Editor’s Note: The following submission is from John Messina/Rusty Nails. Have an LGBTQ+ related experience or story to share? Having your article published on this site will automatically enrol you into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Submit an article today via queerdeermedia.com.
[amazon_link asins=’B0722ZYCCB’ template=’ProductAdRight’ store=’ourqueerstories-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e8609952-8c95-11e7-8843-b16a2e2718d0′]When I was a little boy, maybe 3. I felt the need to do and be things that were female oriented. I wanted long hair so I’d wear a towel on my head and wave my head around to make my hair ” blow in the wind”. My family didn’t stop me and I think that was great. At Halloween I wanted to be a girl. They let me. In fact, the dressed me up and put makeup on me. This was at 3 years old. I’m sure they thought it was a phase. At least my father hoped it was. Alas, it wasn’t. As I got older I was pressured to do things “normal” boys did. I was made to play sports on teams. I HATED that! I felt so out of place. Never really feeling like I fit in with the boys. I DIDN’T. As I got older I was able to say no more of that and looked toward fashion to excite me. There I could draw fabulous clothes for pretty women. Though, I had to hide my drawings from my dad. Oh he found them and hit the roof. It was proof to him that I wasn’t a ” normal” boy and it was never a phase.
When I was at the age I could drive, I waited for Halloween to dress up. I called it punk but, it was makeup and skimpy clothing. As close to girl as I could get without really going the whole way.
So, at 26 I moved to NYC to become a women’s wear designer. Now I was able to make women’s clothes. Aha! No going back now. But it want until 1990 that I first encountered drag for myself. I ended up at The Monster. A fabulous gay bar in the village. The owner Joe, loved drag queens and encouraged the staff to dress up if they liked. Well, that was all I needed. At the drop of a hat, I’d be behind the bar in full drag for all of NY to see. Cut to 10 years later, living in the Hamptons that I really got into it. I just felt so incredible to be able to transform myself into a female. A hyper version of a female but, it felt GREAT!
Now, at age 55 I began performing as a drag queen. Getting paid to do what I love. Mind you, drag is expensive and I’ve never made more than I’ve spent on makeup, clothing, wigs, jewelry, shoes, accessories and DJ mixes. But hell if I don’t love every minute.
I get to be the fabulous “girl” at the party. Some people only know me as Rusty and I love that. Rusty Nails let’s my inner me out for a short time. Do I think I’m transgender? It’s quite possible that I may be. Though I like my man parts so, maybe not. I can fulfill my desires through Rusty. I don’t know how much longer Rusty can go on. Without a little surgery to make my face more youthful, there could be a limit to my performing. But my inner Rusty will always be there when I need her. She probably saved my life and I’m so grateful she did.
I guess the moral of my story is FOLLOW YOUR HEART.