There was a Burlesque convention in the city this past weekend. I took a few classes (“Beginner’s Burlesque Moves” and “Stage Make-up”), both were a lot of fun and very informative. I didn’t manage to make it to either of the big evening shows, but hanging around the venue in between classes I saw more pointy-breasted, wasp-waisted, large-haired Americana 1950’s girls than I have ever seen before, ever. These girls were immaculately made up, squeezed into flawless outfits, they seemed to have a sheen of lacquer over their entire visages, and all were followed (at a respectful distance) by men in black jeans whose job seemed to be to fetch drinks and carry make-up cases. This isn’t a generalization- I saw at least six different girls fitting this description, all accompanied by the boyfriend/assistant/creature. It was somewhat surreal, and it seemed especially so because of the contrast with the girls who were in the classes I took: much messier, facially pierced, cheerful girls with curves and candy-colored hair.
So I learnt some really fun dance steps, taught by the stunning Indigo Blue (who counted time for us like this: “And cute! And cute! And naaasty, naaasty!”) and also that I should no longer fear blush and eyebrow pencils. The most fun thing I learnt was how to put on those beautiful, perfect, intense-shimmer solid-glitter ruby-red lips- I practiced the techniques when I went home and they looked great, although a little scary in daylight hours. I look forward to finding an outfit to pair them with.
Sunday was the Castro Street Fair, which I was only vaguely interested in because a) it seemed like the perfect opportunity to wear my big, flamboyant, pink-and-roses frock that I so rarely get to wear and b) of all the San Francisco street fairs I’ve been somehow involved in since I’ve been here, I’ve not been to one where I wasn’t working, performing or not human. So I just wanted to be able to stroll, dodge drunk people, and look at expensive crafts, all of which I did, and had a great time. I saw cheerleaders! Gay cheerleaders!
As we were thinking of leaving for the next party, my friend and I wandered into a little bar for some cocktails and snacks, and at that same moment, a troupe of drag kings began to perform directly outside the window we were sitting at. It was so awesome! We had a perfect rear view of the kings and their mini-skirted back-up dancers, as well as the audience that assembled- apparently every good-looking dyke at the fair managed to be there watching. Even after the performance finished and tips were solicited, the majority of the good-looking dykes continued to mill around outside the window, so we ordered another round of cocktails and got quite nicely, decadently drunk.
Then rolled off to another party, which was rather quiet, but did feature some amazing break-dancing (yeah, really, I got excited about break-dancing and live rapping. America is doing this to me!) and some fun people to flirt with.
I went home feeling quite giggly and cheerful, reflecting that I’ve made out quite deliciously with at least one different person each weekend for as long as I've been functionally single, and that in itself is plenty to enjoy.