Or: complex days on the gender presentation front.
From my correspondent RJP, a link to a stunning performance by Filipino model, actor, comedian, and self-proclaimed social media entertainer Sinon Loresca. You can watch it here. A screen capture:
A moment from a fully realized runway / catwalk display done by a man with a highly masculine body; this shot comes just a moment after Loresca punctuates his catwalk routine with a brief pec flex, a bodybuilder’s display.
From the Cosmopolitan magazine site on 2/1/17, “This Man is Better at Walking in Heels Than Anyone Else on the Planet” by Gina Mei:
Miss Philippines Maxine Medina may not have won the crown at the Miss Universe pageant last weekend, but model, actor, comedian, and self-proclaimed social media entertainer Sinon Loresca is about to snatch it back from Miss France for her.
In a truly epic nod to the beauty queen last weekend, Loresca donned a Speedo and a pair of sky high [6-inch] heels and recreated her iconic walk — and the resulting video has since gone crazy viral, earning over 10 million views on Facebook. Once you watch it, it’s easy to see why: I’m pretty sure there is no one on the planet who can strut in a pair of heels like this.
Loresca grew up poor in Manila; he’s openly gay and — this is important — his natural presentation of self is recognizably gay; he has a ripped, carefully developed masculine body; he now lives in London (where he has a boyfriend); and, incidentally, his English is pretty rocky, so he mostly uses Pilipino / Filipino, the national language of the Philippines (and the standard register of the Austronesian language Tagalog).
Loresca’s performance in the video is an homage to Maxine Medina, but it’s also a gender performance that deliberately combines elements of conventionally masculine presentations and conventionally feminine presentations, playing on the heteronormative assumption that men whose natural presentation of self has elements of both are “acting like women”. In fact, such men should be seen as “acting like fags”, not like women: they’re not doing drag, they’re doing fag. And some of them defiantly (and to my mind, admirably) amp up their performances, as if to communicate, “You want faggy, I’ll give you faggy!” In the defiant words of a faggy character from the 1976 movie Car Wash, addressing a man:
Honey, I’m more man than you’ll ever be and more woman than you’ll ever get.
Other variants have “more of a man … more of a woman”. The quote has become a catchphrase, used for e-cards, song titles, and the like. And, notably, for a really fine piece of gay porn, a 1990 All Worlds video starring Joey Stefano and Mike Henson:
The cover of the DVD, showing ubercocklover Stefano’s salient bodypart, his ass, but with Henson’s salient bodypart, his cock, fuzzed out for modesty’s sake. Note Stefano’s sultry facial expression: he’s fully embracing his inner fag — the flick is about his journey to this state — while displaying a hunky, high-masculine body.
The quote probably has some earlier history, but I know it first from Car Wash.
Back to Loresca and his gender performances. Here he is in a neutral pose, taking a cock-tease selfie that shows off his hot body:
And here in a more extravagant cock tease, simultaneously flashing haughty defiant sultriness:
And then from his Facebook page, Loresca in a dress, doing more fag:
… from the King of Catwalk
(Note: King of Catwalk.)
A guy in a dress isn’t necessarily doing drag, or, for that matter, cross-dressing for emotional satisfaction or trying to pass as a woman in public. See my 2/2/16 posting on, among other things pornstar Colby Keller posing in women’s wear, where I wrote:
These are not even remotely drag performances, or even performances in an area where one sex might be seen as blending into the other, but instead are boldly gender-mixed performances, with strongly asserted masculinity combined comfortably with trappings of femininity.
I would now describe Keller as (defiantly and playfully) doing fag. Similarly, Loresca. Contrast their performances with those of the participants in the drag balls depicted in the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning. From Wikipedia:
Paris Is Burning is a 1990 American documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. Some critics consider the film to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the “Golden Age” of New York City drag balls, and a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.
Here, a guy in drag is working to create an alternative female persona for himself — a persona that is either a faithful representation of some woman or an exaggerated commentary on femininity (or, of course, both).