A young boy is coming this way; A young girl is coming this way.
~ PZI Miscellaneous Koans
Gender fluidity. Identity fluidity. Gender-Identity fluidity. Despite well-publicized resistance, slowly people are gaining freedom to express what and who they believe to be their true selves.
There is some Zen in that. In fact, in Zen, we believe that all our identities are fluid.
A few nights ago, I plopped into a white-shag bean bag in front of the television to watch with my family the season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Fourteen drag queens were competing to become “America’s Next Drag Superstar”, with prizes of $100,000 and one-year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics. The winner, Sasha Velour, was stunning. “Let’s change”, she shouted on winning the title, “Let’s get inspired by all this beauty and change the motherf’ing world!” I was touched when later she suggested the freedom to be fluid was open to all: “If you want to be a queen, make your own f’ing crown!”
Watching the show, I thought about was how in Zen we also change identities all the time. We shape shift from being human in form to becoming a bellowing rhinoceros or a cypress tree standing in the garden. We find change and freedom in the beautiful sound of a distant temple bell, or by uttering the simple word ‘no’. Or, if we wish, as in the koan above, we can transform from being an old boy to become a young girl who is coming this way.
“Do you guys see the life I’m creating on my face?”, says Kimora Blac, a contestant on the show, who gives us an amazing lesson in queen make-up: www.logotv.com/video-clips/lhlzbz/rupauls-drag-race-kimora-blac-makeup-tutorial