The follow entry is from Mike, a person who participated in HIV Community Link’s First Time in Drag event. First Time in Drag is a fundraiser for the Calgary AIDS Walk & Run, where participants are connected with local drag performers to help them get into drag for the very first time. Then they perform to raise money for charity!
Read below Mike’s personal experience trying drag for the first time.
We all have moments in our lives that we will never forget. Moments in our lives that we can recall with such clarity and can elicit a strong and visceral response when you think about them. It is these moments that are forever engrained into our memories and we hold deep in our hearts.
“What I have learned about the drag culture, is that it is deeply rooted in freedom of expression and living your own personal truth.”
For me, July 28, 2019 will be a date that I will never forget. It was on this date that I performed in drag for the first time! It was on this date that Boo Boo Kitty was officially born!
My journey of acknowledging and accepting my sexuality has had its share of ups and downs. Navigating these challenges has impacted aspects around my beliefs of masculinity, identity and self-esteem. However, when I look at the moments in my life where I have felt the most confident, the most powerful, the most secure in myself – its moments when I was either performing on a stage or dancing in front of crowd. What I have learned about the drag culture, is that it is deeply rooted in freedom of expression and living your own personal truth. It provides the platform to present yourself in way that fosters a level of empowerment- something I felt I was needing.
When this opportunity presented itself, I knew it was one that I couldn’t pass up. But if I am being honest, I had moments of doubt of whether I would actually follow through with this. I have a group of friends in which we challenge ourselves with yearly personal goals. For the past few years I have had “perform in a drag show/perform in drag,” however, have been unable to fulfill this goal – largely in part of fear and issues of body image and confidence. This has actually been a bucket list item for me for a significantly long time. Thank you Dan (AKA: Roxy Soksov) for not only keeping me accountable, but for joining me in this process and seeing me live one of my personal goals. Had it not been for you, I don’t know if Boo Boo Kitty would’ve made her debut.
“I was proud of this moment. Proud that I was able to contribute and raise money for a great cause, but proud of the fact that I accomplished a huge goal and did not let fear and doubt get the best of me.”
Although I was nervous, the moment I hit the stage in those high heel boots and heard the beat of the music with the lights shining down, I was immediately transported to all of those times I felt 100% confident and secure. I knew everything was going to be okay because I knew everyone in that space was there to encourage and support. The cheers from the crowd were deafening yet exhilarating. When all was said and done, I was in a state of euphoria. “Did this actually just happen?!” I asked myself. I was proud of this moment. Proud that I was able to contribute and raise money for a great cause, but proud of the fact that I accomplished a huge goal and did not let fear and doubt get the best of me. This was the sense of empowerment that I had been needing.
Boo Boo Kitty represents a confidence, power and fierceness we all have deep down inside. I would encourage anyone that has been thinking about trying drag for the first time, DO IT! This opportunity has been truly transformational, both inside and out.
Thank you to the amazing team at HIV Community Link for putting on this event and bringing awareness to such an important cause. Special thanks to them for connecting me to Scott (AKA: Mama Bear) who would become my official drag mother.
“Major props to all of the performers who were doing this for the first time. It was fun getting ready with you all and sharing in the nervous excitement behind the scenes. We raked in $1475 in tips!”
Thank you Scott for your guidance and reassurance. Also, thank you for your patience in helping me literally transform into Boo Boo Kitty (I know my eyebrows were giving trouble!) Thank you to your partner, Matt, for helping to complete my look. Thank you both, and to all of the other seasoned drag queens, for helping us ‘first-timers’ transform into our alter egos and drag personas. Major props to all of the performers who were doing this for the first time. It was fun getting ready with you all and sharing in the nervous excitement behind the scenes. We raked in $1475 in tips! That is amazing!
Big thanks to everyone that came out and supported the performers and this event. In total the event raised $4858. What a great community of support.
I have to personally thank all of my friends who came out and supported me. If you are reading this, you know how personal and significant this moment was for me and the fact that you all showed up meant the world to me. Hearing you all cheer me on gave me life on stage and I will forever hold that in my heart. I will be forever full of gratitude.
Mike…AKA: Boo Boo Kitty
Learn more about the Calgary AIDS Walk & Run here: www.calgaryaidswalk.ca