Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Linda - The Daywear Drag Queen


I love living in New York City and working at a restaurant/bar in Greenwich Village. There are things I consider just "normal doings" that would raise an eyebrow or two almost anywhere else.

Here is an example. One of our "regulars" at the bar goes by the name of "Linda". Linda is a retired (male) firefighter who dresses as a woman when "she" goes out once or twice a week. Linda always wears a conservative business-type suit, sensible brown wig, not-too-high heels, and conservative gold jewelery. One of our old managers once called her "The Daywear Drag Queen", and it stuck.

Linda is married (to a woman), and the wife supposedly has no idea about this part of Linda's life. As far as I can tell, Linda is not attracted to men, doesn't flirt with men, and doesn't dress to pick up men. Back in the day, Linda would have probably been known as a "cross-dresser" - but she prefers the term "drag queen". Linda and a group of other drag queens rent an apartment in Queens (natch!) where they keep their clothes/wigs and go to dress/undress. A few years ago their old landlord didn't offer to renew their lease, so there was considerable drama in finding another apartment building that didn't mind a group of middle-aged men coming and going in their finest cocktail outfits. But they persisted and found another place - again, in Queens. Linda goes to great trouble and expense to dress as she does - and obviously has a passion for it. Some people fish, others dress like Barbara Bush at a charity board meeting. It takes all kinds, bitches.

Linda is also a sweetheart. Although dressed from head-to-toe as a woman (she wears EXPENSIVE, if understated, stuff - and puts her makeup on flawlessly), Linda still walks and talks like a fireman. She has a big, booming voice - and is constantly talking about her wife and adult son. Linda has no problem in starting up a conversation with anyone, and is a lot of fun to talk to. And Lord, don't let a fire engine come whizzing by - Linda gets all excited and likes to tell the other bar patrons which hook and ladder company just passed.

One of my absolute favorite things in the whole world is when I have a student group booked in the restaurant for dinner, and Linda is hanging out at the bar. I LOVE the sideways glances that these students (from Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, or wherever) and their chaperones give to our Daywear Drag Queen. You can just see them wondering ... "is that a man?". It's a "New York Experience" those kids won't soon forget...


16 comments:

Bob said...

It just shows that there are all kinds of people in the world, and if they're happy and not hurting anyone,let 'em be.
I love people lile Linda who are more themselves than a lot of other people.

chef_the_city said...

i would LOVE to meet her!!! and i agree w/ bob: it must be so nice (and healthy) to be able to be 100% yourself, you know? fab.

chef_the_city said...

PS: bob's profile pic is a LOLcat waiting to happen! =D adorable!

Miss Ginger Grant said...

Expensive designer hats off to Linda, and to you and your coworkers for giving her a place where she can feel comfortable! I have a friend named "Trisha" whom I only know as Trisha, and she and her wife go everywhere together! They are the sweetest couple, and they have 2 grown children, it's just that the male of the family is more comfortable dressed as a woman!

Kailyn said...

Linda sounds wonderful. I want to meet her.

Amber LeMay said...

DD - Please give Linda a big old sloppy one (kiss!) from The House of LeMay. Would LOVE to see their apartment! Maybe they need a group showing of "Slingbacks & Syrup"!

Renee said...

I want to have a drink with Linda. I'll buy.

frogponder said...

The mysteries of humans, they are endlessly fascinating.

The last time I had to dress 'cocktail' was in sorority rush! We are happily very informal out here.

Jennie said...

I love it! What a fun regular. That would defintely raise an eyebrow here, but I think if that's what floats your boat then good for you!

Wonder Man said...

That's what I love about NYC so full of life and great stuff

Beth said...

I would love to experience this. I want my kids to eb around all kinds of people..I dont want to be raising little rednecks, ya know? I want them to see people as PEOPLE...not circus sideshows or something like that.

ahhhhhh....to live in New York.

XOXOXOX

Joy said...

Women have so much more leeway with how we dress than men do. It's great Linda has a place to feel comfortable and accepted. The walking and talking compared with how Linda dresses cracks me up. The Daywear Drag Queen - perfect!

mistress maddie said...

Linda sort of reminds me of Ito ,girl. Ito still dresses as a woman even when she goes to work,out to the clubs,and even to state dinners! His male side Lance still comes out too sometimes.But you never know who you show up. And eeryone in Harrisburg knows Ito is a man and has never had any problems. If I think about it,Ito is still a icon in the burg!

Berry Blog said...

this is so wonderful. One i took a batch of kids to a conference where they were featured speakers. a mother of one of them recommended a restaurant when we got done. The kids, all beautiful boys, suddenly jammed their bodies up against mine in the booth. They recognized before I did, that they were in a gay bar.( with excellent cuisine I might add) I thought the irony of it just too much for words. The mother who recommended the place knew, but what she didn't know was that her son was petrified of homosexuals.
I loved this post David.It struck a chord.
xoxo Charlie

Mark in DE said...

The Daywear Drag Queen - I love it! You know, not all girls want to be the center of attention by wearing all that glam drag. Some prefer a vintage Chanel suit, and know how to wear it. God bless Linda, and thanks for sharing this great New York City story.

Brent said...

That is the best story I have heard in a long time.

Thank you for sharing!

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