Ahem, why yes, this is El Yenta Man, listening attentively to the Megillah reading in 2006. Tell me, have you ever seen a more beautiful Purim Queen?
I suppose some wives might have issues with their husbands cross-dressing, but not me. In fact, El Yenta Man was a little resistant to going in drag to last year’s Purim fiesta but did so at my urging, because I wanted him to show solidarity with our son, who went as Hermione from Harry Potter. Personally, I find a man who’s comfortable with his feminine side (and can rock my leather pants) a real turn-on. Anytime you want to borrow the tiara, baby, it’s yours.
My girlie men got a fantastic reception, but that was last year at our hippie Reconstructionist under-the-redwoods shul a few miles north of San Francisco. Will our family hold fast to our iconoclastic, gender-bending ideals at our new synagogue in the deep South, the one so set in its Protestant-inspired ways that it’s still using prayer books from 1952? I don’t know if the boys can hang. I once heard some of the old ladies complain that they let “shvartzes” (a derogatory Yiddish term for a black person) on the bima; I can already see the lemon-sour lips and hands clutched to their hearts when my man minces in on platform shoes.
I’ll have to ‘splain to them that Purim is just a gay holiday, that’s all, and it’s a good thing. The Jewish Journal reported that some L.A. Jews found Purim’s identity-skewing possibilities a fabulous platform to bring unaffiliated LGBT Jews back into the fold, and The Washington Post quoted it as the “quintessential coming-out story” last week.
Actually, Purim is so fey that even post-modern cynics like Faithhacker at Jewcy.com concede that Purim is just the gay Jewish Halloween, even if she thinks it’s a far stretch to associate Esther’s sacrifices to sock-stuffed brassieres.
My suspicion is that most of you don’t even wear costumes on Purim you think “oh ho ho, that’s for the children, I’m just going to stand back here with the other parents in our Dockers and Puma sneakers and get sloshed on blackberry Manischewitz.” You’re missing out, really. I’m not saying you have to get all drag-a-licious and break out the sequined loin cloth, but maybe you could poke the boundaries just a little, as a reminder of what this holiday is about the defeat of those who would destroy us and the freedom to be who we are.
Just think about it. In the meantime, I’m certain you will enjoy Shabot6000’s timeless Shushan Flash cartoon. That is, if you don’t find robots in drag offensive.
Chag Sameach to all this Sunday!