Secret Life of Summer Seasons: Drag is Not a War

I no longer feel the need to start a war within my own community, but I choose to have the outlook of trying to figure out how to build it back up.
I no longer feel the need to start a war within my own community, but I choose to have the outlook of trying to figure out how to build it back up.

Why I Stopped Feuding

By Summer Seasons, PQ Monthly

As a baby gay and starting drag it became very apparent that there were people who I perceived to be on the top of the spectrum, and those who were on the bottom. The top seemed so cool and polished and the bottom was fresh and energetic, but not very pretty at all. We all started somewhere, and as pretty as I thought I was then, I was definitely not on what I thought was the top.

I started drag in an era before YouTube, where you actually had to meet with a makeup artist, grab a Kevin Aucoin book at Powell’s, or find someone to teach you how. I’m forever thankful for those that sat me down and taught me the craft, and soon it became apparent that I was making a name for myself. It came time for me to pick a family, and that seemed the most important chore of all; you had to pick the people that you chose to align with and pretty much swear off anybody else. It was very much a Capulet-versus-Montague-type scenario.

I chose my family and began making it my mission to make everyone else look bad and my family look the best; however I soon began to realize that I didn’t really align with those people at all. They had taught me a lot, but I was a very different person than they were, and I decided to start my own family. I recruited and adopted the up and coming stars, and worked very hard to make a name for myself. Divisions started happening between all the different families and it soon became obvious that you had to pick a side—and you better pick wisely or else you’d end up being shunned by everyone.

None of us would ever dare work together; we spent tons of time figuring out how to put each other down and hating each other because we were different, and all we ever did was focus on the negative. We often sabotaged each other’s shows or events because that’s what you did when you were a child.

As I grew into being an adult and started performing at adult venues, this kind of behavior carried over. If I could start a fight with someone, prove myself to be better than them, then I’d climb higher—in my mind. People often had similar attacking behavior towards me, because it was pretty clear I was unafraid to take anyone on.

As a person and an entertainer I didn’t enjoy much growth at all during this time. For me it was all about cutting down the person next to me. I never really developed any friends, mostly just frenemies—people I didn’t consider to be close, but I kept close to me so that I could be prepared to take them on should I need to.

One day I realized that a large part of my behavior was because I was jealous of some of these other people. I wanted to have great makeup, good hair, a good lip synch, or sparkly jewels and clothes.  Some of them were hosting all the gigs, and I wanted in. So I began to study them, absorb what I could and take my favorite parts of all of them into creating the brand that would become Summer Lynne Seasons.

Somewhere along the way I learned that all this fighting or lashing out at people would get me nowhere. It’s natural for people to want to be the alpha, but I needed to change my outlook. I had to become the best ME that I could be. I no longer needed to compare myself to other people, and worry about what they were doing, but start to create those opportunities for myself.  By celebrating what was different about myself, I could find my own niche.

I no longer feel the need to start a war within my own community, but I choose to have the outlook of trying to figure out how to build it back up. We all came from a hard place, many of us with fear or terror going through high school, and proving my dominance over anybody never got me anywhere. It wasn’t until I realized how to make a better me that I understood this though. I’m no longer worried about what anybody else is doing, because I’m working on fixing myself.

When I took the time to celebrate that we are all going to be different and stopped trying to separate myself from them, but unite with them, all that I was looking for came to me. I know I’m not perfect, and that’s okay with me, because right now I’m the best me that I can be. I don’t have the time to fight anymore because I’m too busy celebrating life. My fight is being used to help charity and to get rid of Stigma for HIV/AIDS. I’m not backing down from the fight, I’m just fighting for a better thing.