To writers (& all artists): don't ever wait to begin. There is no time, ever, that you will be so prepared and inspired as to immediately birth the perfect, complete piece. I just allowed myself to write five incoherent pages and realized that, while I already had the support of my advisor to insert my own narrative into my thesis, to write truthfully about drag, I must totally radicalize the form of scholarly writing. In this moment of artistic & scholastic liberty, I realized that I am writing both a thesis and a one-(wo/hu)man performance piece.
Drag in the post modern age is about transcending barriers; I cannot tell a new truth inside an old structure. Liberate yourself. Be spherical instead of linear. Hold contradictions in your mind and wait for the truth of the paradox to reveal itself. Be brave. Be brave with me. Help me be brave, when I doubt my own voice and think this was all a grandiose, terrible, very bad, very scary idea.
It probably helps to endlessly re-read the Tao Te Ching.
My friend Mel and I, with props provided by Kings n' Things from Austin, TX, posing in their hotel room at the twelfth annual International Drag King Extravaganza. After an amazing series of interviews for my thesis (and the upcoming documentary being produced which gave rise to my own studies) they wanted to dress us up and have a photo shoot. Clearly, we happily obliged.