Editor's note: When we decided to include an LGBT-themed playlist in this season of roséwave, in honor of Pride Month, one name immediately came to mind: Trixie Mattel. A celebrated drag queen and winner of season three of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, Trixie Mattel is also a quirky folk singer-songwriter in her own right. Her essay will resonate with anyone (drag fan or not) who has reached for a pink drink and good tunes alongside a Friday night makeover, and her playlist features songs beloved pop acts and several former Drag Race competitors.
It's 5 p.m. on a balmy Friday evening in Milwaukee, Wis. You don't have to be to the club until the midnight show, but you might as well start early. Post-shower, you package yourself in a lilac chenille robe. You think to yourself, "Lilac Chenille would be a great drag name" as you tiptoe down the hallway. Although you possess a comically bald head, you've crowned yourself with a bath towel wrapped around ever-so. You lean into the kitchen counter to reach the wine goblets on the highest shelf. After all — a bigger wine glass will make your hands look smaller. And Pride only comes once a year; if you're not drinking a pink wine, what are you doing?
Getting show-ready can be a creative experience: painting our egg shells to reveal our truer more-vibrant yolks. Getting in drag can also be — you guessed it — a drag. Pinching, taping, tucking, and sometimes stapling, the transformation can at times feel less magical and more methodical. Expectedly, the more often you do drag, the less special the transformations feels. The antidote to a mundane makeover? A playlist.
The right soundtrack can put you on stage even behind the curtain. My personal "getting in drag" playlist always begins with Imperial Teen's "Yoo Hoo." One minute, I'm an unprepossessing balding introvert with calloused hands — then suddenly, I'm a teenage viper doing her pre-lunch touch-ups after some light morning manslaugher between girlfriends. (If you don't understand this Jawbreaker reference, please stay away from me and my daughter.)
Clink your pink drinks! It's time for "Spooky (Quinten 909 Extended Remix)." Imagine you're Dusty Springfield, the blue-eyed soul and paragon of '60s style. In charcoaled panda eye makeup and a bleached blush lip, Dusty sings "Spooky" with a flirtatious swirl that is perfect for a rosé refill. Swish down the hall while your lashes dry and rehydrate.
Lashed, lacquered and a little buzzed, it's time for hair. Amanda Lepore's "My Hair Looks Fierce" queues up as you switch gears. You unravel your headwrap and lower a bawdy bubble of synthetic fibers onto your painted head. After adhering the lace to the skin, you drain your glass as you zip cheap go-go boots onto your expensive legs. Five to seven puffs of MAC Candy Yum-Yum perfume swim around you as you polish off the slim bottle of rosé. Britney's version of "Tom's Diner" plays as you pin your hair so tight that you swear you feel the sharp end touch your brain. Beep beep! The Grindr app flashes across your cracked iPhone 3. You don't respond — you're mid-manicure. Besides, it's a men's hookup app; this phone currently belongs to a woman.
Time to bolt. "Chapstick" by Todrick Hall and Trixie Mattel kisses you goodbye from Alexa's speaker. Your Uber XL pulls up outside your four-story walk-up. You runway jaywalk across the street to the idling Toyota Sienna. Davit, your driver, greets you. "You smell delicious. What perfume is that?" You cross your legs at the ankle like Mount Rose American Teen Princess before you reply: