Sunday, June 03, 2007

Drag Naming: A Proposal

The generally accepted formula for determining one's drag name is fairly well-known, even among heterosexuals (although they often refer to it as their "porn name"). The first name is typically the name of one's first pet, and the last is the name of the first street you lived on as a child.

Mine, for instance, is "Bacardi Garden" -- swear to God. I'm lucky, I guess. When I was 9, my brother and I had a black cat for about a month and named it after Mom's favorite rum. [I was a bad ass little bartender at the age of 7 and could make a mean Cuba Libre]. Mom's other favorite rum was Don Q, but Bacardi sounded better. To be honest, there's always been a bit of suspicion around Bacardi's sudden death, in that no one really knows how she was able to get out of the house that day and onto the street where she was run over. It wasn't until I was well into my twenties before I realized Mom may have "unintentionally" let her out because she was mortified.

And Garden Street is where my newlywed parents (aged 18 & 19) first moved after they were married on December 31, 1965. I was born in April 1966. The difference in the two years -- 1965 & 1966 -- was the reason it took me until I was 15 to realize that my parent's wedding had been of the "shotgun" variety.

I was watching TV and started counting months, January, February, March, April. Hmmmm, that's only four. I remember yelling from the living room to my mother, asking her "Mom, was I premature?" She came into the room, looked at me very sweetly and said, "Oh honey, did you just figure that out?" I nodded, she came over, gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear, "I always knew I would have you. No matter what you're father said or wanted me to do, I knew I was going to have you." She's subtle, and ever so effective. Suddenly, the reason for the absence of wedding pictures of my mother resplendent in virginal white became obvious.

So "Bacardi Garden" it is. And, yes, with a name like that, you know I'm in therapy.

But in playing this drag naming game with other gay men, I've found that most aren't as lucky as I am and that many of the names are less than exciting. I mean, how sad to be stuck with "Spot Main," "Buttons East 57th" or "Whiskers Elm"?

So, in the spirit of greater inclusion, I have a proposal to make for a new way to drag name. It's simple and has greater flexibility, while retaining the "personal touch" that makes the name feel like one's own.

My suggestion is that each person -- male or female -- take the names of two medications that they are currently taking, for whatever condition they're willing to disclose, and smash them back-to-back.

Voila! Depressed about going bald? Keep that chin up, "Celexa Rogaine." Going bald, but fighting it with all you've got? Meet Celexa's twin, "Propecia Rogaine." Until I recently changed my HIV medication regimen, I could have been called "Kaletra Trizivir." Love it! Now it would be "Reyataz Epsicom," which is nice, but it doesn't have that same zing. Here are some more:

She's bald and broke, say hello to "Generica Minoxidyl"

Her tummy's upset from worrying too much, she's "Zantac Klonopin"

Can't rise to the occasion or concentrate, meet "Levitra Adderall"

The formula works with generic brands, over-the-counter medications, and even dietary supplements. Give a shoutout to these beautiful gals: "Bupoprion Diazepam," "Vagisil Aleve" and "Gingko Goldenseal."

Would love to hear some of your new names ladies!

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