Lexi Lorien Alex Lorien
My body does not define who I am. My mind does that.
Unfortunately, I often have no idea what the hell is going on in there! I peek inside and take two steps back! Shit in there is complicated!
So, the title of this entry is called ‘Lexi Lorien’, now the reason is simple:
I used to be a Drag Queen when I lived in London. I would haunt Clapham as Lexi Cox! I was a foul-mouthed, 1920’s fashion inspired comedy-queen who took more drugs than most of the people in the clubs I was performing in, and living it large!
It was a double like in so many ways. But it started quite mundane
I was a nurse; looking after the sick and needy, then going home to my fiance and dog, having dinner, sitting in front of the telly, and generally doing nothing.
But RuPaul changed all that with ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’. Me and my fiance became addicted to it (me more so than he), and while he enjoyed it for the comedy and the backbiting, I was in awe at these queens; they were amazing; they constructed characters and were so fearless and inspiring … some might say too inspiring.
I can’t remember the moment when I decided I wanted to dress female. But I do remember walking through Primark in London, seeing this lacy, emerald green and black dress and wanting it. I wanted it so bad.
At that point, I still had my reservations (don’t mistake that for fear; I’d been messing with my look for years in the form of accessories and extravagant clothing), so didn’t try it on; I just grabbed the thing, bought some tights, a bra (without knowing what size I was; luckily I was aware of how skinny I was so bought a ‘B’ cup, I think), then ran home.
While my fiance was out, I put it on.
The dress fitted me like a dream. I padded the bra out with some underwear, and regretted the tights (they were black and very heavily padded … plus the hair on my legs was sticking through), but something clicked.
Within a week, I had a wig, learned to wear three lots of nude tights under some sheer black ones, got some heels (small heel: baby-drag steps), I had a box full of make-up, false nails … I was ready to go.
Now, if you are a girl reading this, you might just think I would have cracked on; but there were issues.
BODY HAIR: I have so much of it! It takes a lot of grooming to get rid of the hair, not to mention the stuff on my face! I had to shave immediately before applying any makeup, or else I would get a shadow. And you have to use a liquid moisturiser, then a powder, then after that you have to use a compact concealer.
MAKEUP: Makeup on a man is different on a woman; you have to add loads more; like paint the stuff on! And eyebrows … if you don’t want to pluck your eyebrows (which a lot of cross-dressers don’t), then you have to use a technique which involves painting them with pritstick (yup, you read that right), to completely cover the hair and make it a smooth surface, then put loads of makeup on top of that to hide it. I have thick brows. It’s the worst part of the whole operation … well … almost.
Because ‘eyebrows’. Fuck eyebrows! I hate them! Kudos to the girls out there who draw their own everyday. My older sister, and one of my favourite people and biggest supporters in all this, draws hers on everyday and they look perfect … the bitch. I had to get a stencil, and even then I always drew one of them one wrong. I look constantly perplexed. In the end, I went for wigs with a heavy fringe just to take focus away.
I am working on my look.
CLOTHES: Men and women are shaped differently. The clothes designed for women are designed for women … obviously. What curves here on you might bulge on me. What sinches in here, sticks out for me there … it’s why I was really happy with my 1920’s flapper look; it’s a loose fitting, fun outfit. You make sure you get some good, big boobies, and let the rest drape as it will. But nowadays I want something a bit more fitted.
CORSETS: Yes; these are a thing if you don’t have a feminine shape. My aforementioned sister has an amazing body shape where her waist and boobs work together to pull off some splendid dresses that would look like a plastic bag on a stick were I to try it. But, I am being a bit sneaky putting this in here as I don’t have the body fat to justify one (which you might think is a good thing, but it also means I don’t have anything to give me a feminine body shape).
HEELS: If you wear high heels all day, you deserve a medal. They fucking hurt. I had all the gel pads I could stick in my heeled shoes and they still burned like a mumma-fudger. Taking off my heels after a night out in the pubs and clubs was like giving my feet a hug (who probably hated me for the torture of the last 8 hours).
