The holiday spirit was in abundance at a drag queen show I attended Saturday night at a bar called Rooster’s in West Palm Beach. Upon entering the bar, I was inundated by multicolored flashing lights, dazzling ornaments, and cotton snow dangling from the top liquor shelf. I greeted the party that had arrived earlier (I was late coming from work) and had a Stella Artois placed in my hand. The sounds of PSY’s Gangnam Style entranced the bubbling crowd and induced them to dance while an air of jolliness permeated throughout. Although I was there to see my first ever drag queen show live and in person scheduled to begin at 11:30pm, the queens arrived fashionably late. But no matter, the show was worth the wait.
The MC for the night was Melissa St. John who was also the featured performer. She changed wardrobe at least 3 times, looking drag-fabulous as she worked the crowd over with jokes, opportunities for audience participation, and lip sync. Melissa’s song of choice was Whitney Houston’s One Moment in Time and as the lyrics rang out, patrons approached the stage with tips and hand shakes as gestures of approval.
Next up was Daisy, dressed like a sexy Mrs. Claus. Daisy came across as a seasoned pro; a veteran stage performer, who picked the perfect moments to vogue for the cameras while mimicking the singers’ audio tracks. Daisy even changed out of her Mrs. Claus attire and into a Christmas oriented clown costume to perform Shirley Q. Liquor’s 12 Days of Kwanzaa.
The final performer of the evening was Eddy who strutted out to Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like a Woman! Eddy’s routine was graceful. She moved from side to side on the stage, underneath a rainbow disco ball and next to a rainbow Christmas tree, seeming to enjoy every moment of the audience’s attention, which erupted in applause when she was done.
When the show was over, I felt happy to have witnessed it all. Around the bar were symbols of holidays from various religious and cultural traditions: A Hanukkah menorah, Christmas trees, and a life-sized Santa Claus. I felt no sense of animosity, hatred, violence or intolerance. I guess after watching 2 straight days of news coverage in Newtown, Connecticut, of the gruesome mass shooting that occurred on Friday, it was healing to be in the presence of loving people, who’s only intended target was to celebrate life.