I’m obsessed with drag queens. I love them. RuPaul’s Drag Race is my not-so-guilty pleasure, and To Wong Foo is one of my favorite movies.
Now what could a middle-aged Methodist from a small town who personally prefers Land’s End over Louboutins find in this world of sequins, wigs and general diva-liciousness? I think it boils down to the flat-out fearlessness of these guys.
Drag Race has showcased some of the backstories on their contestants. Not only have they each had to deal with the challenges of being a gay man, they add another layer by choosing to dress up as women. Sadly, that’s alienated some of them from their families, gotten them beaten up and frequently made their daily life less than fun.
But has it stopped them? Hellllll-to the-no. These guys embrace their wildly creative visions and put ’em out there in the world with a hip snap and “How ya like me now?” fierceness. They are role models for overcoming Fear — or at least, not letting it hold them back from being who they want to be.
And this is where The Devil comes in (and no, not in the fundagelical homophobic sense). Whenever this card comes up in someone’s reading, I remind them that the scary dude pictured is not actually Satan — it’s what he represents, which is fear. Take a closer look:
He’s huge and scary. The people beneath him are wearing chains, attached to heavy stones. They are too terrified to move and think the stones wouldn’t budge anyway. But wait– check out those chains again. They’re loose and could easily be taken off. It’s just that the folks are too freaked out by the Devil’s “ooga booga” hollering above them that they don’t know it.
To me, those stones represent the things that make us feel “stuck” in a bad place. It frequently comes up with folks dealing with drug, alcohol, gambling, toxic relationships or other unhealthy things, but it also applies to any issue that makes you feel powerless. The notion of change can be so overwhelming that it’s easier to stay stuck. That’s the Devil, in your head, telling you that you’ll fail, its too risky, you’re not good enough, yadda yadda yadda.
One thing I’ve learned is that the IDEA of your worst fear is actually worse than if it actually happens. I once worried about losing a particular relationship; the thought of him ending it was too painful to even think about. But when it happened, I had a revelation — I was still alive, it didn’t destroy me after all. I was still my same bad-assed self –even with mascara running down my face (which a drag queen would never let happen).
So next time you’re facing That Thing That Always Trips You Up, remember the lesson of the drag queens: put on your sparkly heels, lift off those tacky chains, tell Mr. Satan to kiss your fabulous ass and start walking towards something better.