Posted by: maxvoltage | October 4, 2011

Adventures of Rubyfruit

Sunday night, I went to the CSS & MEN show at the Wonder Ballroom.  I had a feeling that my friends from the Drag Mansion were up to some kind of outlandish shenanigans, so I sent a text volunteering myself for any type of ridiculous dress-up situation.  Sure enough, they were planning to dress up in Vagina Costumes.

Yes, Vagina Costumes.  Korin (aka Little Tommy Bang Bang) had made these beautiful costumes by hand, for a previous performance.  Apparently a group of them had worn the costumes for San Francisco Pride!  So they were all experienced Vagina wearers.  Me on the other hand, this was my first time.

I thought long and hard about what type of Vagina I would be.  Should I wear my glasses?  What foot-wear would my Vagina wear?  Ultimately, I decided to be my usual boy-ish dyky nerdy gender (tennis shoes, short shorts, leg warmers, glasses.)  Partly to balance out the others’ femme/queen gendered Vaginas, and also because I thought it was important to create visibility for Genderqueer Vaginas.

I arrived at the venue in my regular clothes, and soon-after my three friends arrived wearing their sparkly, beautiful costumes, and handed me a luscious purple Vagina costume.  We whisked off to the bathroom, and I got into costume and was transformed.  Suddenly, everything anyone said became completely hilarious, and I could not stop giggling at the image of the four of us in the mirror.  We admired ourselves and each other for a while, how lovely we looked!  Finally, we were ready.  We entered the Ballroom and all heads turned.  It was glorious.  People swarmed us, with huge grins, asking “where did you get those?!  can we take a picture with you?!”  I felt like some combination of a Disneyland Character, and Lady Gaga.  Gays, straights, men, women, genderqueers; everyone wanted their picture taken with the Vaginas!

A women approached us with name tags (apparently CSS is all about fostering community feeling at their shows and made little heart name tags for the audience.  Cute!)   Suddenly, we were on the spot.  What was my Vagina name?!  While I really like re-claiming pejorative words like Cunt and Pussy, I just didn’t feel like being called either of those all evening by perfect strangers.  I decided instead to channel my nerdy Lesbian roots with the name “Rubyfruit.”  Suddenly, my Vagina character began to come into focus.  Of course I was the nerdy lesbian-feminist Vagina.  I was purple, after all.  Not to mention mine was the only costume with a trim of fir; my Vagina was au-natural.

We had a nice vagina check-in conversation.  We decided that if any of us were feeling overwhelmed or over-heated (those costumes are WARM!) we would check in with the group and all make a decision together about when to change out of the costumes.  We also set up a buddy system (walking around alone in a Vagina costume is way less appealing.  Safety & hilarity in numbers!)

After our collective check-in, and many, many more photos, we were off to our next adventure.  Korin suggested going to the bathroom, so we headed in that direction and quickly decided that obviously we should use the Men’s Room.  We piled in and were followed directly by a Security Guy from the venue, who peaked his head in and said “Do yall REALLY all need to be in here?!”  We calmly looked at him and said “Yes, yes we do.”  Sarah took the flirty route, batting her eyes and saying “We’re not causing any trouble, we promise.”  Korin assumed him we wouldn’t harass anyone.  I was getting ready with my “Bathrooms uphold the oppressive binary social construct” speech, but Korin beat me to the punch by saying: “You don’t know what’s under this Vagina!!”

I’m not sure what moment precisely shifted him, perhaps he realized how ridiculous he would look kicking 4 Vaginas out of the Men’s restroom.  Or perhaps we were just so amusing that he remembered how not to be a Douchey Straight-Dude.  Regardless, he says “okay, you can stay, as long as I can get a picture with you!”  I yelled “bribery accepted!” he left, and we proceeded to do Vagina photo-shoots in front of the urinals.  A while later, he found us and wanted the photos.  We were standing outside the Men’s room, and he suggested, let’s take the photo IN the Men’s Room!  I said “after all, that is where we all first met!” (my Vagina is a hopeless romantic.)  The man who 10 minutes earlier was trying to kick us Vaginas out of the Men’s Room, was now ushering us inside!  Never under-estimate the power of the ridiculous to deescalate a situation!  It was also around this time that Melody (aka Red Vagina) came up with our band name: The Men’s Room Violators!

Do you know what is awkward?  When you see a cute queer, make your flirty/hey I’m noticing you face, forgetting that you are, in fact, dressed like a Vagina, the reality of which you are reminded of by the quizzical look on their face.  Lesson Learned: it is nearly impossible to flirt with someone while wearing a Vagina Costume.

During MEN’s set, we were trying very hard to get JD Sampson’s attention.  Finally, during the very last song “Who I am to feel so free!” JD came over and make a falice with her finger at us.  Oh, the glory.  During CSS’s set, the lead singer yelled VAGINAS!  After the show we of course got photos with both bands, and took photos with what felt like the entire audience by the end of the evening.  Vagina photos all over Facebook, no doubt!

One of my favorite moments, someone asked us “Why are you wearing Vagina costumes?”  And I think it was Sarah who said, simply, “Why not?”

I like my feminism like I like my performance-art; campy, glittery and full of joy.  I would like to live every day as if I were wearing a giant Vagina Costume.

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