Sherman Oaks, California (1976)
This was my first time in (public) drag. I always loved to turn my bathrobe into a hula skirt and use my bathrobe tie to make Native American pigtails.
But I didn't know how to make a Bozo bald skull, so my mom - drag icon that she was to me - helped me create this gypsy fortune teller costume.
In my mind now, I see myself here as a Shirley Temple meets Brooke Shields type of gal. I was stunning.
So stunning in fact, that children and parents at the party were extremely shaken up as I took off my wig to eat a hot dog, as suggested by my friend's mom.
Why would you need to be bewigged to eat? I still wonder about that now! I can still feel the pleasure I got out of freaking everyone out, as I continued to chew.
As an artist and performer today, I still revel in that kind of shock value. I consider myself gay, but I feel that a part of me is transgender. Around that age my mom asked me if I wanted to be a girl, and I said no because of the pain of giving birth. But I secretly wanted to have long hair and run around in frilly dresses.
It turns out my friend in the photo (my friend from kindergarten through high school) is gay too. But we never told each other through the years, as we both came out separately during our college days. __________________________________________________
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"