Caught in the Act
TL;DR: Well, everyone is resting on ugly, why can't I rely on being pretty?
Originally Written: 03-Nov-2021
Word Count: 687
Read Time: 4 minutes
Read Score: 76.4 (7th Grade)
The first time I met the talented Australian wonder that is Courtney Act, pronounced like "Caught in the Act", they were relaxing in a hot tub next to me after delivering what was a powerful performance.
I was at Fire Island, a gay haven where music and drugs are everywhere and I was there for what was called the Fire Island Pines Party, which featured a large dance venue outside, on the beach, and all night until sunrise.
No, literally. I danced all night until sunrise.
I cried when I saw the sun rise because I couldn't believe the night I had had.
Namely the experience of seeing my first in-person performance of a person in drag.
Not just a person in drag, a singer who embodied a pop star fantasy I had never explored myself.
They was beautiful, confident, and could sing their heart out!
The only logical response to seeing this unfold in front of me was to cry.
Cry my fucking eyes out.
I was so happy.
Happy I could live my life the way I wanted and be around people so celebrated for their differences.
I was overwhelmed.
I almost couldn't accept that I was walking in reality I only knew as a child as a fantasy.
Not only that, but it challenged how I felt about myself.
Challenged me in a way that I couldn't put into words then, so I just watched.
Watched as they sat in a hot tub next to me after delivering an astounding performance.
Watched as they removed their fake breasts and wrung them out like a sponge.
Watched as they enamored any person who they walked past with their energy.
It wasn't until four years later, did Courtney herself teach me what I was feeling inside for myself.
In early 2020, I had the privilege of going on a two month sabbatical to travel.
On this trip, I decided to take my father with me.
You can decide for yourself if that was a good or bad idea, but it was everything I could hope for and more. It was also as bad, if not worse, than what one would fear (just kidding dad!).
On this trip, we ended up in Sydney during Mardi Gras, their version of gay pride.
On this trip, Courney happened to be doing a show called 'Fluid', which was about Courtney's journey with the fluidity of their gender and sexuality and coming to understand the concept that fluidity is applicable to all areas of our lives.
I decided to bring my father, with limitied-to-no exposure to any queer concepts, to this show.
It was amazing, but it taught me something important.
Courtney shined for me the way they did because they weren't afraid of going all-in on themselves.
Courtney was able to present herself in a way that helped to, not only entertain, but inform the uninformed.
That night, my dad was not only able to talk to me about the importance of labels as it relates to finding a 'street' to drive down in life, he was able to see how my self-identities come into play more.
I felt seen for the first time in ways I hadn't felt seen, and I didn't say anything.
Didn't feel the need to start a conversation or talk. Didn't feel the need to inform or educate.
My dad was able to learn just from seeing a person shine brightly.
It made me realize that was not how I was setting an example to others.
Courtney is inspiring to me because they were "Caught in the Act" of being the kind of self-expressed individual that relishes in their experience of living and what they have to share with others over getting caught up in the act of ruminating over their next step, something I seem eagerly fond of.
One day, too, it is my hope, my dream, to set the kind of examples Courtney has set for me for others.
Maybe not the same kind or in the same way, but in a way that shines as truly me.
Thank you Courtney.