Memories of moms for Mother’s Day!
Hello to all my friends, fans and frenemies. As you all know, Mother’s Day is on May 10, and it makes me think of and appreciate my mother. That poor lady — could you imagine having to be my mom? The amount of emotional distress and bullshit I have put her through over the years should qualify her for sainthood … or at least a disability pension. She should have known the cantankerous fetus inside her was going to be a handful when she went into labor with me during a triple feature of Rosemary’s Baby, The Dunwich Horror and Night of the Living Dead. By the way, she wouldn’t let my dad take her to the hospital until after all three movies were over. That should give you an idea of the strong-willed, crazy and stubborn person my mother can be.
My mom and dad divorced when I was 5, and she worked her ass off to provide for me and my sister. I remember her having three jobs at one time and still taking care of us — a real superwoman. She did such a great job of providing for us that I had no idea how poor we really were ’til I went away to art school in Pittsburgh. I thought all mothers had to pawn all of their jewelry to pay tuition and afford moving costs. But that is what she did. I didn’t last a whole year being so far away from home — I’m a mama’s boy and proud.
Our relationship has had many ups and downs over the years but I am so thankful for the journey we have been on. I knew that the gay thing was going to be a lot for her to take. I get it; she wanted a masculine son that would provide her with a bunch of awful grandkids and she got… well, not that. If it were up to me, I would never have told her I was gay but my sister (a well-known nosy brat) read my journal and “accidently” outed me. When mom found out I was gay, the first thing she said to me was, “Don’t you ever dress up like no woman!” Whoops! Seed planted. After that, for a long time, we never talked about the gay stuff. Poor thang — first I come out as gay and then a few years later I had to come out as a drag queen. I tried to hide that fact for a few years until one day we were at Dairy Queen enjoying our full meal deals when she noticed make up in my ear. Apparently I hadn’t scrubbed all the war paint off from the night before. I was like, “Oh, shit! … And oh, well!” She rolled her eyes but the secret was out.
When I was finally ready for her to see me in drag, I thought I would invite her to the Halloween block party, the night when there are literally hundreds of drag queens out and about and only about four of them look good. I wanted her to see I was one of the four. I wanted her to see I took it seriously and was quite good at it. When Mom and my fabulous aunt Zina showed up to my apartment, I opened the door wearing a strapless black lace dress with a poofy crinoline. And my hair! I was so proud of my hair. I had worked for three days on my wig. It was actually two DrPepper-red wigs sewn together with blonde streaks sewn in. Bitch, it was huge and looked incredible! My mom walked in, gave me the once over and said in her very heavy Texas accent, “Good Lord, ain’t no real woman got hair that big.” The look on her face was a mix of “what the fuck” and amazement. I told her, “Exactly — I don’t want to be a woman; I’m a drag queen.”
We started our night at the block party. It was crazy — drag queens in crazy costumes and nearly naked men everywhere. Every time my mom saw a hot looking guy, she would ask, “Is he gay?” I would say yes and she would shake her head: “Damn.” She must have asked that question a hundred times. It was hilarious. We went to the Rose Room in the old Village Station and made an appearance, but we spent most of the night downstairs playing pool. My mom is a kick-ass pool player. My fans and random people were buying us drinks all night. We didn’t pay for a single beverage. I think we even won some money when my mom pool-sharked a couple of homos. I have to give my mom props for going out with me all dressed up. I know it wasn’t easy for her but we had a great time and I think it gave her a little insight into my world.
I think it helps that when she meets people that are Cassie Nova fans and they find out she is Cassie Nova’s mother, they freak out and gush about how much they love me. I have to admit, I love hearing that. She travels all over Texas and will talk to the most random people that know who I am and are fans. I think it makes her feel pride in something that at one time horrified her. Kudos to Ma, for being so loving, accepting and willing to grow. Our relationship now is great, she loves and accepts my husband Jamie and always makes him feel welcome. I couldn’t ask for a better mama.
Speaking of moms, I also have a great mother-in-law. From the moment I met my other mother, she has welcomed me into her family with open arms. She has even been to the show a few times and always has a great time.
Now it’s time for a question.
Dear Cassie, I have a drag question: Being in my early forties, I said I would stop doing drag show once I reached this age yet I feel nowhere close of stopping. What’s a good age for a drag queen to retire or is it a certain age for that? Thanks, Fantasha.
Miss Fantasha, There is no age limit on entertaining. Looks may fade, things may sag but if you are a born entertainer and continue to grow and evolve, there is a place for you. If at some point you stop enjoying what you do and it starts to feel like work more than play, then call it quits. But as long as you are still killing it on stage with a smile in your heart, then keep doing what you do. I truly feel you will know when it is time to hang up your heels. And you, my friend, have way too much to offer. Besides, if it wasn’t for us old-school broads, who would teach the gaybies how to be true divas! They need us! Thanks, Cassie.
I almost forgot, Happy Mother’s Day to my drag mother, Celeste Martinez. She mentored me and pushed me to be better. In drag and in life and I am so grateful to her for all these years of friendship. If your mother is still around call her. If she is not, remember her. If your relationship is strained, forgive her. Life is short and you wouldn’t be here to enjoy it if it wasn’t for her. Happy Mother’s Day to all you muthas!
Love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.other man’s bible.
If you have a question of comment, email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 1, 2015.