The difference between wearing a fur coat and being a fur coat

How glamorous to drape oneself in a mink coat. Not so glamorous to be the mink coat the dead skin of a once-living wild creature, trapped, killed, and turned into an object to be used and discarded.

I was underage and it was one of my first visits to a gay bar in my midwestern town. The drag queens were glorious, larger than life. They shone like Hollywood suns. We applauded, mesmerized.

They have it all, I thought. Tall, radiant, smooth as silk, achingly beautiful ā€“ the clothes, the hair, the lips, the lashes ā€“ and they have penises too. They are men. They can take off the drag, put on business suits and rule the world.

That’s it. Game over. They win, both sides, hands down.

But it puzzled me. I know what women are used for. Who would want that? Who would want the trappings of submission? Who wants to win at being a slave?

But ok, fine. If they want it, they can have it. They can have all of it. The shaving, plucking, girdling, padding, painting — take it. Please. I sure as hell can’t take it. Short, butch, rough-skinned angry teens just can’t pull off that kind of drag. And it’s painful and degrading, for fuck’s sake.

And I didn’t need all that anyway. I was going to grow up to be a man.

— Babe Ruthless


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