This is me (out of drag obvs) and my friend Stan, he was born in 1933 and is the most sprightly 85-year-old I have ever met. He’s been working with the fabulous Jacksons Lane on a film project to empower older people to engage with their local community and challenge themselves to try something new.
I have been so privileged to have spent time with Stan exploring the world of being a drag queen, a world that he has always adored but never had the opportunity to be a part of.
Every drag queen remembers their first time in drag, for me it was almost four years ago. But next Wednesday (21st March) Stan will be taking the plunge and being the drag queen diva he’s dreamt of being for the past 85 years.
From our conversations, Stan’s told me stories about how his father wanted him to be a boxer and how he had to hide his femininity from his family. In his words, ‘getting a broken nose was a badge of honour’ whilst growing up, so breaking in a new pair of heels is a world away from what Stan once knew.
At 18 he was a professional boxer, Stan showed me photographs of his pro-boxing days and his physique would put any masc4masc guy to shame! But Stan always wanted to experiment, his mother was horrified when she found him prancing around in a mini skirt which led to him feeling ashamed whenever he caught himself being feminine off guard.
Meeting guys like Stan puts things in to perspective. It’s easy for me to take what I do as a flamboyantly outrageous show-off for granted, but for some people it takes them a lot longer to have the courage and confidence to be the real person they want to be.
Flash forward to 2018 and Stan will be making his debut as ‘Simply Shirley’ at my show A Night With Fagulous at Her Upstairs. He’s a bit nervous about it all but I know he’ll be fabulous- he’s got his Shirley MacLaine wig and a pair of wedges from the market and we’re even doing a duet together!
I would love more than anything for Stan to have a huge standing ovation from the biggest audience possible – he’s been waiting 85 years for it! Its free entry (VIP Tables available!) so there are no excuses not to come along on the 21st of March for what is going to be the most special show I have ever done.