Tips for enjoying your Drag-o-Qween

Hey, gays and ghouls. If you are like me and are super excited for Halloween, raise your hand! But if you are like me, then you have also been stressing out over choosing the right costume. I’ve known what I want to do for Halloween for about six months, but as the date approaches, I just hope it all comes together. I don’t know why I stress out every year — hell, for a drag queen, it’s Halloween all year long. I think we always feel like we have something to prove, which is kind of stupid because every year the same thing happens. Everyone dresses up and comes out to the show, and no one really cares about the show. They come out and want to be the show, not watch one. It drives me crazy.

I remember one year I painted myself green and did “No Good Deed” from Wicked. I spent hours on the perfect witch costume, the Wicked CD had come out the December before, and I figured all the good little gays would be as obsessed with it as I was.

Nope. Crickets. I should have done “Defying Gravity” I guess, but to me, “No Good Deed” felt more Halloweenie. I remember I had this big Necronomicon as my book of spells and performed the hell out of that song only to look up and see some little twink motherfuckers dressed in hot pants — one an angel the other a devil — trying to come onstage to take pictures. If I actually had the powers of a witch those two asshats would have exploded on the spot. Blood and gore everywhere! Instead I broke character and yelled at them to get off my stage.

So now I always know what to expect. If I really want to do a cool Halloween number, I save it for when no one else is dressed up. Now I dress up for myself and have fun. If it works for the show too, that’s a bonus. We gays take that shit so seriously, so here are a few tips to ensure you have a great time this spooky holiday.

If you are doing drag, bring a pair of comfortable shoes to keep in your purse. Every year there are hundreds of first-time drag queens partying with their sexy high heels in their hands because their feet start to hurt or bleed. You don’t wanna be runnin’ the streets barefoot, but after a few cocktails, I promise you will yank those hurtful heels right off.

Whatever you wear, make sure you have a place for your keys, money, phone and I.D. I’m talking to all of you guys and gals that are going as a slutty something. The less you wear, the fewer pockets you have. Designate someone to hold onto your stuff if you don’t have a place. I love seeing all the nearly naked costumes, but every year, we have many folks at the end of the night with no keys or wallet wondering how they are going to get home. One year, some friends of mine got home at the end of a long night of partying, one dressed in nothing but a thong and gold body paint, the other dressed as Carrie Underwood, only to find they had lost the key to their apartment. Let’s just say their locksmith got an eyeful and was said to have taken lots of pictures.

Know your limits. Don’t decide the night you dress up as a nun to start drinking more than usual. There is nothing worse than a poor nun covered in her own vomit, passed out in the parking lot. FYI, I actually saw this last year. I’m sure he had a horrible hangover the next day. God bless him.

Don’t mix your browns and clears if you are drinking. Stick to one type of liquor. Trust me, I am a professional drinker. It’s when you drink every single type of liquor that you cross over and end up sick.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

If you are doing drag, glue your wig down. Use sprit gum or Pros-aide. When you know your hair ain’t gonna move, you can swing that shit like it is yours… and it is, you paid for it.

Have fun. Halloween is like gay Christmas so enjoy yourself.

Now let’s treat some tricks by answering some questions.

Dear Cassie Nova, I am a newbie to doing drag. I have only been doing it for about a year. When I am in drag I get hit on by some really hot guys but they never give me a second look when I am not in drag. Is that normal? Is it wrong to start a relationship with someone while in drag? Is it weird to have sex in drag? Guys have always confused me but now that I do drag, I have no idea what is going on. Help me please. Thanks. Signed, New and Confused!

Dear N & C., Girl, it is so weird right? I remember when I first started doing drag back in the ’90s — shut up — and suddenly getting hit on by all of these manly types. Big butch men would all of the sudden be interested in me just because I had on a little make up and a dress. I am about to get very personal and explicit, so if you are a family member or don’t wanna hear the sordid details of having sex while in drag, please: read no further.

First, always be careful. Guys can get super-weird and shady when it comes to their sexuality. Don’t go someplace you have never been with anybody. I don’t care how fine he is. When I was in my 20s I was amazed at the caliber of hot guys that would want to hook up with me when I was in drag. There used to be a drag bar across the street from where Woody’s is now called The Blue Parrot. They had drag shows almost every night. By the time I started doing drag the Blue Parrot closed and was reopened as Big Daddy’s. My roommate at the time, Celeste Martinez, and I would go out in drag all the time. Even If I wasn’t doing a show, I still went out just to be seen and for a chance to be in drag.

I took quite a few guys home with me in drag. It was always weird but it was also kind of fun. These hot straight type dudes were interested in me — talk about an ego boost. So of course my slutty younger self would invite them back to our apartment. I knew it was just for sex and most of them didn’t want me to take my wig off. They would usually get the fuck out as soon as they got off which I was totally OK with. There was one really fine guy who was my age who looked like the hot quarterback from every high school movie. All American good looks. We hooked up a few times and I started to really like him but when we were together he insisted I was a girl and couldn’t even refer to me as a drag queen. He asked one night if he could stay the night and sleep over. I said, “Sure, but I am going to have to take my wig off.” Keep in mind that I was wearing a huge updoo that looked like a helmet. He said, “Why does a girl need a wig?” I thought, OK dude, this is fun and all, but I am not sleeping with a wig on. I took the wig off and he acted so freaked out and screamed at me that I had lied to him that I was a man. I just laughed and said, “Sorry, I thought you knew when you had my dick in your mouth!” He left in a huff never to be seen by me again.

So my advice to you is have fun but be very careful. Guys can be crazy, too. Relationships can sometimes start in weird ways so keep an open mind.

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 October 13, 2017.