It just seemed so sick and unnatural to me, dressing up in those garters and panties and bras and tight, slippery skirts and stuff like that. There's something about drag-queens that just isn't right, if you ask me. But now, well I'm just all mixed up and confused.
See I went to go see this movie called, To Wong Foo, Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar. With a title like that you know its going to be a strange sort of a movie, but I never guessed how strange until I actually sat down in the theater and there, in the very first scene, is Patrick Swayze getting all dressed-up like Nancy Reagan except with better hair and bit more pinnace.
Now to tell you the truth I wasn't that surprised to see Swayze getting dressed up like a girl. I'd seen him in Dirty Dancing and always suspected he might be a little light in the loafers, if you know what I mean, but next I see Wesley Snipes, who I'd always thought was a real straight-up ass-kicker, slipping into a gown that left a lot to the imagination.
By now I was all turned around and I decided to just sit down and watch the thing. And boy am I glad I did because it cleared up a lot of misperceptions I'd always had about queers in general and drag-queens in particular. See, the last movie I saw about drag-queens was Paris is Burning. And in that movie all the queens weren't like regular people at all. They were all sick trash, messed up and doing drugs, some even went so far as to perform unnatural acts with men.
But Wong Foo is different. In Wong Foo these three drag-queens leave NY and are on their way to Los Angeles when they get in trouble with the law and then their car breaks down and they're stuck in this crummy little town called Snydersville. Now you might think that the people in Snydersville wouldn't get on that well with three queens, especially when one is Wesley who's big and black, and the other is this leggy Latin guy named John, but you'd be wrong.
Of course Snydersville is a funny kind of town. There's only two men in it -- one is this short white-guy who beats up his wife and the other is this fat black-guy who's real nice to everybody. All the rest of the town is women except for these eight young guys from Michael Jackson's, Beat It video, a little girl, and a boy from a jeans commercial.
At first everybody in the town is kind of wary of these three because they're so different -- urban, I mean (they don't realize they're men until later). But after awhile everybody in the town likes them, even the tough kids from Beat It. And the drag-queens go around just like Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven fixing peoples lives in this drab little town. Patrick also tries to be a little butch by beating up the wife-beater (but I still wasn't convinced).
In the end they set up a big Strawberry Social party with lots of ribbons and bright colors and stuff that people from small towns don't understand. But just when things are looking good the sheriff shows up and tells everybody in town that these three are actually men dressed up as women. By then though everybody in the town loves the queens so much that it doesn't matter.
See what everybody realizes (except for the sheriff who gets drunk and talks like maybe he's a homo too -- and the wife beater, I guess) and what I realized too, is that drag-queens aren't really gay guys in dresses. They don't actually like men at all, except to flirt and joke with a little, like a guy in drag in a frat rush. As the beat-up wife says in the movie, "I don't think of you as a man or as a woman, but as an angel."
When I left the theater I felt all warm inside because I realized that maybe drag-queens weren't so disgusting because they're really more like angels than people.
Then I went home and turned on C-SPAN and Pat Buchanan and Ralph Reed were on there talking about how there was a war against real American values and morals and Bob Dole was returning money from gay groups. And that started me thinking that maybe I'd been tricked again by Hollywood. Now I'm just all mixed up and confused and don't know what to think.
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