Gay on Campus: “I’d Date You, If You Didn’t Do Drag”

This past weekend was the University of South Carolina’s amateur drag pageant Miss (and Mr.) Gaymecock. The boldest and most fabulous students donned their wigs, beards, makeup and pumps to duke it out for USC’s top king and queen.

One of my best friends competed in this year’s pageant, and he—or she as her alter ego—is quite the fabulous queen. However, when she becomes he again—no makeup, million-inch pumps, wig and nails—he’s quite the rustic, manly-looking man. Frankly he’s really cute—a gay man’s dream. And absolutely hilarious.

Which is why I find it baffling whenever he says guys turn him down because he does drag. No joke—“You’re cute, and I would date you if you didn’t do drag.”

Seriously, what?

I can’t quite comprehend why an activity my friend does for fun means rejection by suitors. Yes, the drag persona is a part of him, but 99.9 percent of the time he is just…well, himself.

Gay on Campus Drag DatingI suppose I’m putting his queendom on the same level as other hobbies like dancing, playing basketball or riding a bike. I wouldn’t reject someone because he liked to weave baskets. I’d question why, but I’d still at least take him out to dinner.

Unless someone is a professional drag queen, where most of his time is spent in face, I can’t quite see the argument. Even then, I’m still skeptical.

If we’re speaking in generalities or stereotypes, could it be that “drag-queen-a-phobes” are afraid that the man behind the contour is extremely effeminate or flamboyant?

While I don’t find anything wrong with these two traits, these skeptics might need to dig a little deeper. Drag queens are not just feminine men. My friend certainly isn’t. I know a straight, older father who enjoys slipping into heels from time to time. The full spectrum, like the LGBTQIA community, is present.

I have to wonder where the shallowness ends. The gay community is  (generally) notorious for seeing prospects only at face value. Six pack? Check. Masculine? Check. Top? Check. Anything outside of this is seen as…frankly, lesser than. Of course, this isn’t true for all, but it’s a trend I certainly am noticing.

But now it’s hobbies we’re attacking? It doesn’t seem right, and I hope that in the near future we can see past the extra ten pounds, Streisand collection or—in my friend’s case—closet full of heels, and treat each other as human beings.

But everyone’s situation and story is different, and I would love to hear about yours. What’s the strangest thing a guy has ever rejected you for? Have you experienced a better situation than my friend’s? Have a different insight? Share your thoughts below, and have a fabulous weekend!