The spotlight went out again. Donnie and his brothers sat down. The voice overhead boomed. “We are all one united by the Spirit. Celebrate this brotherhood in song. Dearly Beloved proudly welcomes…”
A spotlight flashed right, “Faith…”
Another left, “Hope…”
Then in the middle, “Charity…”
Together burning bright, “ The Divine Sisters to Kumbaya Night!”
Applause and gospel music erupted at the same time.
As Donnie later described, “My eyes popped Little Orphan Annie size and my jaw slammed through the floor. Maybe the cocktails had gone spinning to my head or I was snatched up in the moment, but each of the three drag queens, though over half a century younger, seemed like an caricature of Mother.”
“What God is,” the Divine Sisters wailed, “I don’t know and you don’t either. No face, sex, color, except in each other.” Syllables sharper than their stilettos heels. Arms gasping and embracing air, bodies swinging, leaping, and swaying in harmony.
Donnie felt like all two hundred and fifty-four pounds of him had been slammed against the floor. Okay, may more. But my weight fluctuates especially during the holidays.
“What God is,” the Divine Sisters belted out, “I can’t say and you can’t either. One great Spirit overflowing us in love.”
Donnie, as previously noted, didn’t understand drag performances. Today’s equivalent of the blackface minstrel show. Drag queens are scary, another of my endless phobias. I’m sure there has to be a word, NASCAR phobia perhaps? No, that’s not right. Traditionally the prefix is Greek.
Pressed his forefinger against his chin. Why this trio doesn’t seem threatening at all. They’re absolutely charming, cherubs without wings. Each is a Gorgeous Living Portrait, chic without looking clownish or outlandish, beyond elegant. They’re not spewing sarcasm like an erupting volcano. They’re boisterous without being obnoxious, feisty without being brazen. They’re a rarity among your garden-type drag queens—completely non-bitchy.
The round began again. “What God is…”
Faith resembles Dolly, Hope a faux Miss M, and Charity is a cross between Tina and Donna. Identical in long slinky white sequined gowns, no larger than a size four, slit up one side. Tastefully accessorized.
Donnie stood with his brother went the song ended. “Thank you, thank you,” Charity said amidst the applause and wolf-whistles bowing and blowing kisses like her sisters. “We are so blessed.”
The lights dimmed and the crowd settled back into their seats. Again the ceiling sparkled with a million fake stars and the voice boomed overhead. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good work, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Spotlights flashed on, music erupted, and the Divine Sisters burst into song. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”
Donnie was immediately swept back to creating his church in his childhood bedroom, singing out loud, clapping along with the Divine Sisters and his Dearly Beloved brothers. “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…”
from Dearly Beloved