Last night for some reason I was lying in bed meditating on the economy and wistfully imagining buying a new pair of shoes.
Despite the fact that I live a frightfully glamorous life I ain't loaded, so buying new shoes wouldn't be so easy this Christmas. Also, being an eco-conscious person I don't like to have too much stuff. Lately, I've taken to mostly buying second-hand clothes because I don't like the idea of wasting the earth's resources when it isn't necessary -although I ALWAYS accept gifts graciously! But nonetheless I've got a weakness for shoes -especially NEW SHOES!
Several years ago I went to see this amazing psychic on 57th St. After my reading, which I found to be fairly interesting and which I took with a grain of salt, I was leaving her apartment and I noticed this amazing pair of shoes. I confessed to her that on my way over I had passed the Manolo Blahnik Boutique and nearly been overcome with desire for this amazing pair of stilettos I had seen in the window but that I would never buy a pair because they were too expensive and I would feel guilty.
Her response was this, "I honor the earth by treading upon her in my sacred Manolos!'
EUREKA! All of a sudden so many of the things she had been telling me about the various issues in my life made sense: "Don't trivialize this thing that you're going through as a middle-age crisis... don't mistake this for love, what you're experiencing is an archetypal meltdown... don't trivialize what you're going through, there's nothing you can do to avoid it, just protect yourself and the ones you love... honor the process..." I didn't follow her advice actually. I've always somehow made it easier on other people and myself by avoiding over-complicated language when using words to describe myself. I've allowed -even encouraged- terms that were applied to me even though they were somewhat inaccurate. I've allowed myself to be marginalized by labels such as "drag queen", "gay", "christian" and many other things because I didn't want to in any way make it seem like I didn't respect and honor the people for whom those terms apply. I love Drag Queens, Gays and Christians but I'm not really any of these things. I'm all of those things and more. I believe in everything.
And I really like shoes.
When I was around three years old I discovered my grandmother had an amazing shoe collection. She no longer wore them because she was bedridden with multiple-sclerosis. My favorite pair were these amazing green crocodile platforms from the 1940s. I actually wore them for a Cub Scout talent show when I was around 8 or 9. I must say I remember the exhilaration of parading around in those shoes, a knock-off of one of Diane von Furstenberg's wrap dresses that belonged to my cousin Debbie and a red wig. In that outfit I didn't feel like a girl, or that I was any less of a boy. I felt like myself -albeit myself looking F-I-E-R-C-E! The fact that everyone else was kind of freaking out was totally irrelevant to me. I'd been told I was "different" for so long that I had by now trained myself not to notice those "looks" too much unless I was sensing imminent danger. Being in front of large groups of people was generally considered "safe space" because as long as I could make people admire me in some way -either by making them laugh or by singing well I was okay. And I like making people laugh and singing so... werque!
Today I'm feeling imminent danger.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
As with all love affairs sometimes the flame burns brighter than others. Lately shoes have taken on a new importance world-wide thanks to the Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi. Suddenly, I'm in love with shoes all over again. In the past week shoes have taken on the utmost political importance! They have spoken truth to power! Well... Mr. Zaidi's remarkable courage had something to do with it too.
According to the New York TImes calling someone the "son of a shoe" is one of the worst insults in Iraq -this was quite a disappointment for me to discover because on the surface the term seems to belittle shoes. However, after a bit research I've discovered that in the Middle East the sole of the foot is considered to be unclean. Shoes are meant to protect our soles from the filth of the earth. The soles of the shoes are said to be lower than a dog. So when Mr. Zaidi Threw his shoes at the president and shouted, "This is a gift from the Iraqi's, this is the farewell kiss, you dog." with his first shoe and, "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!" he became a hero worldwide.
I'm delighted he put his shoes to such good use! Obviously, shoes have always been objets du desir and quite powerful when it comes to making statements about one's identity, class, etc. But all of a sudden they are politically relevant like never before!
