Category Archives: drag queens

Traillotta Hikeona, Natural Drag Queen

Miss Winter Ball

Miss Winter Ball

I was — no doubt — divinely inspired when I gave my favorite trail her drag name, Traillotta Hikeona. Traillotta, my best GIRLfriend, is a fabulously fierce queen, no matter the season.

In winter, Traillotta is SICKENING in her luxurious white coat, puffy hat, and fuzzy mittens. Yes, girl, when it snows, she becomes the BELLE of the Winter Ball, y’all! Devastatingly gorgeous and a bit mysterious, she reminds me of the edgy Nina Flowers. Queens on ice, SO nice!

Springtime is when Traillotta starts pulling out the color as she blossoms with the new season. She’s working her quirky look with some ZANY greens and FUN pastels. Gosh, is that Tammie Brown or Traillotta out here in nature?  Wide-eyed and a little CRAY CRAY, Traillotta has a renewed, if a little awkward, pep in her step.

In the summertime, Traillotta is one LEGENDARY lady boy with her lush carpet couture.  Servin’ up Supermodel of the WORLD realness with hair so damn big that it casts shadows for days. Oh yes, like RuPaul, Traillotta is the bees knees, Hunty!

In the autumn, Traillotta reminds me of the beautiful Latrice Royale. She’s LARGE AND IN CHARGE with her rich colors and crisp feel — pure ELEGANZA! Girlfriend changes her look and dons a fall time frock with a flowing train of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns.  No T, no shade, but I just saw a wild turkey in your dress, girl.

No matter what she’s wearing, Traillotta Hikeona is just being herself — telling her T — as we kiki along. Yep, Traillotta is one fierce — NATURAL — queen!

Drag Queens and Me

Latrice Royale -- Fierce Queen

Latrice Royale — Fierce Queen

I know way more than I should about drag queens. And it’s a little curious, since they find joy in being what I resented. For me, they have come to symbolize art through identity and, along the same lines, I have found my identity through art.

Growing up in the South, I never felt like I fit in or had my own identity. When it appeared as if I was the stereotypical southern girl, I was anything but. Being other and trying to pass as “normal” made me feel stifled and anxious. I never felt it was safe to be myself. I was raised to be a certain kind of girl and it was painful if I didn’t fall in line. If I wasn’t wearing enough make up, it became an issue and I was made fun of. I often looked a clowny-girl mess and no amount of makeup or hairspray could hide my insecurity. I was spooked looking in the mirror; I saw my drag doppelgänger, not the real me. I was acting — using a collection of red, white, blue and pink archetypes — with a through-line of fear. I recall not knowing what to do with my hands, an actor not knowing her character. It was painful being somebody else’s version of me.

I wanted to be like my middle school art and music teachers. I wanted to have my special thing, the creative thing that I picked. I settled for the expected activities of cheerleading and dance, but my heart was never in either. I felt as though I didn’t have a voice, so I kept going along like a good girl. I told myself that cheerleading and dance were sort of creative, but I really wanted sketch books and lead, canvases and paint, a pottery wheel and clay, and a full drum set with the big wooden sticks. I wanted to swap my preppy clothes for whatever was comfortable and get paint, clay, and lead all over my apron and even on my clothes just like our cool art teacher. I wanted to do my thing!

In high school, I had mostly given up. I would walk the halls in my cheerleading uniform and go past the art room feeling the pinch of sadness. I envied this one guy, who was especially good at drawing, and I would look to see if he was in art class. I didn’t have a crush on him; I secretly wanted to be him. I wasn’t transgender or anything like that, I just wanted to be the opposite of what I was. I was long over the hyper feminine thing and exhausted from trying to be some ridiculous version of a southern fried girly girl. I wanted to have the strength to stand up and say who I was and finally be myself. I didn’t yet have that strength. I do now.

A few months back (on RuPaul’s Drag Race S4 Reunion), Latrice Royale — truly, one of the best drag queens EVER — read a fan letter from the mother of a bullied girl. In this touching letter, the mom shared how her daughter looked to Latrice as a powerful example of strength and pride. I wish I’d had my own version of Latrice. Her fierceness is inspiring. It takes balls — albeit tucked ones — to be yourself!