I am here in Provincetown, Massachusetts for my annual summer stock run. Last night, I attended The Kook Prom, which was put together by my dear friends Penny Champagne and Ryan Landry.
It is a wonderful tradition, the prom, and even though there was a strong flavor of irony to the proceedings, the sense of nostalgia was never lost. The theme was “Leather and Lace” and everyone came dressed in all their prom finery. Drag queens and drag kings decked out in tulle and rented tuxedos drank wine coolers for historical accuracy.
There should be a Society for Anachronistic Living, but not geared toward the Rennaisance, as it usually is, but to fifteen to twenty years ago; real ancient history to most of us. Instead of doublets and Elizabethan ruffs, we should have Gunne Sax frills and parachute pants. These were truly Medieval times.
This event was supposed to be a look back into the past, with an unflinchingly cold and unsentimental stare, but it somehow backfired on us emotionally, and in a good way. When we are able to recreate moments of our lives as we would have wanted them to be, outside of our outsider years, the effect is magical, and everyone is happy, because we are finally allowed to be. This rite of passage, which was once denied, was, last night, embraced. As the queer community comes of age, we find the rituals soothing when we are finally able to claim them for ourselves.
Some people went out of their way to be funny, had a silly costume, or took a virgin flight into transvestism. Others were simply as they wished they could have been then, when they were dependent on their parentally or peer approved false image to survive.
Dressed up or dressed down and out, everyone was equally beautiful.