Have you ever wondered how to prepare yourself for dressing up as a dragqueen? No? Ok, whatever. I’ll admit that I hadn’t either, up until the other day, but as the moment approached for my official transformation, I began to get a little stressed out. To calm myself, I asked Pan Pan if he needed me to do/bring anything because preparation makes things easier, right? In response I got, “Bi**h, shave your armpits, legs and face”.
……But I don’t need to shave my face? I was way out of my league.
Regardless of my ability to grow facial hair, Pan Pan knows what he’s doing, so I just nodded with complete understanding. After all, not only is Pan Pan a wonderful friend, he is also my boss. When your boss tells you to do something, you just do it.
When Pan Pan isn’t calling me the B-word, he is busy being an amazingly talented dancer, performer and comedian of hilarious remarks. To top it all off, he has this uncanny ability to turn himself into my all time hero, Pangina Heals. She is a waacking dragqueen. If you don’t know what waacking is, here’s an epic video reel. If you don’t know what a dragqueen is, take a hike.
I am in love with dragqueens. Seriously, count how many I follow on Instagram, so being in the presence of Pangina Heals is always such a treat. The thing about Pangina is that she has the ability make me cry tears of overwhelming emotion and then tears of laughter in the span of a 3 minute Beyonce song. Now that is talent.
I’m not sure what is going on with performers these days, but some could learn a thing or two from a good drag show. *cough* Justin Bieber *cough*. Seriously though, the ability that Pangina has to engage with an audience is unsurmountable; Pan Pan calls it musicality, I just call is epic. Whatever it is, I’m sure we can agree that it’s fierce.
With all that being said, you can probably imagine how excited I was to finally have the chance to dress in drag myself. When the time came for my official transformation, Pan Pan began with “erasing the man”. Once again, I was way out of my league.
……Do I have man to erase?
Regardless of my manly traits, Pan Pan did erase my eyebrows using an UHU glue stick from preschool. With my brows gone, my face was slowly covered and contoured into something that looked absolutely nothing like me and, not surprisingly, quite similar to Pangina Heals herself. I was in h-e-a-ven.
After the addition of about 4 sets of eyelashes on each eye, my makeup was finally complete (Note: Pan Pan was wearing 5 lashes on each while applying my makeup). All I needed was my outfit and I would be transformed. This was it, I would finally be a dragqueen!
Once I had my dress, jewelry and wig on, Ms. Purdon was lost somewhere in the midst of makeup, sparkles, sequins, diamonds, tulle and an afro.
There was a new woman in the world and she was named:
She is everything and more. For her one night on this planet, Ms. Purdonkadonk incorporated herself into a drag performance on the roof of Central World (by “incorporate” I mean walk around awkwardly). But that isn’t all, she also rode on the back of a motorbike several kms along Sukhumvit road, walked the length of Soi 11 and ended her travels at the street bar, Cheap Charlie’s.
All the while, Ms. Purdonkadonk was receiving high fives, dropped jaws or repulsed steps backward from all those around her. It was glorious. It was also somewhat terrifying.
One of the things I learned from my time as Ms. Purdonkadonk was the amount of guts it takes to wander around in such a get up. Regardless of the “kind” of attention I was receiving, I was constantly receiving it. Yes, this was something that I had known would happen, but I didn’t quite understand how it would feel until I had experienced it for myself.
Although this day was utterly hilarious, I haven’t laughed that much in ages, it was also an important lesson for me. As someone who has lived her entire life without being distinctly different, it was easy to overlook the amount of strength it takes to be constantly be stared at and judged. The feeling of having every single person walking by drawing conclusions about you without even knowing you is an emotionally exhausting one. For this reason, I walked away from my day as a dragqueen with more respect for the art than ever.
By becoming Ms. Purdonkadonk, I learned that not only is dressing in drag about the glamour, music and drama, but being a dragqueen is also about having the mental strength to let people laugh at you, stare at you and judge you. All the while, staying fabulous. For this reason, when I washed off my makeup that night, not only had I gained immense respect for Pan Pan as Pangina Heals, but I had also gained that same respect for all those who are different, however that may be.
I would like to thank Jovo for kindly putting up with my shenanigans and taking all these wonderful photos.
Ms. Purdonkadonk, I will miss you.
Photos by Jovo Jovanovic
Here, you can watch Pangina Heals dance!