Dating a Drag Queen is Serious Business
By Summer Lynne Seasons, PQ Monthly
When I first started doing drag, my drag mother would always say to me, “Everyone loves a drag queen, but nobody falls in love with them.” It seemed like such a daunting feeling to embark on this journey knowing that I was most likely going to end up alone. Luckily for me, I already had a boyfriend whom was very supportive so it sort of left my mind for quite some time. I did however watch many of my friends stumble along the way, and eventually encountered my own stigma as well.
My Drag sisters started putting boys into 4 categories, and I soon learned they were often right.
1. Boys who wanted to date you for the fame that you could help them achieve.
2. Boys who wanted to date you and have sex with you in your drag persona 100% of the time.
3. Boys who didn’t care about it either way they just loved you.
4. Boys who would absolutely NOT date you if you did drag.
Boy number 3 was what we most commonly sought after, but he seemed to be so elusive. Numbers 1, 2, 4 were hands down never going to be options for me, so I set about on the single life, until I eventually met the perfect man—and discovered him to be a number 4. I was left with one of the most gut wrenching decisions I’ve ever made. Do I give up drag and date the “love of my life” or do I let him go? After much contemplation, I decided to give it all up and bury Summer permanently. Never one to be under-dramatic, I went and got Summer “The Season” tattooed on me, gave most of my drag to my daughter Jersey, and wrapped what I couldn’t part with (of Summer’s) in a tub and buried her in the back yard of my condo complex.
The amount of personal shame I felt during this period of my life eventually became more than I could bear. As my relationship unraveled, one thing was clear. Summer was a part of me and she was here to stay. As I picked up the pieces of my shattered life I went out and dug “Her” back up. Somehow all of it was just as I had left it and I went to work on making my return bigger and better than ever. I poured my heart into the stage, the Imperial Sovereign Court system, and working to raise money for charity.
I began to start dating again and one thing became painfully clear to me, nobody was ever going to be my number 3. How was I ever going to erase the stigma that men put on drag queens when we had done it to ourselves? My sisters always said it was a big no-no for 2 queens to date, even calling it “Kai-Kai.” I vowed to make my experience different, and was ready to educate people on the matter. I dated my first drag queen shortly after that and I was unafraid of the criticism that came my way. If we couldn’t support us dating each other, how were we supposed to ask anyone else to support us?
It became a personal mission of mine to educate my potential lovers on the matters of drag and love. I began distinguishing that I looked at drag much as I looked at characters in movies or stage plays. Angelina Jolie can play a wonderful bad ass, but that doesn’t make her one in real life. I am much the same way about my drag. It is an extension of the person that I am, but not what makes or breaks me. I quickly shut down anyone who wanted to sleep with Summer by explaining that underneath all the smoke and mirrors was a hairy man, who was happy to be one at the end of his stage time; if they were interested in that, then they could be with me. I also became unafraid to “out” myself as a drag queen. You either were okay with it, or you weren’t, and if you weren’t I just don’t have time for you.
My life motto since those days has become “If you like it, great, if you don’t, that’s okay too, but just allow me to be me, and I’ll continue to allow you to do the same.” I’ve encountered some people along the way who’ve been resistant to experience all that I have to offer, but I’m no longer afraid to not be my authentic self. Summer is a part of who I am, but not what makes up the core of me. I’m still that shy guy who likes to watch horror films and My Little Pony episodes, but I’ve just found something that I happen to be really good at. My love for my friends and giving back to my community has fulfilled me until now, and I have no regrets about any of it. I recently put myself back on the market and I find it to be better than ever. While I’m not really looking for a husband, I’m no longer afraid if one comes my way.