I wasn’t about to say anything, not while we were out, anyway. It’s Sunday and late. I snuck in not too long ago, chewing minty gum in hopes my parents wouldn’t notice any liquor smell. The boys say that vodka doesn’t smell, but I’m not so sure. My mom and dad were already in bed so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

I still can’t get used to calling the boys the girls. I mean, I get the whole drag thing — it’s about dressing up like super over-the-top female singers and performing and being a character. They don’t want to actually be women. That’s a totally different thing.

The Parkside downtown has drag shows every Sunday so we go and then shoot pool. I’m in the little room thinking about the night and especially this one guy (girl?) who dresses up like Boy George and lip-syncs to Culture Club songs. He too is one of the girls, and talks about himself in the third-person just like the rest and is loud and calls me girlfriend like the rest do.

But Boy George is a guy, not a girl, and yes, he wears makeup and skirts, but it’s not like he’s saying he’s a girl or completely dressing up like one, so I’m not sure if this Boy George at The Parkside can really be called and drag queen. I write this Boy George drag question as a reminder to myself to ask someone who might know when I see them.


Boy George, photographed by David Levine for Blitz , October 1984.

Welcome to the Little Room is a series of 250-word re-imagined vignettes from my ’80s youth with a focus on music and style. It appears weekly on periodicult.com.

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