Foxy Boxx Really Rocks

Pandora Boxx, Miss May

Pandora Boxx, Miss May

It’s always May in my house, because my RuPaul’s Drag Race wall calendar is forever turned to Pandora Boxx‘s page. She is my drag obsession. I might even have a crush on her.

A recent visit to Chicago last month coincided with an appearance by La Boxx at a local gay bar. The night of the performance, my husband and I were sitting around with some friends, contemplating going out. I looked at the clock. 9 p.m. I looked at my husband. I looked at my friends. I looked at the six packs and the chilled bottle of white wine waiting for us. I heard the gentle hum of the air conditioner. And I decided: I am too tired to deal with a dance bar full of screaming gay boys, flashing lights, and ka-thunk ka-thunk ka-thunk — even to see my favorite fake lady. Heaven forgive me, but I am staying in tonight.

Sometimes getting old is no bloody fun.

I never felt good about the decision, and since then I’ve been looking for a chance to make up for it. It came last week. Pandora Boxx was in New York for a Gay Pride kick-off party at the Gramercy Theater, and I was able to get on the VIP list because my company had something to do with the event. This was it. I was going to meet the Pandora Boxx! Get a picture with her! Shake her hand and tell her I love her and that she was robbed on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race — robbed, I tell you!

Hey, fake ladies!

She lip-synched a couple of songs and talked to the audience a bit. We were a room full of adoring devotees. She could have sat on a stool and read the yellow pages, and we’d have declared it the finest performance of our lives.

After her performance, my friends and I waited for her in the VIP lounge, hoping to get a picture with her, clink a plastic wine glass, share a bawdy story. You know. Catch up like old friends do. Most everyone was packing up and getting ready to go. A couple of my friends invited her to come out with us to get a drink. It seemed ballsy, and I prepared myself for her shy, polite rejection. But she agreed. And she decided to stay in drag for the night!

They wanted to take her to this new gay party at a place called Carnival. I’d never heard of it. Apparently it was at a bowling alley in Union Square. So who knew what to expect?

Some hateful queen who had been toting hors d’oeuvres and cocktails earlier was trying to get us to go see her perform instead elsewhere later that night. “Where are you going?” she asked. “Oh, that place? It sucks. So tired! You’re going to hate it. Come see me instead.” She was easy to ignore. I was now part of Pandora Boxx’s entourage for the evening, and I was gonna ride that train ’til the end

Who do you think should have won?

When the Carnival doorman (a boy in black mini-dress, of course, with the cutest little black hat and veil) saw us with Miss Congeniality, we were ushered to the other door. (Oh no, dears, you enter over this way.) We were swept into an elevator, and 15 seconds later we were standing with the beautiful people. Without having to pay the cover.

Carnival was essentially a great big room above the bowling alley dressed up to look like the inside of the Big Top. It was beautiful and looked like a very expensive kid’s birthday party — except for the beautiful, greased-up go-go boys in their tiny underwear, the “carnies” who operated the carnival games throughout the room.

Test your strength! Toss a ring on a bottle and win a prize! Get a ping pong ball in the goldfish bowl and take the fish home!

I felt like an “A” gay with a cute little happy-face stamp on the back of one hand and a vodka and soda in the other! Everyone was so pretty. And there was me, lumbering around with my laptop case strapped across my chest. (It’s a Macbook! That’s cool, right? I belong here!) Amanda Lapore stopped by with her East Village coterie. Seeing her and Pandora Boxx together was like watching Bette Davis and Liz Taylor meeting for the first time.

You’re a legend. You’re a legend!

She won a goldfish. We named it Pandora. It died.

We walked around here and there. Pandora won a goldfish. She threw some darts. She posed for some photographs. What I remember most was her total serenity. She’d be talking to someone and some guy would grab her arm or put his hand on her shoulder to get her attention. She never showed any annoyance and always turned slowly to say hi and pose.

She looked almost shy. I found myself feeling very protective, like a chaperone. Go have fun, kids! You want a drink, lady? What can I get you? Drag Race wrapped a year ago, but reality TV fame must be a hard thing to get used to, especially when you are an acknowledged fan favorite. But I saw no diva in her at all. She seemed to actually enjoy the attention without taking it for granted.

Over the course of the night, my friends dropped away one by one, and I was suddenly the last man standing, chatting with her about the play she just produced in Rochester, NY, and making friends with her adorable and charming assistant. (It was his second day on the job!)

“Are these shoes OK?” he asked.

“Well,” I said. “They’re not very ‘New York.’ At all. But that works. It’s a good thing. You look like you’re not from here. You’ll get attention that way.”

It came time for me to go, and I shook her hand. I don’t usually get star struck, but in that moment I didn’t want to leave. I can’t wait to see her again. She may not have won the competition but she probably won a lot more. So far it hasn’t been the winners of Drag Race who get the most mileage.


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