Baton Rouge, LA
Oscar: I'm actually a 19 year old virgin. A lot of people find that shocking considering I don't come from a religious background. In relationships I like taking things slow with people. It means something to me and I don't want to compromise that.
I always knew I was going to turnout gay and I could tell from an early part of my life that I was queer. So that was something I was able to get a head start on coming to terms with internally. It also gave me a little bit of a different outlook because gay and queer are not entirely synonymous.
BW: Can you explain what being queer means to you?
I could never be "normal" and happy at the same time. I have an internal perception of myself as a boy, but as a boy that is also a woman. The boy within me is a blank slate for being a woman. If I were to be told that I could never [dress in drag] again, I wouldn't want to live anymore.
I was about 10 when I stayed home alone for the first time. I'd already thought by this point in my life that I'd make a beautiful girl. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I could never be a beautiful boy, but I could be a beautiful girl.
My mother didn't wear makeup. She also didn't own any dresses or skirts. She strictly wore pants. I remember, I took a large scarf of hers and made it into a little sarong of sorts around my waist and took a pair of her pajama pants and created a pseudo crop top. I put a towel on my head and pretended that was hair. I took face paint from halloween and an extra set of eyebrows that were super arched. A bunch of colors around the eyes. Big huge clown lips and I looked in the mirror and I was fucking beautiful! I definitely wasn't beautiful, but all I saw was pretty, and it just made me admire those feminine aspects of myself.
That was kind of a turning point. I got a lot of criticism as a boy, but I got a lot of compliments being one of the girls. Doing girlier thing. Girls support me. They think I'm awesome. I'm one of them. It was hard for me to get that kind of response from my male peers. They see femininity as less than masculinity.
Tigerland is a group of bars around LSU. It's a guaranteed population of people who are homophobic, transphobic, and racist. I have friends that can go to tigerland and they're gay. They're not queers, because they can go and blend in with the crowd. They do what they do behind closed doors, and it doesn't bother anybody, so it's hard to label them as queer. But someone like me, I've never been to Tigerland because I'm afraid. I'm genuinely terrified.
BW: Have you considered the possibility that you may be transgender?
Oscar: Trans is who you are and drag is what you do. I feel as though I like being a boy. I like waking up as a boy. The femininity within myself that I love is almost a caricature of what femininity is. Drag works for me. It's so heightened and theatrical. I don't find it to be all that interesting to look like an everyday biological woman. I find it way more interesting and genuine to myself, to be larger than life, and look like an interpretation of a woman. I like putting on the wig with the big hair and drawing on way too much eyeliner and arching everything at upwardly sharp angles. I have a picture...
Part of these collections: Coming Out