Invisible queen? Meet ninja Cassie!


I have a confession to make: I was a teenage ninja.

Maybe a little explanation is in order.

It was the late 1980s and my best friend/ brother-from-another-mother, Mike, was obsessed with movies like American Ninja, Enter the Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja. So I, wanting to be “like Mike,” was subsequently obsessed as well. We decided to ask our parents for ninja suits for Christmas. I remember how happy I was opening my present full of ninja gear, including these hideous split toe tabi boots. Gay bells did go off in my head when I noticed that the color of the shoes did not completely match the outfit. The boots were a dark cobalt blue while the ninja suit was a beautiful onyx. I eventually learned to live with the mismatched ensemble.

Anyway, the first chance we had to go “training” in the woods, we were off! Running and hiding in full head-to-toe Japanese assassin gear all over Crawford Park in Pleasant Grove. (Shout out to all the Grove rats!)

We were awesome teenage ninjas, invisible to all.

I remember one day, after hours of stealth activities like running, jumping and climbing trees, we decided to sit down to rest near the jogging trail. We were taking a break but like true ninjas, we were unseen as two old ladies decided they had to take a break from their power-walking. One of the old biddies, in an adorable powder blue track suit that matched her hair, decided she had to pee. She walked directly towards us. Less than three feet away, she turned, dropped trou, squatted and started to relieve herself. Mortified, I looked at Mike. All I could see were his eyes, which screamed, “Do not move!” I complied, even when the woman’s stream of urine rolled towards me. Time slowed down as a river of old lady tinkle was headed right for me. My only options were either jump up and probably give the poor ol’ lady a heart attack, or let the flood hit me and soak into my awesome new ninja garb. I weighed my options: Is it considered murder if she has a heart attack caused by me revealing myself? Would I go to prison? I would not do well in prison — I was (and am) way too pretty. I decided to let the flood hit me where I sat. To my amazement, her wiz decided to take a turn and flowed between Mike and me. It missed us by inches. She finished, stood, pulled up her pants and power-walked away. We high-fived each other for our incredible invisibility skills and went the other way.

That was also the first time I remember wearing eyeliner. Gay bell! The guyliner was to help make our eyes more Asian like that super ninja, Sho Kosugi. Looking back, I see how completely racist that was, but hey, we were paying tribute and didn’t know any better. Ah! The ’80s! A simpler, better time, when teenage boys could run around the park completely covered in black fabric with nothing but their lined eyes showing and not be arrested. But then again, you cannot arrest what you cannot see.

Dear Cassie, How do you handle being at a bar and an attractive person buys you a drink you know you don’t want (because of the type of liquor in it). Should I play nice, suck it up and drink it, knowing it will make me nauseous or do you decline and leave them standing there holding it? Thanks, Brian.

Dear Brian, Since I have worked in a bar for more than 20 years, this is a great question for me. There are actually a few ways to handle this situation. You can try the “fake sip” until he isn’t looking, then ditch it. Or try the flirty method and tell him “let’s share it!” Get two straws and sip it together, letting him down most of it. Or you can try honesty: Tell him “I can’t drink that, it messes with my stomach.” If he is really interested, he won’t care what you drink, or even if you drink. Good luck, Cassie.

Dear Cassie Nova, I am an up-and-coming drag queen in Dallas, but I have noticed that my love life has taken a backseat. I have started talking to guys on dating apps, but the minute I mention I do drag, I get an instant block or get “friend-zoned.” I know some queens will date other queens, but that’s not my thing. So should I just not tell these guys I am a lady-boy a few times a week, or should I continue to be honest? Signed, Searching For Love.

Dear Searching, Tough question. I am all for honesty, but a lot of guys in our community don’t “get” drag. Drag queens get a bad rap from many of our manly prospects. A lot of guys don’t understand that most drag queens are just playing a part. It’s not that we want to be women — it’s that we want to entertain. That said, I get the other side, too. When I was single, I would have never dated a lady-boy — sister dick makes me sick. I do believe there is someone out there for everyone. You might try holding back on telling someone that you drag until you really get a feel for how they will take it. Don’t lie about it, just withhold information until you know whether they can handle it. I’ve said it over and over again: “It takes a real man to date a drag queen.” And they have to be a little bit crazy, too.

Here is another bit of advice. Make sure drag is really what you want to do. It’s not for everyone. It’s an expensive, all-consuming path. Hope this helps, Cassie.

If I were asked which I prefer — the anonymity and invisibility of being a ninja or the over-the-top stardom of being a drag queen — the answer is easy: As Cassie, I love being a drag queen, but as James … I miss being a ninja! So now I disappear into the shadows.

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous. XOXO, Cassie Nova.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 20, 2015.