Smoking: One kind of drag this queen does without


Hello, my lovelies. Can you believe it has been eight years since they banned smoking inside of nightclubs? I, for one, am thankful for the switch. I’ve worked in the clubs since the early ’90s and can tell you, back when you could light up at the clubs, everything stank! If you were a drag queen, the awful, stagnant smell of a hundred smokers would foul up your wigs and every piece of clothing you owned. Since the ban, my drag smells like it’s supposed to, like ball sweat and regret. Thank God for Febreze!

Growing up in my family, basically everyone smoked. My mother, my dad, even my grandmothers smoked. One of my grandmas smoked unfiltered Pall Malls. It was the most masculine thing I had ever seen. Even my little sister smoked from the time she was 13, and by the time she was 14 my mother was buying them for her. We classy!

That is why it amazes me that I have never smoked, I have always been grossed out by smoking. I remember being about 5 years old and asking my mom to crack a window in the car. “You are killing me!” I would cry. You’d think that by seeing everyone around me smoking that I would just naturally pick up the habit, but I was the complete opposite. I was told quite regularly to stop nagging everyone about smoking, just please shut the fuck up.

I vowed as a kid that when I grew up, I would never date a smoker. Well guess what? I fell for a smoker. It wasn’t my fault — my now-husband hid the fact that he smoked from me until I was already in love with him. He was so good at hiding it. He never smelled like smoke and he never had smoker’s breathe. The first time I saw him light up, we were at JR.’s, and I could have killed him, but he gave me warm and tinglies, so I accepted it.

He was very respectful with his smoking. He never smoked in the house or around me. He would say things like, “I need to go check the weather,” and go outside to smoke. Please don’t think that because I accepted it means that I was not constantly on his case about stopping, because I can be a relentless bitch. I nagged a lot in the beginning, but I know better than most that when it comes to addiction, you won’t stop till you are truly ready to stop.

In 2008, Jamie told me to give him one year and to stop nagging him, and he would stop on his own. I said OK. At the three month mark, I gently reminded him that he had three months left before I became a fucking bitch about it. He said, “I know!” and then the subject was dropped.

The next month they banned smoking inside the bars, and on New Year’s Eve of that year, Jamie had his last cigarette. He used the patch for a few weeks to help with his cravings but said that part of the problem was what to do with his hands. Smokers tend to have a hand to mouth thing they do, and Jamie needed something to help with that. So I bought a huge bag of Dum Dum suckers. He was a tow truck driver at the time and said he would usually light up when he got in his truck, so now he opened a sucker and stuck it in his mouth.

He, of course, was a little moody for a few weeks, but he didn’t give in to temptation, although he was keeping Dum Dum suckers in business. He only used the patch for about two-and-a-half weeks, and by the third week, he was done with smoking all together. To get him to give up the Dum Dum suckers was easy —I started buying sugar-free Dum Dums and didn’t tell him. He almost immediately said, “These don’t even taste good anymore. I’m done with these, too.” I was and still am very proud of him. He has even turned into one of the annoying anti-smokers like me. We are so good together.

Now I wish I could get the other people in my life to stop smoking. My mom actually stopped smoking for close to a year around 2002. I was so excited for her. She said her grandbabies asked her to stop so she stopped. I was working at Sound Warehouse/Blockbuster Music at the time and, to celebrate the fact that she quit smoking, I would buy her just about every movie on DVD when it came out. I started to drive to Italy, Texas, where she lived at the time, more often. We would have movie night every chance we could.

Then one day, I walked into her house and she was sitting there smoking a cigarette. I asked why, and her response was that she missed it. She said, “I just like to smoke; if it kills me it kills me.” Major eye roll. So I went back to being the annoying nagger I used to be. What could I do? You can’t change the people you love. If that was the case, I’d be straight.

To tell the truth, and I hate to say this, but I usually don’t visit my mom for very long because of the smoking. And now of course my niece and her boyfriend that live with my mom all smoke too. Since I am never around smokers anymore, I literally can’t be around it. I know they all think I am being a snob about it, and maybe I am being a bit snobbish about it, but I just can’t stand it, and one great thing about being an adult: If you don’t wanna do something you ain’t gotta. I love my family, I just wish they didn’t smoke. Oh Em Gee — I can get awfully preachy when I want to. Sorry. Not sorry!

Now let me give some solicited advice!

Dear Cassie, What are your thoughts on drag queens wearing breast plates? I feel like it is cheating somehow. What are your thoughts on trans girls in the shows? They have it so easy. They already live as women, so where is the challenge to dress up and do shows? Thanks, T-Dog.

T-Dog, you are an idiot! First of all, breast plates — or tit bibs as we call ’em — are just one more way to customize a look.

They are really no different than pads. I say use ’em if you got ’em.

Second, to say that transwomen have anything easy is just stupid. The transwomen I know that do shows are entertainers and put just as much into a show as drag queens. They live as women but become showgirls for the show. Being an entertainer is more than just how long did it take to get ready.

As far as what are my thoughts on transwomen in a show, I fucking love them. Some of my favorite entertainers are transwomen. Krystal Summers is a sexpot showgirl. Aurora Sexton slays the game every time. Erica Andrews will always be one of the all-time greats, may she rest in peace. She was a transwoman that took showgirling to a whole notha level.

Expand your horizons T-Dog! Open your mind and judge a showgirl by whether you were entertained, not by your antiquated idea of what’s easy. Sheesh!

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

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