drag queen, creative outlet, theatre, audience, teacher identity, fear, double life
Garrett: And so aside from teaching I am also a professional drag queen.
Tara: No way!
Garrett: Yes. Yeah. Out. My students know it. Um, I wasn’t for a long time. So after I came out, um, maybe four years after, uh, I kind of did drag for the first time as a dare. Um, it was at a local bar, and they were like, “enter the competition”, and I’m like, “put some money on the table” and they did, grabbed the money, and entered the competition, and I won it. And I remember at the time my husband, who I’m still married to, at the time I’m like, “Don’t worry, I’m just doing it once, I’m just going to do it once”, and I haven’t stopped. So that was, yah, fifteen years ago? So it started as a dare, um, huge creative outlet for me. I’d always done theatre and drama and that kind of thing. So, um, yeah, I started as a dare and so for a number of years I actually lived a complete double life. Um, petrified of being caught as well, right? As a classroom teacher doing drag at night, working bars, um, I was absolutely petrified. And there were those moments that I was actually performing, and, you know, students’ parents are in the audience. They didn’t know who I was, they didn’t recognise me, but, um… Yeah, I know. [Laughter] Or our board administrator. I’ve done that. I’m performing and there was a admin – a principle in our system who’s closeted…
Kate: Right, so you’re going, “Why are you in this place, excuse me?”
Garrett: Well perspective wise, I know who they are, right? And they don’t know who I am, and I’m standing there going, this is a principal who is closeted, and is at a show and has no idea who I am, um, performing. And then over the years, um, just my grounding in human rights and that sort of thing I just became braver and braver. And after I was in alternative, I came out. Also, my students are eighteen, right? They’re adults.
Tara: It makes a difference.