Editor’s Note: The following submission is from Candy Tigera. 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.
My days usually start off like any regular person. I shower, brush my teeth, eat breakfast, and clean. Well, I don’t always clean. I am one of the most laziest person on earth, if not THE laziest. That is until I transform into a Drag Queen. Every single step is so magical. The wig makes me feel like a complete women, the makeup makes me feel beautiful, my shimmering costumes make me feel fierce, my nails make me feel powerful, and my heels make me feel like the baddest queen on earth.
But sadly, that magical moment only happens during the night. During the day I am a man, like a man man. You know that deep voice, beared, strong security guard at sephora? Yea, that ain’t me. Picture more a skinny, tall, african american employee working at popeyes, yea that’s me.
“Can I get 2 thighs with french fries and a biscuit? How much is that going to be?”
“$8.99? Oh no that’s too much. You guys think we rich? I would like to see your manager please.”
Girl you need to have the nerve to work popeyes, but the bills got to get paid somehow. Especially because in drag, you spend more than you earn. Not only are wigs, makeup, nails and heels expensive, the shimmering outfits we wear are ridiculously pricey. But at the end of the day, it is all worth it.
Drag is more than just a job or hobby to me, it is my life. Without drag, Tigera wouldn’t be alive. I mean that literally, drag saved me from committing suicide. I used to harm myself because the world taught me to hate who I was. It taught me that I was worthless and a disappointment. So I would make little cuts on my arms and legs because this world told me that sinners like me needed to suffer. But I later realized that god is the only one that can judge me. Nobody else can tell me what I should wear or do. Drag has been my main source of empowerment. But it has also become my main source of hatred. The reason I don’t walk in heels, makeup, nails and dresses during the day is because I don’t have the balls to confront such a homophobic world. Trans women are assaulted every day. So I thought that if I did drag during the night only, I would be safe. But unfortunately, I was very wrong.
A few days ago, I was doing a drag show in NYC for pride month. I was wearing a colorful wig in a ponytail, colorful makeup, a rainbow line bodysuit, nails that spelled pride in each hand and rainbow over the knee high heels. I went “all out” as everyone called it. The audience was so supportive and kind which made me feel special. I also met a very cute guy named Denzel shangel which is now my fiance. It was the perfect night but that was until the party was over. My drag queen friends invited me to another club but I said no because I had to work the next day. So I left the bar alone to call a taxi outside.
A group of male adolescents where outside the bar whispering and staring at me. I was about to walk away until one of them said, “Fuck you faggot!” I usually don’t care what people say, but something went through my body and told me to stand up for myself. So I turned around and with my deep voice I said, “YO! WHAT YOU SAID?!” and without any words one of them walked up to me and spit on my face. That’s when I saw he had a pocket knife and a bat. I looked around and saw a 35 year old man so I screamed, “help!” He just looked at me and kept on walking. I decided to run but they grabbed both of my arms and legs before I can go anywhere. “No, No, Please” those were the words I said before one of the boys started to beat me up with the bat. I thought I was going to die after he hit me over, and over, and over again. They started punching me as one of the boys threw cold water at me. After a while they stopped, before asking me to promise them that I will never dress like a woman ever again but I told them, “I promise you, I will never change my inner self for you.” That’s when one of the chucked me and stabbed me.
I woke up in a hospital, for a second I thought I was dead. I saw all of my Drag queen friends and denzel waiting for me to wake up. I told them that I was stabbed and beaten up. I paused before I burst into tears realizing I could of died. I couldn’t believe what happened to me. I told the police everything that happened but the boys didn’t receive any consequences, they were just let free with a warning. That’s when I realized that I was non-existing. The LGBTQ community is non-existing. You never hear anything about us because nobody cares. Our stories go untold which is why things like this keep happening. Writing my story was really hard for me but it is my job to speak for those who can’t.
Drag has been my motivation to keep pushing forward. It has made me such an independent and confident woman. I am beautiful and powerful and nobody can tell me I am not. This situation taught me that if my life hadn’t had obstacles, I would’ve never had the courage and strength to be myself. So boys and girls who are bullied because of the way you express yourself, queens have fans, people who support them through thick and thin, but they also have haters, people who are not confident in who they are, so they make fun of others to make themselves feel better. Just know that to be a queen, you need to learn how to turn people’s negative comments about you and used them as a form of inspiration. Remember that you are too fabulous to worry about others opinions.
And a message to all of the homophobic people out there, I hope one day you ask yourself why is it that man wear wigs, makeup, dresses, nails and heels.
Hopefully you will understand the loneliness, the fear, the pressure that we face then you’ll understand that those heels that you thought were only for girls can make man feel fierce, then you’ll understand that those dresses you thought were only for girls can make a man feel confident, then you’ll understand that drag can be a man’s savior! I am writing this last sentence to my poem at the mall with heels, makeup, a dress, wig, and nails during the day. I love myself and drag has given it all to me.