Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Why Areola Borealis?" Bilinear Art House MC Explains

Areola embraces the light and urges you to do the same.
© Shena Lee
When I felt the calling to create this drag queen character, I asked myself, “For the sake of what?”  I decided that I wanted to convey warmth of spirit, inclusion and female power.  In my life, I’ve experienced far too many forces that contradict those ideals. I realized the only way to combat those negative messages was to be what I wanted to see in the world.  I needed to find a name that would convey this.
Areola Borealis at Bilinear Art Grand Opening - ©Karen Ready

When I was seventeen, I spent the summer living on an isolated army base just about as far upstate as you can get in New York.  While there, I was able to see the aurora borealis for the first and only time so far.  I was immediately enamored by the enigmatic, beautiful spectacle, even though it was quite faint to see at the time.  It left a lasting feeling of happiness and wonder in me.  I wanted to incorporate those senses into the character I created nearly twenty years later.  
Areola Borealis and Drag King, Lil Monzster Garcia, at Bilinear Art Grand Opening - ©Karen Ready
Areolas are body parts that both genders posses; however, it’s more commonly associated with women.  Too many of my fellow drag artists have taken on names that incorporate female body parts in a negative context.  I purposely chose Areola Borealis to be flirty, sassy, but not rude.  Everybody has fun with sassy.  
Areola Borealis (right) at Miss Bacon Strip - ©Kathy Bugajsky
In the drag community, there is a strong undercurrent of what we call shade.  Shady people feel they gain strength by cutting others down.  There are many artists and audiences out there who believe being shady is synonymous with being a drag queen.  Those who embrace shade, embrace a life focused on competition and one-upmanship.  While I’m far from perfect, focusing on shade feels unbalanced and I’m not willing to build my message around it.  Areola embraces the light and urges you to do the same.
Areola Borealis at Bilinear Art Grand Opening - ©Nate Gawdy Photo

Despite what many of us have been told, I have gained power by embracing my feminine side through Areola Borealis.  I had battled that side of myself for so long.  When I embraced it, I was surprised at the results.  I urge others to embrace their own internal power in order to create something beautiful and meaningful in their lives.  We all have it inside of us.

--Christopher Haase

© Shena Lee

1 comment:

Meg Steele said...

LOVE your beautiful feminine side, Chris, and great to hear how she was born from your great memory from childhood. Awesome!