Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mommy, what's a drag queen?

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 10:57 AM

Last night, my girls met one of Boise's pre-eminent drag queens in Hyde Park at Sen. Nicole LeFavour's end-of-Legislative-session gathering. I missed the event, instead catching Mayor Dave Bieter at the Basque Center telling the Boise Young Professionals (yes, there are actually people who call themselves that, and though my affiliation is on the rocks, I'm technically part of the group) that he's no expert on the fine arts, preferring football and tailgating, but that everyone should just go to Shakespeare and BCT anyway.

But back to the drag queens, apparently my girls, 4 and 1, thought nothing of it. (LeFavour gave her supporters a pop quiz, by the way a "Who is Nicole's favorite Republican senator and why?" and "How many bills was Nicole the lone Senate NO vote on?" I guess Corder and 7 ... How'd I do Nicole?)

But back home, as the ladies recounted their evening, the 4-year-old piped up with, "Mommy, what's a drag queen?"

My first reaction was, "C'mon girl, you were born in San Francisco and hung out with drag queens all the time." But she could only say "hi" back then and barely walk. Now that she's a fucking genius, we have to explain things much better.

My second reaction was, "Just read daddy's interview with her, honey." But she can't read, and there are parts of that interview she probably shouldn't get yet anyway.

So naturally I turned the query back on ma, who explained that naturally it is a man who likes to dress as a woman. 'Nuf said?

Nope. "Well, how do you know it's a man?" she wants to know, not missing a beat. I'm suggesting a dress-up analogy that she's sure to comprehend, but ma shoots me the earnest parenting look and continues to explain that you can tell a drag queen by her features.

"What are features?"

Now I'm ready to change the subject, searching all over for the Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate PoundPlus we lugged back from a recent East Coast trip. But Ma is having me hold up my hand next to hers to illustrate my manly features, not to be disguised by fishnet or nail polish.

Amazingly, that seemed acceptable. The conversation turned to Halloween and perhaps she'll forget her new vocab by the time pre-school starts in the morning.

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