Drag Wars 2018

 

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So recently I found myself back in my old university town of Cheltenham when I attended two out of the three shows of Drag Wars 2018 completion. Unfortunately I was unable to go to heat one due to being at Pride. This was the first Drag Wars I’ve attended, or any drag competition to be honest. The competition is a spin off from, Felicia’s Drag Race, done by my friend, Miss Felicia. The competition is run by Misty Monique. A Drag Queen with a unique and literally out of this world look who won Drag Race in 2015.

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So heat two consisted of serval acts for whom we had to use our tickets to vote for. To be fair every act was not only good but very different to each other. Some were just a bit weaker than others. Among them one shone out to me, Ophelia Cox, Gloucester’s youngest Drag Queen. A fantastic act with a few little tricks up her sleeve (or more to the point down her dress) and she has a great classy look. I was definitely impressed by her style and I loved the dress she was wearing. I was able to talk to her afterwards to find out the make and where to get one from. (Which I promptly did with a view of doing a Jessica Rabbit style photo set sometime soon.) So that was one of my votes used before I even saw the rest.

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Another of my votes went to Hevvi Flo, young, energetic, memorising. The show she put on was like nothing I’d seen before. The moves that she did on stage was amazing. It was clear early on that she was definitely a favourite to go through to the next round. The judges voted highly of her.
My third and final vote was harder to cast. I was torn between a few of the acts. True I could have cast a second vote for Ophelia but felt I should spread my vote. In the end my final vote went to Semi Colon, a woman that not only gave a good show but put across a message about accepting yourself. Ultimately and rightly (IMO) it was Ophelia and Hevvi Flo that went through to the final.
So a few weeks later I find myself back to watch the final. Sadly Hevvi Flo had to pull out beforehand due to illness, a shame as she was a favourite to win. There was also an act brought back, Astro, from heat one, who gave an enjoyable performance. Ophelia gave another good performance although it felt a little less snazzy then the first. There were still a few surprises in her performance however.
They were followed by the two winners from heat one, Ravenna Slayshon and Sage. For me personally Sage didn’t hit the right spot for me but the act was good and very emotional. You could tell it was very personal and I couldn’t fault it. Then there was Ravenna. Wow. This Queen knew how to put on a show. Dragged to the stage on a blanket pulled by four guys who then helped lift her up onto stage it was an amazing performance. For a little pub in Cheltenham it was almost like a show by Madonna or Gaga in a stadium. Her performance was faultless. Sadly, for me, her performance was overshadowed by a rather large and very vocal fan base.
So when it came to voting it was a no brainer. All three of my votes went to Ophelia Cox. Sadly however it was Sage and Ravenna who were the clear winners going thorough to the final stage of the competition. This then left me with a dilemma as it was hard to choose who to vote for in this round. Both were very good. Both deserved the vote. I held off for most of the voting time but eventually (maybe wrongly) my mind was made up by Ravenna’s own fans. Their antics and attitude towards the other acts had annoyed me and so Sage got my vote. Ultimately though Ravenna was the winner and to be fair she is going to be fantastic but hopefully many of the other acts I saw will go on to have great success. They certainly deserve it.
So that was Drag Wars 2018 and I loved it and look forward to Drag Wars 2019. There was an incredible atmosphere at both shows, and presumably heat one, with the place packed out. The final finished with the acts, judges and hosts performing Lady Marmalade. A fitting show stopper.
Already I have tickets for Misty Monique’s next show at Christmas, Oh my Drag – An X-rated Xmas.

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It’s going to be amazing and I’m looking forward to because like Drag Wars it will feature a Drag Queen who has become one of my favourites. No not one of the acts but Luna Lakes, Misty’s cohort and pre show host. She performed for the opening of the shows as well as throughout and was brilliant. Ok, I’m happy to admit I may just have a little crush on her. Her look is amazing as well as the persona and she just blew me away. The interactions between here and Misty make for a great double act. Even a live Facebook feed that they did together out of drag just shows how much chemistry these two have.
So not only did I enjoy the show but it’s also made me question even more where I want to go with myself. I’m still not sure if I’m Trans or just enjoy becoming female for a little time in an artistic way to take photos. I do want to get better with both my look and how I model myself in the photos. At present out of two hundred photos maybe only five or six I’m happy with. It may well be that I could be happy in doing drag. I already have a stage name in my head. Cherry Ade, cool yeah? (Well I like it). So this is something I’m going to look into. It’s not the first time I’ve considered it. Many years ago when in College I thought about doing drag but never did. Drag Wars has certainly proven inspirational.
So I have plans to get some professional help with make-up and to talk with Miss Felicia for some tips and I’ll see where I go. I’d love to have a look like Luna and Ophelia, except unfortunately older. Maybe sometime it’ll be me up there on stage trying to impress the judges and the audience without fainting. And I don’t think I’d even be that worried about winning. I’d just love to have the courage to have a go and hopefully not suck. All I’ve got to do is develop some talent first and judging by the acts I saw I’ll have some hard work ahead of me.

