- Fierce Make-up! "Let’s go COVERGIRL!" When it comes to drag, I think about foundation, all the layers of make-up, and blending that go into putting on a fierce face for the stage. An effective sex educator is also expected to put on a fierce face or presentation by developing successful lesson plans, scaffolding, and paying attention to detail. A drag queen spends hours putting on make-up for a performance that may only last minutes. In order to do effective education, sex educators can also benefit from spending two to three times the amount in advance, developing the presentation and lesson planning . Layering make-up, like scaffolding, is a useful tool for educators seeking to employee the experiential learning cycle to provide learners the opportunity to process new concepts. Scaffolding is useful for experiential learning, which is appropriate for all ages of learners, and can be an excellent tool to have in your educational make-up bag. Drag queens know they have to get every line and every shade right; sex educators should have their lesson plans fined tuned and be prepared for every possible answer, interaction, and problem that could develop within their class in order to be a successful. Good sex education, like good make-up, should always look flawless and effortless.
- The Tuck! "Oh girl, leave your baggage at home, ain’t nobody wanna see that!" A drag queen knows how to hide their man parts to create the illusion of a woman, just like a sex educator must hide their baggage or biases to present appropriate lessons. It is important as sex educators that we manage our feelings and opinions about certain sexuality topics and present them in a manner that allows individuals to form their own thoughts, based on accurate or researched information. Sometimes disclosure can be helpful, but it is the responsibility of the educator to plan what personal facts are necessary to share to create relevant examples and which might take away from students learning. Also sex educators need to embrace a positive attitude and check their problems at the door as a means of keeping students engaged or motivated to learn about the topic instead of wondering what the educator’s dilemma is. Ultimately, personal baggage is like a good tuck, it should be kept secure and hidden.
- Diva Dressing "She looks like a hott mess!" You do not want to be caught dead with the wrong drag look. Drag queens must look sharp and well dressed at all times or they will get served/upstaged by another queen. A good sex educator must appear knowledgeable and experienced or they too will be upstaged and ignored. Students want their teachers to be knowledgeable when it comes to sexuality education and so do fellow educators. Far too often sex education is done on the fly, sometimes there is no planning time for lessons or folks attempt to just wing it. It is very important for an educator to review concepts and fully comprehend the material that they are presenting. A true diva brings an element of confidence and an understanding of their craft; sex education should be no different. A sexuality educator should know the material backwards and forwards, don’t fake it until you make it, but rather bring your A game to the stage. In other words, be fully prepared, present, and precise when discussing sexuality topics; it looks poor when you cannot accurately deliver the concepts of the lesson, and of course like choosing the wrong dress, you will be judged for it!
- Finding the right wig! "Tap your weave girl!" The final phase of prepping for a drag queen is coming up with the perfect wig and placing it on their heads. For an educator the end stage is the evaluation, does the lesson match the goals and objectives. Is there a clear take home message? Is my wig going to stay in tact for my performance? A sexuality educator must select accomplishable goals and establish objectives that can measure if students are learning. The sexuality lesson should be delivered with a specific tone, preferably sex positive, and the take home message should be clear. A drag queen’s wig is the finishing touch, it can offer personality and display exactly what kind of character or art form the queen is attempting to portray. The sexuality educator should follow suit and be certain that the lesson clarifies any points of confusion, accomplishes the goal, and has a stable tone, not an ambiguous one. Selecting an appropriate take home message and establishing the right tone for a sexuality lesson is much like finding the most attractive or best fitting wig for your stage performance.
Once all the drag queen preparation is completed the next step is to perform just as an educator then must teach. Doing good drag and good education are quite similar because most of the work is accomplished behind the scenes, prior to performing or actually teaching in front of an audience. Drag queens have to assemble their face and outfits as well as deciding on what mode of entertainment they will bring to the main stage. A drag queen has to practice her jokes, songs, and choreography, depending on what type of performance is best suited for the crowd, or in the case of an educator, the target population. A sexuality educator also must spend time delivering or practicing their lesson in advance, testing out which methodology will be most appropriate for teaching, and adapting the material to fit the particular audience it is intended for.
A drag queen must have confidence, charisma, and a sense of humor to perform, much like an educator. According to Hedgepath and Helmich (1996), sexuality educators should be confident, comfortable and knowledgeable about the topic and present with an appropriate level of humor. A drag queen is capable of commanding the attention of the audience and an effective educator should be just as captivating. The performance or lesson is the most exciting part of education, but the real work is done beforehand to ensure a fantastic performance. Each drag queen has her own sense of style and finesse, much like a good educator does too, but the development of the performance is the quintessential part of being a successful educator.
At the end of the day education should be fun and entertaining if we want students to ascertain meaning attribution from the lesson. As sex educators we have to follow our bliss and pursue sexuality education topics that possess meaning for us. According to Kirby (2000), an effective sex educator has the passion for teaching about sexuality topics. Educators who speak with a positive tone about sexuality can guide the lesson so much farther. Bringing sex education to the main stage can often be seen as a battle between the restrictive (abstinence-only until marriage), and the permissive (comprehensive sexuality education) (Goldfarb & McCaffree, 2000). Sexuality educators can benefit from more collaboration and less opposition.
If too many divas exist in sex education and if we cannot visualize ourselves as equals then we falter. According to Schroeder (2009), competition in sexuality education is debilitating and it would be more beneficial to compromise on one goal, to advance the field. A great drag diva can own the stage, but she also comprehends that her peers can represent and deliver a stellar performance as well to assist the art of drag superstardom on its journey forward. Sexuality educators may be entitled to sense of ego, but if we cannot share the stage or convince people that there is a stage for sexuality education, then we may fail. In short, providing good sex education means, “you better work!”
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