All of a sudden my personal triumphs pale in comparison, but regardless in looking back I can tell you I felt quite fancy demanding a pair of $600 silver Guccis for my off-Broadway run at the Cherry Lane Theatre several years ago. I was absolutely thrilled when Tilda Swinton and I were dressing for the Met Ball and she whipped out two pairs of matching Roger Vivier size 40 high heels-one in black satin and the other in emerald green -both with huge gold and rhinestone buckles which we wore on the red carpet -fortunately we wear the same size. Debbie Harry and I wear the same size too. She gave me some amazing shoes when we played the Hogmanay Festival on New Years Eve in Edinburgh a few years back. I gave Theo Kogan a pair of my black Jimmy Choo boots to wear in Berlin earlier this year when we were supposed to be a couple who merged genders and put the world's financial markets under a demonic spell (Oops! I guess it worked) in The Big Art Group's show 'Cinema Fury: The Imitation'. And not too long ago Terry De Havilland and his wife Liz came backstage after seeing my show 'Lustre' in London with Pam Hogg and Terry picked up his foot and on the soles of his boots were the words "FUCK OFF" embedded in crystals. Later they invited me to his studio where they presented me with a pair of "Sinderella" shoes which are these amazing platforms made of gold and silver python and cobra...
Two weeks ago when I appeared onstage at Carnegie Hall singing my Holiday song "Christmas Spells" in the McGarrigle Wainwright Christmas hour wearing my De Havilland's as I was taking my bow the platform on my right shoe snapped off, I nearly fell off the stage and I was able to make quite a comical exeunt! Thank you Terry and Liz for the most magical shoes EVER!!!
Another one of my favorite shoe stories occurred when I was sent a pair of Manolo's to wear in my Christmas Show at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1996 just before the whole "JT Leroy is a fake" story broke. Evidently they had sent a pair to JT Leroy so they said they might as well give some to me as well. Of course, fortunately for me, I actually exist.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, first of all because it's fun to drop all these names and yes! I do still have all the shoes -except the Gucci's from the Cherry Lane because the producers kept my shoes and costumes -I hope you're enjoying them and have gotten a lot of wear out of them, I really do!!! Ha Ha!
I'm also telling you this because some people would consider my appetite for shoes to be the ulitmate form of danger -more dangerous to the existence of humanity than even Global warming!!!
How could this be true?
To me shoes are glamour and glamour is magic. SO when that reporter threw those shoes at President Bush it was MAGIC!
Now we need some more magic.
Today the BBC reported that for his Christmas address to his Vatican Staff Pope Benedict basically declared war on Homosexuals and Transsexuals stating that saving humanity from "Gender Theory" is just as important as saving the rainforest.
For some reason S/he has decided that this is the message s/he needs to be putting out at Christmastime? What kind of Evil Witch is s/he? And, by the way, what gender are Angels? S/he needs to get right. I mean, come on!!!
The Pope is the worst kind of Tranny -a self-loathing one who is in denial. Take off the Vera Ellen dress and the Rosemary Clooney fur hat and what's left? It's no longer 'White Christmas" in glorious technicolor or even "The Greatest Story Ever Told", it's just another ridiculous power-hungry old man who doesn't know any more about God, family or how to love than the next person. We're all trying to make sense of things, trying to find a way to live in peace and maybe -if we're capable- reaching out for love in the darkness of a cold and unforgiving world. A world made all the more cold and unforgiving by people like that vicious Sorcerer who resides in Vatican Square.
It's terrifying that so many lost souls look to him for love and guidance. But really...
What actual problem is s/he helping to solve? Who is better off because of what s/he has said?
Think of how many innocent little children are going to be beaten senseless in the name of the Lord because of her irresponsible ridiculous words!!! Not to mention what a rotten, evil signal s/he's sending out to the world about the treatment of all the other Gender Queer people who are so viciously marginalized world-wide.
Whatever happened to the God of Love? That notion must have gone up in smoke when those wonderful heterosexual gentlemen at the Oil Company burnt a hole in the ozone layer.
Pope Benedict's moronic, idiotic followers -and I don't care who you are, if you're Catholic and stand idly by while this garbage is put out you are an accessory to murderer in my book- his co-conspirators would probably say that what I'm typing into this blog would be words of hate, but they forget that old Mrs. "God on Earth" is the "son of a shoe" that actually claims to interpret and define what constitutes hate AND sin. So follow and be an accessory if that's your bag -at least your dubious morality is a choice. But I would argue that cheap shoes have more value than the horrible, damaging words that Mrs. Claus is putting out this Christmas and they benefit more people. At least cheap shoes protect the sole from that which is considered to be unclean.
So I would encourage all courageous, compassionate people to SHOE THE POPE! Make 2009 a safer, more loving and secure world for all children everywhere.