Ms. Behavior© Are Kilts Drag?

Dear Ms. Behavior:

Recently, my partner, Bill, and I attended the wedding of two straight friends. Everything was as expected, except that the groom wore a Scottish kilt. I thought it looked great, and I told Bill I’d like to wear a kilt for our wedding, too.

Well, Bill was not very supportive. We agreed to have a fairly conservative ceremony, and he insists that kilts qualify as drag. I’m insisting that they’re not, because Scottish men have been wearing them for centuries.

Bill’s not convinced. In fact, he has put his money where his mouth is, saying that if I’m right, he’ll wear one as well. So, we’re writing to you.

Are Scottish kilts considered “drag” or not? If not, when wearing a kilt at your own same-sex wedding ceremony, what should you wear with it?


Dear Scotty:

Worn within the context of their cultural tradition, kilts are not drag. However, if you’re not Scottish, a kilt is just another pretty dress. Similarly, if you’re not from Sri Lanka or Bali, a sarong is a form of drag, and if you’re not a transvestite prostitute in Lower Manhattan, a fluorescent green micro mini is definitely drag.

Now, this is not to say that Ms. Behavior disapproves of drag. Rather, she is curious why you would choose your wedding day as a drag opportunity.

Have you explored this desire before?

Major life events, even happy ones, often evoke feelings of longing and loss for what might have been. Perhaps your wedding brings up unconscious feelings of sadness at never having been a bride. Or maybe you view your wedding day as an opportunity to show off your fabulous legs while surrounded by loving friends and family.

Ms. Behavior consulted with her friend, Joe the psychiatrist, who felt you should not be deprived of the opportunity to act out your drag fantasies. Perhaps you could don a lovely kilt during a ceremonious bachelorette party. Or maybe go all the way, and slip into a festive white bridal gown later in the reception.

It may be that you’ll choose not to heed Ms. Behavior’s advice, and wear a kilt to your wedding anyway. Then, you still are stuck with the question of what to wear with it. While a traditional outfit (including a short boiled-wool jacket and special knee socks) typically is worn with the kilt, Ms. Behavior wonders what you had imagined. A dramatic veil, perhaps? Seductive garters?

Keep in mind the only thing that really complements a kilt is a set of bagpipes.

Dear Ms. Behavior:

Duke, my dream date, feels that the way we met (a hot, throbbing gym-shower scene) renders a meaningful relationship unlikely.

Does his claim that the sordid genesis of this friendship precludes anything more than tricking feel valid to you? Is a healthy connection with this man in my stars?

I say that although the initial attraction was sexual (like an earthquake), it’s a fine beginning. I get sweaty and dizzy just recounting that day. Even though we’re “not having a relationship,” we speak every day, and he comes over often…as a matter of fact, he’s stopping by today.

Ms. B, what should I do? Should I ignore his protestations?

I don’t want to push him away. I really am beginning to like him. Besides, this guy has real technique: He managed to suck the earrings out of both my ears the other night without my even noticing.

How’s that for being…


Dear Distracted:

Ms. Behavior does not understand the nature of your complaint.

Do you want Duke to sit in a rocking chair in your living room, and read Dostoevsky to you? Are you upset that you haven’t taken any trips to the museum, or gone to Shakespeare in the Park?

If you want something other than sexy shower scenes with Duke, you’ll have to try to create it. Ms. Behavior can’t help but notice that, while you say you’d like to have a “meaningful relationship” with Duke, the events you recount are all hot, dizzy, or throbbing. This makes one question if your priorities are really any different than Duke’s.

Sure, a relationship that begins in the locker room has potential to extend beyond the perspiration stage, but if it turns out to be nothing more than stupendous sex, don’t you think you should say a prayer of gratitude instead of griping?

P.S. You mentioned that Duke sucked the earrings right out of your head, and Ms. Behavior can’t help but wonder: Did he swallow?

© 2010 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to <[email protected]>. She is the author of Do What I Say: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette (Houghton Mifflin). Signed copies are available directly from the author.

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