Friday, August 11, 2023

An Open Letter to Michelle Visage

Dear Pretty Lady,

In all the hype you are probably one of the smaller parts of the Drag Race machine but for me, from the first moment, you're the biggest. I love you because I found you so weirdly pretentiously annoying until, like a veil lifted, I saw you DOING you, and you do you so precisely. I love you because you go from inscrutably icy to suddenly vulnerable and back again in a blink, so quick most people probably miss it and have no idea why they love you. I love you because you are blunt and scary but not scary because you are never, never unkind, and your words are gifts you give even when it's hard. But mostly I love you because from the moment I saw you I thought I saw HER again, my best-friend-on-our-way-back-again, until she died from a deadly combination of bipolar and the patriarchy's hatred for "the crazy bitch." She's been gone for two years and I still don't believe she left me here. But now, there's you - the way you hold your mouth, your brash vulgarity, your gorgeously knowing how gorgeous you are, your next-to-brutal honesty that feels like a rough caress, your several laughs, your bold gestures, your affection, your flattered smile. You embody so much of what made her, her. You conjure her. You help me conjure her back, for a moment, as if she made it to where she could have been, if only, just where you are. 

Thank you for showing up out loud, and giving me a taste of who you are that wafts a scent of her my way. I painted a painting for you, if you want, I hope you're one of the 8000 people in the world who might like it. I think she would have gotten it too. 

with love and gratitude. 


CM Simard 1971-2021