September 21, 2005

Transexual Triage

GULFPORT, Miss. - In an “unheard of” rescue operation, eight drag queens that were swept out of their nightclub by Hurricane Katrina have been rediscovered hundreds of yards out at sea where stylists are tracking, feeding and caring for them.

“To find all eight of them on your doorstep is just unheard of,” said Toby Brisket, president of FIERC (Female Impersonator Emergency Rescue Coalition) in Gulfport. “When we first saw them, they were really pissed off. But when they saw their stylists, they were absolutely livid. I mean it. These bitches were angry!”

The eight multi-ethnic drag queens were swept off their stage by the storm surge from Katrina, which then destroyed their New Orleans nightclub, Tattletales.

Since Saturday, when the drag queens were found, their stylists, along with FIERC and a transgender psychologist from Seattle, have been boating out into the Gulf of Mexico three times a day to visit the group of drag queens.

The drag queens are tossed plastic baggies filled with miniature vodka bottles and prescription antidepressants to help treat their infections and sour moods. None of the drag queens suffered life-threatening injuries, Brisket said, but they all endured multiple scrapes and lacerations and water soaked wigs.

Whistles and buckets

The team of stylists coaxes the drag queens to a pair of floating mats by using whistles and banging buckets together, sounds the performers learned to associate with cosmetics while in rehearsal, Brisket said.

“More than likely, they’ve lost all their dancing skills, their social skills,” said Jerry Totter, a transgender psychologist with the American Drag Queen Fund who participated in Asian rescues following the tsunami last December. “The biggest thing is to try to get some alcohol in them. We’re trying to build up their strength before we actually try to make them put on a show.”

Officials say the Coast Guard is preparing to deliver a passenger cruise ship on which the drag queens could perform, but it is not expected to arrive before the weekend. In the interim, a karaoke lounge at a local Red Roof Inn will be placed on standby in the event an emergency drag show is necessary.

The drag queens range in age from 18 years to 87. The two youngest are, Syllandra Vengence Devore of House October, 18, and Pookie Sue, 19. The others are Jill St. Claire, 27; Mygina Burns, 31; Jackeee Flash of House October, 35; Ginger Snapped, 48, Anita Bump, 57; and Tonesha Juanlandra-October, 87. Tonesha is the mother of Syllandra and Jackeee; Ginger is Pookie’s mother.

Many gays were evacuated from Tattletales before the hurricane, though the drag queens and a number of go-go boys remained. Officials said they believed the steel-wrapped concrete stage, which survived Hurricane Camille in 1969, would outlast the worst blows from Hurricane Katrina. None of the tiny, emaciated go-go boys are expected to be found alive.

In looking at the twisted wreckage of what used to be Tattletales, Brisket said it was a miracle that any of the drag queens made it through all the debris without more serious wounds.

“I'm absolutely amazed,” he said. "Some of them really look like women."


TRAYB said...

OMG. You're going to gay hell.
I love it.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you liked my image of the drag queen from Lucky Cheng's enough to use it in your blog, but would you mind saving it to your own space? Thanks!