Let’s Talk About Russell Tovey and Effeminacy

On Sunday Russell Tovey – an actor you Russell_Toveymight remember from Looking, Doctor Who and Being Human – said in an interview with The Observer that, “I feel like I could have been really effeminate, if I hadn’t gone to the school I went to. Where I felt like I had to toughen up. If I’d have been able to relax, prance around, sing in the street, I might be a different person now. I thank my dad for that, for not allowing me to go down that path. Because it’s probably given me the unique quality that people think I have.”

Many gay men, I’m sure, have faced this perceived enemy before – effeminacy. It could have been the school bully originally, a PE teacher, your father. But ultimately yourself. But what is wrong with being effeminate? Nothing, really. Just as there is nothing wrong with a woman not enjoying wearing a dress or makeup. We’re all different. We all have a physical gender, but this shouldn’t constrain us to an idea of what that means for us beyond having a penis or vagina.

When I read Russell’s quote it reminded me of my own fears of being seen as effeminate. They’re something I need to work on. And as I enjoy doing things in extremes, and with Bianca Del Rio’s show fresh in my mind, I’ve come up with a plan. I’m going to dress as a drag queen for a whole day. Because the fear of being seen as effeminate is something I need to address as there is nothing wrong with embracing every aspect of being a human – we should all feel like we can experience being human however we goddamn feel like doing so. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not yet sure of when, but when I do I’ll be writing about the experience. I’m sure it will be challenging, interesting and fun but hopefully most of all freeing. Now to choose a drag name, go dress shopping…and oh god there’s so much to do!