Today I am stuck at home waiting for a package to be delivered so I have been cleaning house and doing online work. I say “stuck” because that’s how I felt when it was sunshine and bluebirds outside, but now it is raining so I don’t really mind. (it was weird, despite the sun you could hear LOUD cracking thunder ominously approaching.) Anyway, along with all that I clearly need to type up our latest excursion for you!
Last Thursday after I had class Manu and I met up in the center to see a show that I think was called “trans/positions.” I really had no idea what we were going to, so I understandably was not sure what I was looking for and walked past the venue and probably would have continued to do so had someone from the university not recognized me and helped me out. I mean really, does this look obvious to you? —> (yep, that’s some anti-reform graffiti)
The space looks like it was an old house, lots of rooms, an entrance hallway—very narrow but it went back for a ways. The show was in a sort of covered atrium/patio looking area.
Having arrived appropriately early we got seats on the stadium-style wooden benches and settled in for what exactly I was not sure.
It started with an old movie of an alien race saying they were planning to take over Earth. The aliens were dressed like the picture above—silver leotard things, capes, and half-globe helmets that had a blinking eye in the center. The video had newer versions of these aliens spliced in and slightly altering the story, but it was a pretty weird story to begin with; something about them wanting this lucha libre fighter who was immune to their teleportation powers and then abducting all these other people just for kicks. Anyway, the modern genderbending versions of the aliens had glittery gold beards and nobody wore shirts but everybody was binding with what looked like ace bandages, and a random selection were in high heels. All were shown running around Bogotá and being generally out of place (like us genderbending people so often are, even when not glittery).
Interspersed with this interplanetary madness were live drag acts. There was some solid talent, both on the mens’ and ladies’ sides. Unfortunately because of the low lighting and quick movements the few pictures I did take didn’t come out too great, but here:
There was even a fan dancer. In the end, the aliens are defeated and all the drag queens seemed pretty pleased with themselves. It is possible the creator of the show wanted deeper analysis on the production, but I am going to leave it at being a fun time.
Reflecting on how rigid gender roles are defined here I realized that this little gathering really was something kind of “edgy.” Yes trans* people often suffer terribly in the states, but generally drag queens (although the butt of jokes and still lampooned) are appreciated or at least seen as harmless. I mean really, RuPaul’s Drag Race, basically America’s Next Top Model for drag queens, is a TV show. So finding this here, where Manu and I can be taken for boys purely because of our short hair, it was kind of neat. The underground is everywhere, and you can’t stop us from messing with your heterosexist bi-gendered culture!
(sorry, sometimes I am an angry queer)
* the asterisk in “trans*” was not a footnote, but if for some reason you thought it was, here you go. The asterisk functions like a “wild card” (mmm comp sci) and lets the word refer to transgender, transexual, transvestite, and any other trans.