(Click to enlarge) I don’t know what the actual fuck is wrong with the universe, but 2016 can go right along with 2014 and 2015 and fuck themselves. I haven’t had so many crap years back to back since high school. 2017 WILL BE AMAZING: I DEMAND IT BE SO.
I was out of the country when Bowie returned to the stars in his spiritual space ship. I was too utterly fucked up for months to discuss Prince walking off suddenly into The Dawn… but George Michael too??? This is so crazy. These men, along with Michael Jackson, were the ones who helped me form my sense of masculinity and the way in which I wanted to present myself as a man in the world: Unapologetically artistic, fearlessly eccentric, proudly theatrical, brazenly vulnerable… All of it. FIERCE!
The amalgamation of “feminine” and “masculine” in these guys melded together into a form of gender performance that felt authentic, bold, relatable, and comfortable to me. Prince even used a symbol for androgyny as his stage name for a decade. These guys were everything: Successful, beautiful geniuses who inspired devotees across the world and through generations. They’re magic. They’re my Fab Four. They were the audacious, the glittering, the riveting, and the unique. I can’t think of any other men from my childhood who so readily straddled the yin-yang, and certainly no one else who made it so sexy and alluring. Whenever I have created costumes or conceptualized dances, whenever I have sought to express myself theatrically, underlying all of it (along with Janet Jackson’s social ideals and imperatives) was the very distinct need to include the queer glamour of androgyny. Before I even understood I was doing it, I was keeping one foot on each side of the line. I can’t stress enough how important these men were to my sense of identity, or how much they informed the way I move through the world.
Every time I wear guyliner; every time I put on something bold or daring; every time I affect an effete pose; every time I say something quippish; every time I perform on stage… All of it. Every bit of it is informed by these guys. How would George Michael do his facial hair? How would Bowie dress? What would Prince say? How would MJ add punch?
I could end bitterly with a cynical “Merry Fucking Christmas;” however, for me their lives were a gift. Their creativity was ferocious, their talent undeniable. Although Bowie attained a more reasonable span of years (and was a piercingly adept artist until his literal last moment), MJ, Prince, and George Michael all had their lives cut short. They all did the rounds with drugs. They lived like Rock Stars. That’s how I have wanted to live, and I did up until 2012. I lost my way for a few years, but I’m back to being creative, proactive, and engaged. My Fab Four did it big, and so will I.
I can’t help but remember the adage, “The brighter a flame burns, the quicker it puffs out.” Fitting: They all set the world on fire. To illustrate a little of what I mean about their influence, I’m going to repost some images of myself in which I emulated their transgressive gender performance as extensions of the characters they were. (Click to enlarge)
UPDATE: (12/27/2016) And now Princess Leia??? Could you please STOP 2016? 2016 is doing way too much… Where’s Janet Jackson? Has she safely this baby yet or what??
UPDATE: (12/28/2016) And now Princess Leia’s mother??? WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING???? Debbie Reynolds??? REALLY?