“The last time I was here must have been ten years ago, and nothing’s changed: the scenery’s the same, and so is the music…”, I said to my friend, as we entered Sydney’s Arq nightclub, late tonight to the sounds of Kylie Minogue.
“The last time I was here was two weeks ago…” she replied. An answer which would surprise a lot of people, given my friend (like me) is in her fifties, and is fairly straight-laced. However, she works with young people, and over the last few months has been supporting a young man she works with, who has been participating in the “From Drags To Riches” drag queen contest. I felt a bit of a connection with him, as he grew up in a small country town where I had once lived. I can only begin to imagine his journey as a gender-fluid young person.
Tonight was the Grand Final, with $2000 in prize money for the winning contestant. It was down to the final five, and each had to perform both a ballad and up-tempo number. In some ways, we both became drag queen judges in our own right, whispering phrases to each other such as “that one’s too dramatic” , or “that one missed her queue” etc.
The young guy we were supporting performed well, was popular with the audience, and was most definitely “our favourite”. And, he won!!!!!
PS: Please forgive my use/misuse of the personal pronouns, but I believe the young person I’ve been talking about identifies as male, though has been been somewhat gender-fluid over the years. I apologise if I’ve messed the pronouns up.