Super Lady!

Yesterday I was sitting in my supervisor’s office talking about the progress of my PhD. We chatted about the upcoming trip to San Francisco for the Faux Queen Pageant and I expressed how excited I was to be involved in this queer community event. I sat on the other side of the desk in black tights, collared shirt and a purple wool sweater which used to belong to my fiancé before he shrunk it in the wash. I had my hair down and my iPad sitting on my lap. There was nothing particularly flamboyant or eye catching about my appearance (except for the black glitter sneakers that I had been lusting over for the last 12 months and finally bought!). My supervisors didn’t notice my sparkly sneakers, tucked away under the desk, and just saw “book worm” me.

On this day, one of my supervisors said to me, “You’re like Clark Ken and Superman, or whatever Wonder Woman’s day name was and Wonder Woman”. In one sense I think that is kind of true and it is certainly nice to think of myself as a mild mannered researcher who can transform into another version of myself with lots of fabo super powers. But what is difficult about this analogy for me, apart from the obvious fact that I don’t have super powers, is the suggestion that my fabo super-drag self is more real than the mild mannered researcher. I’ve also been thinking about those post WW2 super heroes and remember that at all times, they are hiding something. When Clark Kent is Clark Kent he is hiding his powers and identity as an alien, he is passing for human and normal. When Clark Kent is Superman he may relish and succeed in his superman identity, but not even his closest friend and partner Lois Lane knows that Clark Kent is superman. Further, he still manages to hide his alien identity and is seen by Metropolis as a Super “Man”. One of us who is special, not Other.

Am I really like Clark Kent and Superman? Am I always hiding something? Is everyday book worm me just passing for normal, or is it the other way around? Is super fabo drag me passing as queer and non-normative? Maybe it’s more like a duality of self; that I am always a mild mannered nerd and a feisty bogan faux queen, and I just choose which one to present at any given time? I’m not sure…

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