My book How We Survive Here: Families Across Time is being released this November. Back inmy German cousin Angela Weber visited me, bringing along 19th-century letters written in Old German Script by my German immigrant ancestors. Angela knew how to translate the letters, a true blessing.
Share via Email Seven years ago I was living in the East Village undergoing a significantly delayed adolescence, drinking and drugging a little too much, and indulging in all the sidewalk freak-show opportunities that New York City has to offer.
Back then I was hanging around a lot with a drag king I had met through friends. She used to like to dress up and have me take pictures of her in costume. One night she dared me to dress up with her and go out on the town. I'd always wanted to try passing as a man in public, just to see if I could do it, so I agreed enthusiastically.
I made myself a goatee and moustache, and a pair of exaggerated sideburns. I put on a baseball cap, loose-fitting jeans and a flannel shirt. In the full-length mirror I looked like a frat boy - sort of. She did her thing - which was more willowy and faint, more like a young hippie guy who couldn't really grow much of a beard - and we went out like that for a few hours.
We passed, as far as I could tell, but I was too afraid really to interact with anyone, except to give one guy brief directions on the street.
He thanked me as "dude" and walked on.
Mostly, though, we just walked through the Village scanning people's faces to see if anyone took a second or third look.
But no one did. And that, oddly enough, was the thing that struck me the most about that evening.
I had lived in that neighbourhood for years, walking its streets, where men lurk outside of bodegas, on stoops and in doorways much of the day. As a woman, you couldn't walk down those streets invisibly. You were an object of desire or at least semiprurient interest to the men who waited there, even if you weren't pretty.
But that night in drag, we walked by those same stoops and doorways and bodegas. We walked by those same groups of men. Only this time they didn't stare. On the contrary, when they met my eyes they looked away immediately and concertedly, and never looked back. It was astounding, the difference, the respect they showed me by not looking at me, by purposely not staring.
To look another male in the eye and hold his gaze is to invite conflict, either that or a homosexual encounter. To look away is to accept the status quo, to leave each man to his tiny sphere of influence, the small buffer of pride and poise that surrounds and keeps him.
After the incident had blown over, I started thinking that if I had learned so much about the unspoken male codes after being in drag for only a few hours, couldn't I observe much more about the social differences between the sexes if I passed as a man for a much longer period of time? I was determined to give the idea a try.
First, if I was to create this man, I had to think of an identity for him. I needed a name. I hit upon Ned, a nickname from childhood that had long since fallen out of use.
Practically from birth, I was the kind of hardcore tomboy that makes you think there must be a gay gene. How else to explain my instinctive loathing of dresses, dolls and frills of any kind when other girls delighted in such things? Next, there was my appearance. The first and most important step was to find out how to make a more believable beard than the slapdash version my drag king friend had taught me years before.
Ryan, a make-up artist of my acquaintance, suggested using wool crepe hair instead of real hair.
I could buy whatever shade best matched my hair and always have a ready supply to hand without having to butcher my haircut. Ryan showed me how to unwind the braids, comb the strands of hair together, then cut the ends. Later, as I refined this process, I bought a men's electric beard trimmer and ran it across the tips of the hair, producing actual stubble-length pieces that, when applied with a lanolin and beeswax-based adhesive, looked like a five o'clock shadow.
To help square my jaw I to went to the barber and asked him to cut my hair in a flat-top - a haircut I usually abhor on men, but which did a lot under the circumstances to masculinise my head.
Then I went to the optician and picked out two pairs of rectangular frames, again to accentuate the angles of my face.
In the beginning I was so worried about getting caught - not passing - that, in order to ensure my disguise, I wore my glasses everywhere, and often a baseball hat.
Once I'd finished doctoring my head and face, I began concentrating on my body. First I had to find a way to bind my breasts. This is trickier than it sounds, even when you're small-breasted. In the end, cupless sports bras worked best.Coming out of the Los Angles/Long Beach/Compton area in , they first came to prominence when Eric Burdon left the Animals to work together with them under their original name, War.
Jenkins recommended a buddy, Edwin (Bud) Shrake, who was put on at “space rates”: this meant he was paid according to piece work performed, as with peapickers and women who take in ironing. Obituaries for the last 7 days on Your Life Moments.
A Few Things about the Duck Dynasty Robertson Family that they teach baptism is essential for salvation as part of the Church of Christ movement. St. Simons Island boasts indisputable beauty that can be seen from all angles. From the moss-draped live oak trees to the miles-long beaches and historic sites that have thrived since.
Barber averaged points and assists per game last season; the latter mark could have been much higher.
Smith is a great passer, and he’ll look to get his teammates involved.