Warm weather is finally here, with beautiful blue skies and fabulous temperatures. Lazing by the pool with a delicious fruit daiquiri or down at the beach with sand up your bum but eye candy as far as you can see, you’re maybe thinking, isn’t summer grand? Well, spare a thought for us poor dirty cross-dressers. Summer is murder.

Granted you can get around in less clothing, and this year I will be taking full advantage of my smaller size. But in previous years when I was a rounder showgirl, the hot weather really did play havoc on the old body.

So, you ask, what is the problem? Where do I start?

First of all, make-up. From the word go, the heat does have an effect on the application of your foundation (foundations, if you are Vanity or Courtney). Trying to apply an oil-based product over a sweaty brow, then trying to dry it with powder is a feat in itself. In most cases you end up completing the first stages you would normally use in the production of damper. Yummy!

Then there is the lifting of eyebrows. I know, I know, many think drag queens get around all day with pencil-thin eyebrows. Some do, but most of us cover them with a soft plastic goo and re-draw them. The problem with the heat is that sweat gets under your goo and all of a sudden you have a bushy John Howard-style brow protruding from a somewhat feminine face. Oops!

That is just the face -“ what about our poor bodies? Before I was shown the error of my ways and started to shave my legs, I used to have a set of the hairiest legs on the planet. If I didn’t give them a once-over with a brush before going out, I would nine times out 10 come home with something stuck in them. So to hide those, the only thing was to wear four pairs of the thickest stockings known to man. Squeezed into four pairs of calico-style tights, I just ended up a breeding ground for all sorts of yeast infections. But I’m not going to go into those.

With wigs, let’s face it, this is where your long-term effects come into it. Think about wearing a hat for hours on end. With your head and hair heating up, something has got to give, and it usually is your hair. That’s why you see a lot of the old girls wearing hats if they go out. A prime example is Mogadonna -“ very shiny on top, if you know what I mean.

So next time you see a showgirl in drag on a hot summer day or even a balmy night, think of the pain she has to endure just to bring you a little bit of visual delight. Go buy her a drink, though it is probably best not to offer her water. Water has the same effect on us as on that lady from The Wizard Of Oz.

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