Fraser - Performer

Fraser's Point of View

Vicky Lee says:

Fraser is possibly the closest gay friend that I have ever had, (who is not a female impersonator or drag queen). I always perceived Fraser as different to the rest of the team - he was the boy we were... the 'girls'. I think that's how he thought of the others and me too. When we were on tour and went out to socialise, in our off duty time, us 'girls' rarely ventured out without our slap and a frock to impress. For me it was an experience to watch Fraser prepare for a night out - attention to detail (a button here a flash of Calvin's there) ... but all man. I asked him to write an article from his perspective for The Tranny Guide.

Fraser says:

“I am not a drag queen or female impersonator, I still get labelled drag queen”

Looking back, I never expected I'd follow a career in performing arts. Like most teenagers, I often dreamed about being on stage, but never once had I entertained the prospect of jumping around as an impersonator, look-alike, illusionist or even (as some have said) an impostor!

Ten years ago saw the first appearance of Fraser, backing my colleagues playing the boy parts in both dance and comedy routines - 'an extra' as I once remember being referred to!

Considering the pay was both inexcusable and offensive in it's entirety, I suppose the reason I continued performing in the early days was quite simply for the fun of it (ok, ok - and maybe the adrenaline / endorphin rush!)

Performing was something I had looked upon as being very ephemeral and where longevity only came with great talent. The thing is that I have never considered myself to be 'that' talented. on stage.Even after being in the business for over a decade I still see myself as an 'average all-round entertainer' who tries not to take himself too seriously.

When the shows really started to take off, I must admit I was in my element. I loved being able to call a venue and within five minutes having clinched a £500 deal. It all seemed so easy! The previous four or five years had been quite a struggle, promoting, building a name and client base, surviving the inevitable personality clashes and performing as characters including Michael Jackson and Edward Scissor Hands. Now the work was flooding in and the show was growing from strength to strength. Everyone was having a great time touring the U.K., Europe and the States but for me things were changing, especially outside of the world we had created for ourselves.

I noticed that many of the friends that I used to 'hang-out' with were no longer around and that my circle of friends now mainly consisted of other performers, 80% of which were drag queens or female impersonators. It has fascinated me living and working with so many different stereotypical roles.- and believe me, my friends, past and present, have included each and EVERY stereotype. I have learnt that someone who says they aren't homophobic can turn out to be the most homophobic of the lot - whereas the person who seems to be extremely homophobic can be quite the reverse when none the wiser to a persons sexuality? When it comes to cross-dressing, people's beliefs (including gay people) are so mixed up that they don't know whether they are coming or going!

During this time I noticed friends gay and straight distancing themselves from me. I can now put this down to them having a problem with drag! Although I am not a drag queen or female impersonator, I still get labelled 'drag queen’,This annoys me intensely but I realise that it just boils down to that person's stupidity and blindness! It's upsetting to see that within the gay community, the 'gay homophobe' has increased tenfold over the past five years owing to the fitness boom and body-beautiful era. Could it be that it is no longer acceptable to dress up and jump around on stage, in a gay cabaret venue, in the opposite sex's clothes? There are are more 'out' trannies than ever before but drag seems to be heading towards oblivion.

I have even overheard people say that drag has had it's day!

It is definitely in a decline on the gay scene. Take Gay Pride for instance: where was the Cabaret Tent and how many Drag performers were included on the Main Stage? Looking at the London cabaret listings, Drag is becoming more and more scarce. I believe that people just aren't as interested in drag as they were just a few years ago, when Drag was hitting the headlines everywhere and films such as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Two Wong Foo, were box office smashes.

Now people seem to be finally accepting cross-dressing as an every day part of life and as trannies become more accepted it looks as though Drag is becoming more and more illusive.

Fortunately, this might be quite a good thing for the Tranny community because the novelty of seeing a man dressed as a woman and the association with drag will have diminished allowing trannies to get on with their lives, more accepted than ever before!