He. She. Sage.
I’m Sage. I’m genderfluid. That means I’m The Baddest Bitch (after Trina of course) as well as That Nigga. I believe that I have always possessed a healthy balance of masculine and feminine energy. I will answer to “he” or “she”. I have been this way my whole life without actually knowing there was a word for it until recently.
Not having a word for this and being raised to believe I was only allowed to exist as one gender made life a little...uncomfortable. Whenever I would do what felt natural to me, I would be berated for it.
“Go change. You look like a boy”
“Are you gay?”
“Why do you dress like that?”
…were things classmates and family would tell/ask me with thinly veiled disgust.
I was always somewhat socially aware, even as a child. I knew if I gave the “wrong” response to those questions and statements, bad things could happen to me. So I decided to be a woman all the time because I was born with female parts.
I went from this:
…all over a span of 10 years or so.
It wasn’t easy or seamless though. When I am making myself a pretty girl, I enjoy the positive attention, but it is rarely natural to me. I had to study women I found beautiful and perform femininity. And when I say it wasn’t seamless, I mean that people could still tell that something was “off” about me as a woman. Back when I thought I was straight, I clashed with men a lot when trying to date because no amount of makeup or lingerie could conceal my BIG DICK ENERGY. These niggas was BOTHERED. I never did anything I was “supposed to” do in a relationship. “You talk and move like a nigga.”
I was “too complicated.” I was “not soft enough.” I was “not feminine enough.” I was “too much.”
The word I heard the most when in the presence of straight men was…
In my defense, I was trying really hard and got very good at being a woman. There were just...cracks. The man just JUMPED OUT. Trying to hide all that, adjust the way I walk, talk, dress, how I make moves, etc. for over 10 years so people around me would give me positive attention, accept me, and be more comfortable was exhausting.
I never felt at ease with myself when around cisgender heterosexual people because I felt like they could smell the weird on me. Then I met people like me. And I went places where there were MORE people who existed as both. They didn’t say they were men all the time or women all the time. And they openly spoke about it and showed it to others. They even performed and made money existing as both.
So that gives you all the context you need for this next bit…
I recently found out drag kings (male impersonators) were a thing and it got me super excited! Then I learned what a genderfuck was and got EVEN MORE EXCITED! I wanted to jump out of my skin. Like “BITCH! That is ME!”
My partner and my new friends asked me questions like, “Who are you as a man?” and “Do you want to be a boy or a girl today?” and it made me feel really good. It made me sit and give it thought. I like playing with gender roles and making fun of them the way people who follow them used to make fun of me. That has made drag therapeutic for me.
As a performer, I am an amalgamation of every straight man I have encountered. I dance like a jumpoff. The fuckboi who knows he’s pretty and he got pull. The narcissist. The one you know is going to ruin your life but you text him anyway. I want people to look at me performing and see the perfect dick appointment. Not a husband or boyfriend, but I’ll take care of whatever you need and give you space. I’ll blow your back out, but here’s the kicker--I’ll text you back after. I’m everything your man lacks and I will cost you nothing.
“What your man won’t do, someone else will” Hi. Hello. Yes, that’s me. I’m the someone else.
And I do so with a full face of makeup on because I’m pretty and why not? Haven’t you always wanted a man who you could send into Sephora and not have to panic?
So that is Sage.
Sage is a DC-based burlesque and drag performer who has wowed Taste.Touch.Feel. audiences in both masculine and feminine presentations. You can follow her online antics on IG (@a_stretching_cat) or catch her performing at The Haux Hive’s Braux Code show on April 27th!
Edited by Jennifer Eden (@slutofthemonth)