Featured For many of us ... Such a *transformation* is impossible. [a tid-bit about my MtF transition]
Shannon De Vaughn | The Million Dollar Look
My very first experience - my AHA! moment was when I saw the beautiful Shannon DeVaughn -- known then as "The Million Dollar Look" -- on stage back in 1992 at the The Carousel II. I was 17: young, dumb, naive, pre-blossoming, a caterpillar whose cocoon had not even been thought into being at this particular point.
She was beautiful. She was in the wind. She was flitting all about the stage: spinning, twirling, giving life, sensual smiles, gracious nods of acknowledgement. She was glamouring the house down BOOTS!
She was the room's sole butterfly, instantly becoming my inspiration; I was captivated by her along with everyone else in the bar that hot Summer night so many years ago.
And in that special moment I saw not only Shannon's gorgeous breasts, her long flowing locks of golden hair as wings, but literally understood in that very moment a realization, I saw a reflection of an extremely new, impossible, yet obviously possible definitive of who and what I could be; A definition of what I AM. A woman!
So ... I was inspired to do drag for Wednesday talent night at the The Carousel II. It was an intriguing experience for me, because at this point I was quite introverted ... At school anyway. I was in our high school Masquers drama club ... As a techie. I ran the spotlight, ran the lighting production board, installed various lighting in the school auditorium and a myriad of other tasks behind the scene.
It was thrilling to be part of our school productions in whatever capacity; There was a semblance of inclusion. I fondly recall being a part of the Godspell production my senior year highschool. I wanted to be part of the cast truly, but as a behind-the-scene hidden "boy" as it were, I didn't really want that spotlight on me.
The acceptance and love I received from my LGBTQ+ family was so extremely motivational and inspiring and compelling though, that I dared to step on the stage as a performer, an artist, a drag queen. I was damn good too! "Beauti-FISH!" I was called, "fish" being an affirmation of femininity and being able to pass as cis-gender female.
I was coming into myself -- or rather I was busting completely out of the closet -- lip-syncing, dancing, feeling the hell out of "Giving Him Something He Can Feel" by En Vogue, the song originally made famous by the incomparable Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin herself. May she rest in peace.
I was getting my entire life performing the En Vogue cover.
I was feeling like a real woman. And it was so entirely freeing, a liberation that I thought rather impossible for me as a somewhat extroverted, NOW: young lady.
Doing drag on a stage of absolute acceptance, though, was my beginning soiree into the creation, or rather the metamorphosis of Jacquii Cooke. At the end of the day - I was *NOT* wearing a costume as it were. I couldn't really take the "drag" off. I didn't want to take it off. I had began to blossom into myself. And it was a glorious realization!
Jacquii Cooke [June 2019]
My brief flirtation with the world of drag was my TADA! moment. It was like TADA! I'm a woman!!! It was magical and it did become instructive as for who I was then, and what/who I was to become. The experience allowed me to say, "I'm not a man. And I don't want to be a man. I cannot be a man."
I once was a boy named Adonis though. And I'm completely comfortable with this truth of mine. In fact, my rather personal poem Limerick (about adonis), which was composed back in 2006, opens with the following lines:
Yes indeed I am comfortable in this truth of mine. I have to be. And I can only hope that my fellow transgender sisters and brothers are comfortable in their truth as well.I once was a boy named Adonis...
Now I: fem-fatale Pocahontas
I'm optimistic that in time, the entire world will also be comfortable in the truth that transgender people, although obviously of the minority, are simply part of our diverse humanity and deserve the same kindness & respect, and should be given the same regard for human dignity that everyone wants for their own selves and those that they love!
In the words of Lourdes Ashley Hunter, "I want to be seen, affirmed and celebrated as a whole damn person... I want to wake up without the threat of violence!"
Can we get an amen up in here?!
Article Author: Jacquii Cooke aka MsJacquiiC
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