Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Real Men Blow Bubbles

The year I was born, a film called Women in Revolt was released. It was produced by Andy Warhol and written/directed by Paul Morrissey, whom I adore. "Women" starred Andy's drag queen starlets, Candy Darling, Jackie Curtis and Holly Woodlawn, as three "women" who join the "movement." Yes, the world's first film about the female liberation movement starring transvestites. There are many levels of irony at work in this film. I love the fact that these performers commit to their roles so completely. As in all of the "Warhol" films, the fact that these creatures are Not real women is never alluded to. They simply play it "straight"- that is until they decide to renounce men altogether and dabble in lesbianism. You know how these things happen...

CUT TO: Me, twenty years later, exploring my own inner womanhood in a very superficial creation I called: Helena Bubbles. Actually, the first name was mine, inspired by Sherilyn Fenn's portrayal of a woman whose body is mutilated by her lover in the film Boxing Helena. The last name was bestowed upon me by my drag mother, Madame X, and my older "sisters." I had wanted my name to resemble "Marlene Dietrich" which I had heard described as "a caress and then a SLAP!" I begged and pleaded as they compiled a list of choices: "Just let it be memorable!" And I got my wish. Other queens always referred to me as Helena, but to my fans I was simply "Bubbles."

Bubbles was definately a Gemini, or at least bipolar. Most often, she was happy to be exploited as a sex object. She feigned the "blonde" stereotype, acting dumb and easy. She craved attention and when it wasn't enough to be slutty, she got scary. Baffling her audience with strange performance art, then returning to the sex kitten role at the drop of a hat. I modeled her after the phone sex models I saw in ads in the back section of the Tucson Weekly. I wanted her to be the ultimate straight male fantasy girl, like Jenny McCarthy, Pamela Anderson, etc. I dubbed her the "White Trash Goddess" and it was a title that she lived up to.

Helena retired about ten years ago. I heard she moved back to the trailer park she grew up in, married a convict and through the miracle of conjugal visits, is the mother of three little boys. She supports her family as a manicurist, tarot card reader and occasional phone sex operator. I hope she is happy.


Holly said...

I was glad to read about Helena and posted a link to this entry from my blog.

Reese Witherfork said...

Once again, Saviour, you're brilliant. "A caress and then a SLAP." I'm stealing that for the "about me" part of my blogger profile. I may alter it slightly, though.

Wow, trannies are something I rarely think about, but I've realized after reading this that, in spite of already being a woman, I am in fact part tranny - since I like to be a parody of femininity.

Oh and, right, I loved Boxing Helena.

Take care cool guy.

Reese said...

Hi, I'm popping back to correct myself. I meant "drag queen," not "transsexual." Bye.

Saviour Onassis said...


I knew what you meant. As "tranny" could be short for either transexual or transvestite. Technically, dressing in women's clothing makes me a transvestite but since I almost always did it for money or charity, I guess that makes me a whore.

I always tried to pay homage to feminity, rather than parody it. I admire and respect women who reinvent themselves, even as sexual objects. It's not very PC, but then again, my show was not either.

Bubbles' favorite song was "Lovefool" by the Cardigans. I shall never forgive her for that!