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This is your chance, your opportunity to make a change. You are reading this book because you long for something more. You want to be more you.
You are tired of hiding the shiny, sparkly parts of yourself because of the fear of criticism. You want to experience the feeling of being your most fabulous self. You want to be confident, strong, full of life.
This book will show you how to do it-how to be fiercely you. Fiercely You is the culmination of what I (Jackie) have learned from the world of drag. It is a personal growth guide to help you ignore criticism, live life more fearlessly, and become the fierce and fabulous creature you may dream of being every day by learning lessons taught by drag queens.
It will offer advice from other people who have been transformed by using drag queens as role models and will trace my personal experience of diving into the Queendom.
My collaborator, Shelly Stewart Kronbergs, will dissect and explain how the lessons we can learn from drag queens are rooted in well-researched concepts in psychology. Everyone, meet Shelly!
Hello, darlings! I’m Shelly, and here are the letters after my name: MDiv, MA, LMFTA. Let me break that down for you: master’s degree in divinity from a Lutheran seminary. I was ordained as a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and was the pastor of a wonderful old country church outside of Austin, Texas.
Next is the master of arts degree in counseling, with a dual track for both LPC and LMFT. Those letters stand for licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist, but I chose to go the LMFT route and am currently licensed as an associate in that field.
All of these letters and degrees may impress you and assure you that I just might know what I’m talking about. Or maybe they’ll just bore you-I’m OK with that, too. What the letters don’t show you is that l, too, am fully engaged in becoming fiercely me, and I want to share with you why this book works.
Because it does. And the reason why it works is that its premises rest on strong psychological foundations. The book is more than merely anecdotal, it is supported by scholarly research on the psychological issues of power, the structure of personality, the construction and performance of our identity, and the ways in which change can be produced in our lives.
It is a privilege for me to provide that information for you and to help you become the person you dream of being.
Thanks, Shelly! Now let’s get started! ln this book you will find the five Keys to Fierce that will unlock your inner fabulousness and help you think like a fierce drag queen in your everyday life. They are:
- Create Your Drag Persona. Consciously create the person you’ve always wanted to be.
- Always Look Sickening in Everyday Drag. Dress for power.
- Strike a Pose and Embody Your Power. Use power posing and physicality to instill inner confidence.
- Tell Your Critics to Sashay Away. Quiet both inner and outer critics.
- You Better Werk! Take small risks to propel yourself to taking even bigger ones.
These keys unlock the Wisdom that will set you free:
you get to control who you are in this world. Too many of you feel controlled by your significant others, your bosses, your friends, your children, your parents.
You feel that you need to fulfill their expectations of you. You succumb to the perceptions you think they have of you-perceptions that you aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, capable enough. We Want you to consider less what other people think and instead focus meant to be.
Only you can let out that inner queen who is confident in herself no matter what other people think. Only you can create the amazing person you see inside your head and feel in your heart.
The next five chapters will break down in detail the five Keys to Fierce. Each chapter has a similar format that looks like this:
- An explanation of each key.
- How Jackie and her drag alter ego, Lady Trinity, experienced this key,
- Notes from the Stage: insights and advice from top drag queens on this key
- Notes from Everyday Queens: profiles of real people who are shining examples of how this key has worked for them.
- Notes from the Couch: proven psychological research that supports how this key improves confidence levels. Shelly will break down the research into layman’s terms and explain the science behind why these keys really work.
- Notes for Your Drag Diary: specific homework assignments to help you personalize each key. The “Drag Diary” is where you record your thoughts, fears, excitement, and progress of working through each key. The “diary” could be any place you want to record your thoughts: a paper notebook, the notepad on your phone, and so on. It’s important to write down your progress so that you can reflect back on the new things you have tried and be inspired by your past accomplishments.
By the way, these are not just suggestions. We want you to connect with those people who do see your potential and make them a bigger part of your lives, so they can cheer on your accomplishments and remind you of how fabulous you are when you are feeling less than confident. We want to form a community to make this change. That’s why we are introducing the “50 Days to Fierce Challenge!”
Gather your like-minded friends, either as a book club, a meet-up, or in our online community through our website, EnterTheQueendom.com. Post your efforts on social media for the world to see and support. Change can happen. It’s all within your control. Because remember, as RuPaul said, you are already in drag. You can create a powerful, confident persona that is fiercely you just by deciding to do it.
An important note as we move forward: we are not suggesting that to gain these benefits of feeling fabulous and more confident you need to actually become a drag queen. The idea here is to take the ways that drag queens create fierce, bold personas and apply them to our everyday lives to create self-confidence. But in order to apply them, We can’t just change our thinking; We have to change our actions.
You will be asked to do things that you may never have done before, things that might make you feel silly, or embarrassed, or uncomfortable. Things that might push your boundaries.
Of course, you are still in control of what you do, and nothing you are asked to do will be untoward. There are ways to incorporate a fabulous new you without breaking a dress code at Work. Shelly even has a story about wearing stiletto heels under her clergy robe!
The big idea here is that When We push ourselves, even just a little, to do things outside our comfort zone, We feel liberated, as though we can take on something else we feel afraid of. Taking action makes us feel more confident.
That said, in the Drag Diary sections of the keys, We will prescribe advanced activities for those who are “drag curious,” that is, who Want to have a more adventurous drag experience. It is also important at the outset to clear up any confusion about the differences between drag queens, transvestites, transgender people, and cross-dressers.
Umbrella terms like “transvestite” and “cross-dresser” mean dressing and acting in a style or manner traditionally associated With one’s opposite gender. But there are many reasons Why someone might be acting or dressing as the opposite gender.
“Drag queen” usually connotes cross-dressing for the purposes of entertainment and self-expression. Some people, usually heterosexual men, cross-dress to fulfill transvestic fetishes; that is, their cross-dressing is primarily part of a private sexual activity. “Transgender” is the state of one’s gender identity not matching one’s assigned sex at birth.
Some drag queens are also transgender women. This can be confusing. Some men who are questioning their gender identity are attracted to drag because it allows them to explore their female side. After these men transition to female, some continue to perform because they love the stage and entertaining a crowd. To put it simply, for transgender drag queens, drag is what they do, but trans is who they are.
Don’t know much about drag queens? The history of drag is long, storied, and important to know. Sashay your way to this book’s “A Drag Primer: Know Your Herstory,” and you’ll learn about drag queens’ historic role in the light for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights, detailed explanations of the various styles of drag, and examples of drag in modern pop culture. Know your drag her story.
And, finally, a word on gender pronoun usage in this book. ln the drag world, when we are referring to a male drag queen dressed in drag, we use the pronoun “she” When we are referring to the same male person out of drag, we use the pronoun “he.” Would you like to have a powerful, confident inner drag queen that you can access any time you feel insecure?
Can you imagine the power that can reside inside you as a fierce alter ego? Are you ready to create your own drag persona that will empower you to face the challenges in your life? Do you want to see how both drag queens and everyday people of all ages have used their alter egos to change their lives for the better? Then get ready to take the first step into the Queendom! Follow us for a road map of how to craft your own fabulous, fierce persona!
~ Jackie Huba with Shelly Stewart Kronbergs
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