BOOBIES: I was so lucky here, that it is sickening. Remember that scare, when a load of women got implants that ended up not being ‘up to par’ and had to be replaced; well one of my closest friends (her name is Rio Saunders, and she was my angel when I was starting out in this whole thing),lived upstairs from me and my fiance and had gotten some of these. As a result, she got new ones, and got to keep her old ones … WHICH SHE GAVE TO ME!
Can you even imagine!? Those DD silicon breasts were worth about £2000-£3000! When a mate of mine (someone who is a straight male) decided to ‘have a go one them’ (feel em up), he actually was a little shocked at how real they felt. I think it confused him a little!
And as with heels, taking off your bra at the end of the night is amazing. If you wear a bra all the time, give yourself another medal, cos, dang! Sometimes, I didn’t even used to wait until I got home; I would take them off in the taxi (the cab-drivers always treated me either like I was a member of the aristocracy, or something that had come from Mars), and the relief was out of this world.
So, those are all the things. The practical things.
The other stuff was … mixed.
My fiance hated it. My drag persona was Lexi Cox, and he hated her. To his credit, he did accompany me out on the odd occasion (after much badgering on my part), but he didn’t it. He didn’t like seeing me get ready, he didn’t want me to shave my legs, he wouldn’t let me practice the material I had prepared on him. That was not what he signed up for. He wanted Alex Lorien, nurse and writer, not Lexi Cox, dude in a dress telling jokes.
But Rio was my champion. She gave me tips, helped me pick clothes, gave me pointers on makeup (though conceded that, even as a trained makeup artist, drag makeup was hella different from standard makeup). She accompanied me to straight bars when I was nervous, and let me stomp around her flat in my heels. She had my back, and I am so grateful to this day.
My cousin, Ian, decided to come along with his partner to see me in my usual haunt in Clapham. Ian is a very open-minded and ‘cosmopolitan’ (whatever the fuck that word even means) guy, he’s self-aware, highly intelligent, and someone I was truly interested to get a reaction from; and his reaction went something along the lines of: “Do you like doing it? Cool; then do it.” He also told me I looked good (I was going for stunning, Ian … but I will take ‘good’).
As for the rest of my family … they weren’t as supportive. As soon as a picture of me as Lexi went up on my Facebook, one of my sisters was vocally unhappy with what I was doing, saying I was embarrassing our mother ... which might have been true, especially since, when that first photo went up, people thought it was my mum! I’m sorry but … that’s hilarious. And she should take that as a compliment cos I looked glam as fuck! As for myself ... being mistaken for a fifty-plus year old woman when I was in my late twenties? Whatever ... shut up.
I entered the Dark Age of Lorien soon after. That’s a story for another time, but suffice to say my drug use got out of hand, my increasing appearances as Lexi began to destroy my relationship with my fiance, and I hit the bottle pretty hard.
My awful, selfish behaviour resulted in me losing my home, my fiance, my job, my dog, my friendships with almost all my London friends (including Rio which hurt the most out of them all), pretty much my everything.
During one session of many drugs and much alcohol, I threw ALL my drag away … and we’re talking hundreds of pounds worth of stuff; gorgeous dresses and shoes, and the sparkliest jewellery this side of cubic zircona.
The years have passed.
I am clean and sober. I run a group. I work. I volunteer. I am a Samaritan … and I wanna be Lexi again.
Not Lexi the performer; but just Lexi! Lexi Lorien? No ‘on-stage’ thing this time; just dolling up and going to a bar and having fun.
I am super lucky that I have my older sister to support me (my other sisters would, if they were talking to me, make their opinion of my choice clear; hint: it wouldn’t be very positive).
And luckiest of all, a boyfriend who supports me! That’s right! He even bought me my first pair of heeled shoes! That is bloody wonderful beyond all words.
I’ve got the dress; the heels, the make-up, the jewellery, the boobs (c-cup, if you’re interested, you dirty git), the tiara (cos, you know …)
Doncaster better watch out, cos Lexi Lorien is coming to town!