FanPost

For Matt Roth: How I learned to call people what they want to be called

This is for the benefit of our esteemed BElitists Matthew Roth and Jonathan who are refusing to refer to Fallon Fox as "she" and acting as if it's some kind of principled stand when in fact it's just bad manners.

Back in the early 90's when I was young and did things like go out to bars and start awful noise rock bands, there was only one place in town where beginner noise bands could play -- The Cavity. The Cavity was just that, literally a walled-in space between two other buildings with dirt floors, a make shift stage and a crackhead squatter/proprietor who somehow managed to get away with booking loud awful punk rock bands in this patently illegal space in downtown Austin. It was BYOB of course.

Naturally the Cavity didn't last. Some unfortunate got abducted from a show or the vicinity of a show that happened there and the investigation into her murder revealed the many manifest violations of law and city regulation going on at The Cavity.

That left punk rock Austin with no where to go.

Happily we were taken in by Miss Laura.

Miss Laura ran the Blue Flamingo. The Blue Flamingo (motto: "An Unusual Mix of People") was a down-and-out drag bar on the corner of 7th and Red River in Austin. One block from Police HQ and only steps away from the biggest open-air crack market in the city at the time. It was next door to the Cavity and after the Cavity got shut down, Miss Laura was more than willing to let even the worst, most obnoxious punk band play the tiny front room of her club.

When punk bands weren't playing, the BF was a hangout for the kinds of guys who didn't fit in too well at the fancier gay bars down the street. Uglier, older, poorer, less fashionable, more down and out, that's who went to the Blue Flamingo.

And drag queens. Lots and lots of drag queens. Some of them matronly like Miss Laura. Some of them so homely and poorly made up you couldn't believe they left the house that way. And a few of them were actually really pretty. There was a trio of 6' plus African-American ladies who really looked sharp and were always coming in and out of the bar.

They had one thing in common though, they all liked to be called "she."

And because they were cool with our crappy loud awful music when no one else in town was and because they welcomed us into their nice little haven and because I learned quickly that anyone born male who's willing to walk the streets of a Texas city dressed as a woman deserves all the respect in the world we called people what they wanted to be called.

We didn't insist on pulling up skirts and checking to see if "she" had the socially approved genitalia. We didn't run chromosome tests or wait for more scientific research. Even Miss Bob who didn't bother with make up or skirts or heels or any other trope of womanhood. He just liked to drink cheap beer and be called "she." We just did the polite thing and called people what they wanted to be called.

It's just good manners.

Just telling a tale from the Kid Nate history books. Hope it has some effect on my fellow BElitists.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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