downhill tumble.

I won’t get into the slights the slurs the insults and the blows launched at me for my decision to do something everyone seemingly condemned. I also wont bother to tell you about the  sleepless nights spent wishing for something as simple as a drag sister to hang around with. But I will tell you I fought the opposition like freakin crazy for a long time. In the end though, I got tired. It hurt like hell and I just had to walk away for a while.

But it seems others were there to keep on keepin on, because now we have an absolute TON of trans performers in Vancouver. Performers that are not afraid to do female numbers if they want, or to do male numbers in a dress and female numbers in a tux. They do what they want and by God they look gorgeous doing it.

And it is thanks to those souls that this past pride season, I finally realized my genderqueer dreams.

To step on to a stage, any stage, is to take the audience on a journey, to tell them the tales they cannot find elsewhere. To spin fantasy into reality and make pixie dust and golden geese more than just children’s fairy tales, but reachable goals. To perform for an audience is to take their dreams and make them a living breathing truth there on that stage. And it is something I have longed to do for Pride for a very long time.

And now it has become a reality. On a small stage in the back of a restaurant in New Westminster I stepped into the fantasy of my dreams and stepped it out for a pride show I know I will never forget. Not because it was a first for my performing side, not because the audience was largely members of the trans and two spirit community, not because we did it old school and donated all the profit to a very worthy organization, but because the songs told a tale of freedom, pride and dreams come true that some folks in that room had never dared dream of. Because the songs opened eyes and minds and hearts. And because for the first time I had a chance to dance in the dreams of others and show them to themselves

So if you have a dream that differs from the rest, stand strong in it. Don’t be afraid to step back and breathe but never, NEVER give up darlings. Anything is possible if you but dare to dream.


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