Written by Rudolph Bessit
Hello and welcome to Purple-Fly. Mahn, I’m so excited to share with you what I’ve been up to.
Ever since I discovered that I am gender fluid, back in December of 2020, I just felt it only fair to allow the portions of myself, those parts I had to hide and forget about, to come to live. Those childhood dreams and curiosities that are still relevant, I’m going after.
I had a flashback, getting caught by an older sibling, wearing their sash and tiara, and the words they uttered were: “As enige van my broers gay uit draai, ontken ek hom,” I was probably 6 years old. See, I had a valid reason to forget the little girl inside of me. I remembered watching Miss SA and any other pageant I could watch with my grandmother… I’d fantasize about modelling and what it must feel like to win, wondering if I could ever have the confidence and courage. I started watching Ru-Paul’s Productions and the longing to perform, model and create was revived.
I realised that I’ve been mocked, hurt and rejected by far too many people. I’ve experienced way too much for me not to give myself a chance at being myself completely and unapologetically. I was so afraid of the unknown, but the excitement around discovering and exploring myself and a new way of living. My past contributes mostly to my fears vanishing little by little. My past struggle and pain is my motivation to get there deep, tot binne in my diepste diep, and return with every single bit of me… But I’m taking my time, getting to know myself and learning to manoeuvre my way forward.
Anyway, so, modelling has always been my thing, so much so that I stopped watching pageants, it just hurt too much, but with my new findings, it didn’t have to be painful. I started preparing myself for pageants in 2022, got myself some shoes to get my walk in order. I learned to do make up for set, but also helped in preparation for pageants. I started working on my tucking, which I’m still not confident with. Started buying “female” clothing for set, but also figuring out what works for me and what I’m into.
I turned 40 in February 2023 and a week and a half later, found out about a pageant, which I then entered. I had 5 days to get outfits and shoes and hair… I
I honestly had the time of my life preparing for a dream I gave up on, 34 years ago. I could finally do exactly as I wished as those whom promised to disown me are no longer a part of my life. I had the stage all to myself and didn’t have to feel bad about bringing shame on any family. I managed to get everything I needed for the pageant, with some help from loved ones. It felt so surreal, like: “Was I really going to have my moment, do these things really happen to people like me?”
The day of the pageant dawned, I felt like Whitney Houston. I always do on my important days. I was running late, had to do a pick up at the airport in the morning, then got my nails done and everything went south from there. Everything I did, took 3/4× longer than usual. I messed up my makeup and decided that that’s the sign that I should withdraw from this madness, so I did.
Took my makeup and threw it in a plastic bag as I was starting to clear up the space I was using. My sister’s fiancé said to me “Jy’t dan nou kla so ver gekom, maak kla”, and I was right back on it. I made a phone call for assistance with my makeup at the venue. Mind you, I was already running late.
I arrived at the venue, excited and nervous and couldn’t wait for my moment. “What’s it going to feel like? Is it going to feel like that moment I’ve been dreaming of and how would I know? Would I enjoy it or concentrate too much?” All these thoughts going through my mind, and then my moment came.
Damn it! It was worth a 34 year wait, it was everything I ever imagined it could be and so much more. It was that moment when I felt like I was more than I ever thought I could be. I couldn’t get enough of it. I felt a kind of high I can’t explain. I was satisfied from within.
For the talent category I did my mama’s song, Try It On My Own by Whitney Houston. Yinnnnnnnne, my eyes mos even went teary! It was as if I could feel her spirit with me, supporting me, smiling at me…
And then I won. Yes! I won my first beauty pageant.
But wait, I’m inviting you to join me next month, so I could share ALL the juice with you, nuh.
Looking forward to sharing more with you in my next edition.
Take care sweedies