I Got Made Over by a Drag Queen

My love of drag queens dates back to my elementary school days. It was the early '80s, when Dustin Hoffman slayed as Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie, Bosom Buddies was making Tom Hanks a star, and Punky Brewster had successfully empowered all the tomboys to wear hot-pink bandanas, polka-dotted socks, and rainbow high-tops—all at the same time. I decorated my Keds with Puffy Paint and begged my mom for a perm, even though I had naturally curly hair. (Yes, hairstylists were committing such atrocities long before Marcia Clark.)

With every new sign of puberty came a new insecurity, which slowly chipped away at my childlike boldness. That didn't matter, anyhow, because by high school it had become clear that sass would get me nowhere. Adults, especially male adults, are petrified of sassy teenage girls. They act out their fears by assigning book reports on Of Mice and Men and the Catcher in the Rye, and by giving detention.

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To me, drag queens were the dream: They were living out loud, while my friends and I were told to quietly write our thoughts and feelings down in diaries. That's why, when the opportunity recently arose to have Thorgy Thor from RuPaul's Drag Race make me over so my outsides matched my insides, I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT.

After many years of working in original web video production, I am completely aware of how unnatural and inhibited I look on camera, but if I didn't take advantage of this gift from Logo, the lame, uninspiring high-school teachers (and various other authoritative figures in a teen's life) would win. And I was not about to let that happen.

Check out my transformation from boring mom in black turtleneck sweater to fearless sexy beast:

I was my own spirit animal that day. I looked so fabulous that I kept my new face on 'til nightfall. I went for a stroll through Chinatown in the afternoon sun, bought a lemon bun from a woman who refused to catch my eye (some people in this world shine too brightly, I guess), and then, after a few minutes of feeling what it's like to never leave a stage, hopped in an Uber car and back to the office to werk it down the fashion and beauty hallway. I can still hear the snaps.

P.S. Before Thorgy took to my face with an arsenal of Alcone products, I shot this selfie with Snapchat's drag filter. Thorgy never saw the pic, but dayum, she sure put it to shame.

drag-snapchat
Jennifer Pena

RuPaul's Drag Race airs Mondays at 9/8c on Logo.

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