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Scarborough, Belly Dancers and Prom, Oh My… by Draconis Von Trapp

Written By: Kenny S June 25, 2011 No Comment

“Lower the gates and let Scarborough Faire begin!”

Those are the words you would hear if you were one of the hundreds of people eagerly waiting in line to get into Scarborough Renaissance Festival, a seasonal event that’s been active for 30 years. It takes place in Waxahachie, Texas and runs 8 weeks long. It’s got everything you would expect from a Renaissance festival during the reign of King Henry VIII: turkey legs, wandering actors, stage shows, shopping, and belly dancers.

I’ve worked at Scarby (as it’s affectionately nicknamed) for the past three years as a belly dancer. Dancing for my dinner might seem like a strange occupation for a female-to-male transgender, but I couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere to work in. The faire is one of the most accepting environments you’ll ever find. When you’re there it’s about having fun, immersing yourself in medieval shenanigans, and dressing like a local — from that period, of course. You won’t find a single soul there who will judge you for donning your best wares and acting silly.

The faire is an LGBT safe haven. It’s one of the few places you can express yourself without fear of retribution. In a crowd full of knights, jesters, pixies, and royals, a gay couple holding hands is hardly something to be frowned upon. The faire-goers are eclectic and merry, open-minded and friendly. Everyone is there to have a good time, which seems to transcend prejudice.

The faire isn’t the only place you’ll find merriment and belly dancers, however. Just last month I performed at the 2011 Gayla Prom, an event held every year for LGBT youth at SMU. Youth from ages 14 to 18 are invited to attend, making me two weeks too old, however, since my birthday was so close to the date of the prom, they made an exception.

As far as size is concerned, it’s a much more intimate event than Scarby, with this year’s attendance ranging between 30 and 40 youth, but the experience was no less accepting. The event consisted of everything you would expect at an average high school prom (with a few fabulous flairs, of course), including a live DJ, dance floor, catered food, and non-alcoholic drinks on request.

Later in the evening, the crowd reconvenes in the theater for the night’s performances, many of which played off this year’s theme of “Runway,” and included fierce dancing, and of course lots of drag. This year’s performances were spectacular, even though we were lacking in designers for a fashion show. I performed in all the dances, including my own belly dance solo, which got loud approval from the audience. In conclusion, the show was a success, and we were all back on the dance floor once the prom king and queen were crowned.

So whether you’re getting your nerd on at the faire or putting your high heels on for prom, you won’t have to worry about others raining on your parade for showing your pride. Maybe someday the rest of the world will catch on. Until then, as we say at Scarby, “gramercy and good morrow.”