I remember my first stiletto like I remember my alter ego’s childhood Easter outfits. I had shopped around for weeks trying to find exactly the right style and color. When I finally got them, I would stare at them in the closet and just couldn’t wait to step out in my fly new gear.
I was 24 years old and had only been dragging for about 1 year. Up until that point I had 1 pair of brown boots and 1 pair of black lace up platform boots that I wore with EVERYTHING! They were the largest of their sizes on a sale rack at Payless – no shame. But, at that time, I was discovering drag all by myself. I wouldn’t have drag mother for a while after that and my aesthetic was focused on looking “real”. The idea of “drag spectacular” wasn’t even on my radar.
When I decided that I needed to upgrade my shoe collection, naturally I went online. I searched for extra large shoes and stumbled on a website geared to strippers. I was done. I had never seen shoes like these before and no one was gonna tell me I couldn’t have them. There were kitten heals, high heals, high-high heels, stiletto’s, mules, sling-backs, vintage, platform, boots and pumps in every material, color and variation you can imagine. My mind was blown. I was like a kid staring at the world largest Easter basket full of candy.
After days of deliberation, I finally picked out the shoes that would be my very first pair of stiletto heels. They were black lacquer, lucite and clear pvc mules. They featured a 2-inch platform in the front and a 5 inch gold heel that was crowned by a ring of red crystals. And, I paid full price! My first performance in them was a lip-sync number to Queen Latifah’s version of “Lush Life”. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t hot as Hades when I hit the stage in them. Hindsight, however, being what it is, they were the tackiest kicks I could have strapped to my feet. If I were to come across them now I wouldn’t buy if they were free, but I will always think of them fondly.