Meeting Tes- Father’s Day Musings on Being Married to a Drag Queen
So as I said in my introduction, one of the byproducts of working on my memoir is that both my husband and I have been working on finding ourselves and asserting ourselves. Part of this discovery is Tes.
Adam has thought about doing drag since he was young, but only recently has become comfortable enough to explore it. Only recently have I become comfortable enough in myself, and in my marriage to be supportive of his exploration. I am finding that this experience is teaching me a lot about my own thoughts on gender.
As Tes develops I feel a sense of anticipation in waiting for her. I feel like she is someone I already know well, and yet someone I have never met. I find myself excited to go out dancing with her and do her make up and stay up late at night chatting like little girls at a slumber party. I miss having a close girlfriend, as our recent move has left me without any girlfriends close by to spend time with.
I wonder what my relationship to Tes will be. Will she become a dear friend of mine? Will there be chemistry between us? And if so how does that work. This is new territory for us. Does mine and Adam’s bisexuality complicate the experience of Adam in drag? Adam and I have been having more and more conversations like this. Will I want to date Tes from time to time? Will Tes want to date me? Then I wonder, will Tes even like me at all?
There also comes the dynamic of Aimee, our 3-year-old. How do we explain this to Aimee. Do we need to?
A few days ago I helped Adam pick out dresses that would fit his frame and help with the transition to being Tes. I took photos of Adam so that he could see the images since we don’t have a full length mirror. As I was taking the pictures Aimee ran into the frame with a make shift hat and dress on she wanted to dress up to. I found it moving. She didn’t find the moment the slightest bit odd or taboo. It was simply a great moment for her dressing up with dad. She looked up at him and said ” Daddy you look pretty.”
We all proceeded upstairs and Aimee helped me go through my closet to find clothing for Adam to try on. We told Aimee that daddy was going to start dressing up as a drag queen from time to time. Her eyes lit up at the idea of being a queen. Not because it was silly to her that a man may be a queen, but rather because her daddy being a queen made her royal too. She helped me dress Adam and made suggestions on other dresses to try. I realized in that moment that our little girl did not have rigid ideas of gender. She didn’t even see gender. She just saw people .
Today, Aimee asked Adam to help her dress Kanut her stuffed polar bear. She had found him a great new pink dress and wanted Kanut to wear it. Adam asked Aimee if Kanut was a boy or a girl, and she said “he’s a boy.” She said it so matter of fact and without hesitation. In her world a boy bear is just as likely to wear a pink dress as a girl bear. I am glad we are raising her that way.
But, the pursuit of this has not been all positive. We went to a department store the other day to buy me new work clothes. Adam decided he could look for shoes while we were there. He is having a hard time finding heels he likes because of the different shoe sizing. As we sat in the shoe aisle trying on shoes an older woman walked by and snickered and another woman laughed thinking that Adam was playing a joke by wearing the shimmering heels. When we got to the dressing room and Adam was holding my clothes the attendant said some snide remark like ” haha are you going to try those on.” Adam looked at her, and without hesitation said ” you never know.”
I am always proud to be his wife, but I was even more so in that moment. He stood up for himself. But, he shouldn’t have to. I hate that we live in a world that has such firm gender roles and I hate that even though I consider myself to be a very open and fluid person, even I get trapped in gender role speak. I think Aimee can teach me, teach all of us, a thing or two about just seeing people. And, I think Tes is really going to be good for all of us.
Today is Father’s Day, and I thought it was an even more fitting day to talk about Tes. Because being willing to explore being Tes, is one of the things that makes Adam such an amazing father and partner.
Happy Father’s Day Adam. Happy Father’s day Tes.