Day 20: Rosa goes to Mardi Gras 2010 (part 1)

I never 'do drag'! I don't feel comfortable dressing in women’s clothes because... I learned from an early age that being feminine or gay and feminine was not acceptable in a hetero sexual society, even today in male gay circles it is often frowned upon.
Doing drag has therefore become a big deal for me, conditioned out of me to such an extent that I feel I can't do it even if I wished to. Going in drag feels like a bad dream in which you suddenly realise you are not wearing any clothes in public!

So I gave myself the challenge to 'do' drag. First in a semi-private and 'safe' environment at the dress-up Christmas party at work, I took on 'Rosa', a cleaning lady as my character. I was nervous beyond belief. Afterwards I realised how liberating it was, but not liberating enough. It was only a first step in claiming back the power that I had lost by being fearful in many homophobic situations throughout my life.

With this first challenge completed it was time to take the next step: taking part in drag, in public, in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney, Australia AND fly there... in drag.

Thank God Air NZ put on a Pink Flight from Auckland to Sydney, not much of a challenge you may think, but... internal fear was still overwhelming. I made a doll, mini Rosa, as a 'stand-in' for Rosa on the domestic flight from Wellington to Auckland as I expected it to be an ordinary flight. Taking a dressed-up doll through check-in and on a 'normal flight' was in itself a challenge. Feel the fear and do it anyway I reminded myself again and again. I filmed the trip myself, producing plenty of shaky footage, but it is the proof that I did it. I am done now with the challenge, no longer carry the fear, I have claimed back the power I lost and feel soooo much better and stronger for it.

Part 2 featuring Rosa and Mini Rosa walking in the Parade and interacting with a 300.000 strong audience, clowning around as a cleaning lady removing 99.9% of all historical homophobia, in the crowd and of course myself will follow.

Big thanks to Air New Zealand for creating the Pink Flight with all its trimmings, and special thanks for the drag queens who escorted the passengers, you were my guardian angels. You were all fabulous! XXX.