Is Elaine Noble, the pioneering heroine of the LGBTQ Movement, in drag here?
Though elected as the first openly gay person to a state legislature in Massachusetts in 1974, she now lives in Florida, and I find her very entertaining. Would Gov. Ron DeSantis have her arrested for wearing a cut-out mustache at Ray’s birthday party?
What is drag? There actually is no such thing as a woman in drag. Women who wear men’s underwear, and suit and tie are called “Comfortable and Fashionable.”
So that leaves us guys. I’ve been in drag twice in 75 years, and though it wasn’t a pretty sight, I was very entertaining. Would I be barred from the Wilton Manors Gay Pride parade because I wore jewelry and make-up but we’re in men’s shoes? How about if I add perfume? Am I in drag if I wear a wig? What about guys in chemotherapy who lose their hair and wear a temporary wig?
What clothing constitutes drag, and what is considered entertainment? Whistling, singing, dancing? Is a man in a skirt who plays the bagpipes a drag entertainer? What about a man in a mustache and dog collar who wears Dorothy’s Gale’s blue checkered dress and ruby red shoes, and tap dances?
Are only men in drag who entertain at risk of being arrested in the Wilton Manor’s Pride parade? What if the entertainment was wearing a Ron DeSantis mask and ball gown? That would be funny. Is laughter an indication of entertainment? If the guidelines on what constitutes drag are unclear, and the guidelines on what’s entertainment are unclear, is it a matter of being paid? If I drive my pretty red convertible down Wilton Drive during the parade and I’m in a wig and make up, but “men’s clothes,” and if I sing off key and someone throws a dollar into the car in appreciation, am I a paid drag queen entertainer who should be arrested?
A neighbor and good friend works for the county. He’s the one who first told me about there being no drag entertainers in the Wilton Manor’s Pride parade. He’s outraged by the ruling, but he also knows that if the city challenges DeSantis, all state funding of city projects will dry up.
If the Wilton Manors police arrest someone in the parade, let’s remember they’re on our side. They’re following the orders of people also on our side, who are afraid of being removed from office by the governor and of losing essential state funding of city and county projects.
Ron DeSantis is the most fascist politician I’ve had the displeasure of governing my life. He won’t last, and the courts will rule against all of his dictates on what can be taught from kindergarten through college. But, before that, what kind of “good trouble” can we cause the governor, without making it impossible for the City of Wilton Manors to complete necessary projects?
Brian McNaught has been an author and educator on LGBTQ issues since 1974. Former Congressman Barney Frank said of Brian, “No one has done a better job of chronicling what it’s like to grow up gay." http://www.brian-mcnaught.com/