In my previous post I wrote about my experience with Halloween and gender norms in college.
Fast forward to 1994. I was in grad school and spent a lot of time at an LGBT goth club (as the only lesbian among loads of pale and moody gay and bi men). Halloween was like the High Holy Day for that crowd, but the costume I remember most was worn by a drag queen who came to the club decked out in black Doc Martens, semi-opaque black tights, cutoff jean shorts, a purple body suit, and a black velvet choker, with her hair done up in a twist in the back with a large section of long curls framing the side of her face*.
As soon as she saw me and shrieked, “Do you like it, girlfriend? This is my tribute to your fabulous outfits!” Apparently I tended to wear variations on the same theme to the club each week, but at least that made me recognizable enough for a drag queen to dress up as me!
* This isn’t a great photo, but it’s the only one I have that shows how I used to wear my hair to the club. I was impressed that the drag queen nailed this part!
My costume for that year was considerably less recognizable than the drag queen’s, as I took on the theme of “dress as you aren’t” and attempted to go butch, but not very convincingly:
But about a year later, I moved to San Francisco, cut my hair short, and started wearing men’s clothes on a regular basis, and I still don’t know what that was about. Just a “butch phase,” I guess! (I refer to it as “The Year of Living Androgynously.”)
(The original photo was too dark, so I tried to improve it using Fotor’s vintage effect and a few tricks in Pixelmator. But this was the best I could do. I’ve long since lost the original, so I can’t make a better scan of it.)