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Photos of Ophelia Cox and Misty Monique used with kind permission. Links to their Facebook site below.

https://www.facebook.com/themistymonique/?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOpheliaCox/services/?ref=page_internal

Plus links to Miss Felicia and Luna Lakes

https://www.facebook.com/Miss-Felicia-215562955978/

https://www.facebook.com/delunasional/

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbowfest, Worcester

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So last night (22/9/17) I went to my first LGTB event. I had planned on going to Gloucester Pride earlier in the year but family commitments clashed. As it was my first time I had no idea what to expect and despite my enthusiasm to go I had reservations. The fact that it took place on a Friday and I couldn’t get the day off work meant that I would be arriving late as the event started at four. So it wasn’t until I left work at half five that I decided to change into the clothes I had brought with me and actually go. Even on the way up it was still a case of thinking that any moment I may just turn back. There was friend inviting me out for a few beers locally and having to drive to and from Worcester meant that I wouldn’t be able to drink at the show.
Never the less I carried on regardless even though my Sat Nav itself seemed by universal force trying to stop me by playing up and trying to take me to different places to the one I wanted to go. The song ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ playing on the CD as I try to reset google maps again never seemed so apt.
But I did get there eventually. Even if it did take an extra twenty minutes driving up and down a street trying to find the club. “You have reached your destination” claims my phone. “No this is someone’s house” I shout back and continue driving up and down roads. Finally the Sat Nav gives in and takes me to the right destination. I’m there, I park up in the car park. I sit there looking at the build watching various people come and go. I stay sitting there contemplating weather to go in or not.
I get a message from another friend who also lives in Worcester. She’s seen the Facebook message I’ve posted about getting lost on the way to Worcester. She wants to know what I’m doing there. I mention going to a club without going into details. I’m not ready yet. I tell her I’m not sure about actually going in or going home. She offers for me to visit if I back out, even a bed for the night. A second social invite. I’m in demand and here I am sat in my car undecided. My friend is five miles away by car. There is another problem looming. I need the loo. Really need the loo. Even if I was to take my friend up on her offer five miles is too far at this present time.
I take a deep breath and get out of the car. I make my way into the club. It’s just like a normal bar. There are a few people drinking, a couple playing pool. Some tables from the earlier events are now packing up. The show I’m here to see is in a function room next to the bar. After using the facilities I buy myself a pint and ask about tickets. I’m directed to a table by the door and I buy a wristband from the guy sat there and go in.
It’s not a packed event. There is maybe two dozen people there. I go to a table looking around as I do. Some of the guys there are really dressed up. Make up, dresses the works. They look amazing. I’m wearing gender neutral clothes, the only thing standing out on me is a pair of small double heart earrings I’m wearing. It’s good enough for me, I feel comfortable as I am.
There is a tent on one side of the room. Stood by a woman dressed only in bra, knickers and fishnet tights. A sign saying Roulette is there. £10 a go for anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes. Cuddles, Kisses, champagne and chocolate. Over the night I see a couple of guys go with her into the tent. I’ll admit I’m curious even tempted but hell I was nervous enough to come into the club, let alone into a tent with some girl no matter how cute she looks.
Either way I know the next day I’m likely to regret not going for it but also that if I did go into the tent I’ll probably regret that the next day. Life is philosophically screwed that way.
I watch the drag act on stage. It’s the main one I’ve come to see, the person is someone I know. Miss Felicia. I even get a wave when I get spotted sitting there. Miss Felicia does a couple of songs and that’s that act finished. Bloody sat Nav making me half an hour later than expected has made me miss most of the act. I’ve also missed the other act that I wanted to see. That had been on earlier. The banter from the Drag Queen who is the compere for the show is funny. The atmosphere in the room is very relaxing. Most of the people there are either acts waiting to go on stage or connected to the acts in some way so it seems a very disappointing turn out. Overall it seems very low key and the changeover between acts seems choppy. I get another drink from the bar, a soft drink this time. I enjoy the other acts that are on stage. The show goes on to eleven but I don’t plan on staying that long knowing it will take about an hour to get home. I give it until half nine then use the club’s Wi-Fi to input my route home. With regret I pry myself away and leave the club. I feel a bit gutted that I’m not staying to the end.
I race home. Luckily one I’m on the main motorway I know the way as my Sat Nav once again wants to take me off on further wild adventures indicating I should get off at every exit all the way down the motorway. I ignore it. I get home ten minutes earlier then google maps predicts. On a whim I text my mate. He’s still out so I think a few drinks are in order. We meet up and I end up having several cocktails, some shots and a short. It ends with pizza then bed. Overall it’s been a fantastic night.
But would I do it again? Going to a LGTB show I mean. Cocktails I will do every chance I get, no question about that. But yeah I would love to go to a show like that again. Hopefully the next one will be bigger and better but It was fun, it was relaxed and maybe something small like this is just what I needed to dip my toe in the water. No one gave a shit about what someone looked or dressed like. This is how life in general needs to be. I envy those people who are confident enough to get up on stage to do what they do. I envy those friends of mine that don’t care what people think and go with the style that they want. Even if I don’t like the look I’m jealous that they don’t worry about what people will think. I definitely worry too much. I look forward to Gloucester Pride next year, I’ll hope there is some other show that comes up sooner. Diversity in life is great and anything that celebrates that in such a fun way is great. Maybe one day I’ll have the confidence to go that little bit further in expressing myself. Maybe one day I’ll have the confidence to come out of that closet a bit. Maybe even the confidence to go into that tent.