Guest Post: Don’t Let Them Win


This is a guest post from my friend Severus. I asked him if I could share it here because I thought it was a wonderful post. I hope you folks enjoy it too.

All in all, I consider myself reasonably secure about myself, my relationships, my habits, ways, dealings with people, work, home, – in other words about having my shit together most of the time. I had to learn how to manage my life and survival from the very beginning of my adulthood. My success at everything I have achieved is due to relentless work, discipline, few and calculated risks, but most of all control over myself. I had to learn and perfect Occlumency before the Harry Potter saga has been written.

Even when I indulged in a risky behavior (and sneaking out of a seminary dorm in the middle of the night into a drag bar dressed to the hilt is pretty damn risky) my risks were deliberate and calculated. If “bravery” is taken to mean “doing what you believe needs to be done despite your fear,” then I was brave.

How come then tonight, after we have returned home after a poly/queer/kinky/ play party and fucked like minks, I met my lover’s request to take the dog out with hesitation and fear?

I was in drag, you see. Or, as I would prefer, en femme. Makeup, pearl earrings, the hairdo. The works.

I wanted to remove my make up. What would neighbors say if they saw me? – I thought, although just two hours ago I have pranced en femme across the public garage in broad daylight with a hefty toy bag in my hand. All of a sudden, out of the blue, I felt uneasy – afraid to be seen taking the dog out while wearing makeup.

But the rain was picking up, and the dog had to go, and out we went: I in a polka dotted shirt and glamorous makeup and the canine dog on a perfectly non-kinky leash.

Nothing happened. No one saw me. All was as uneventful as one could wish. But it was not all well with me.

WTF? I wore eye makeup to The Great Dane Pub once. I went en femme to the Walk a Mile In Her Shoes event. I did drag on stage. And here – at home, in the middle of the stormy night, all our neighbors glued to TVs, I feared that perchance they spot me and my eye liner. Perhaps I should think better of my neighbors….

Bad stuff hits us unexpectedly. Just recently a friend of mine suffered for his kink. Just last night I read about discrimination against trans folks (very disturbing and discouraging stats, by the way). Here but by the grace of God go I, I thought.

And yet, if I hide, they win. If I rot in the closet, they win. If I deny myself the simple and yet so life-giving a thing of wearing goddamned makeup while taking out my dog, they – the bigoted, the ignorant, the frightened, the square – win.

I do not want them to win. Oh, how do I NOT – WANT- THEM – TO – WIN.

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  1. I loved this post when I first read it and I still love it now. I originally commented that I feel that if everyone who was a little different could step out of the closet at once. I think we would find that we are not a small minority (or maybe not a minority at all). Sadly though, I hide in a closet of my own, I’m queer and poly and I hide both of these from my family.

    A comment that I didn’t make, due to the nature of the location of the original post, was that I am very thankful for men with the courage to go out en femme or in drag. I have a wonderful little boy about to turn 6, and he is a real individual. He loves pink and trucks and has said that he is part boy and part girl. I don’t know if this is a temporary or life long gender fluidity, but seeing others that are willing to embrace a non-conforming side of themselves has got to be good for his self esteem.

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