Trannyshack Reno or Bustier

An extreme road trip that's never just a drag

Amused, Peaches explains that they are part of a traveling drag show, from San Francisco. The man is unimpressed.

"I mean, is that a chick, or a dude?" he snorts, looking in the direction of Roberts. Peaches and Martiny try to conceal their glee, for they see their snacks coming out of the kitchen in the waitress' hands. They've both ordered enormous hot dogs. Peaches picks up her sausage and takes a big, messy bite.


Sunday morning, the trannies look green around the gills. Many of them have had just a few hours of sleep. Hoping to snare the "Best Easter Costume" prize, five have dressed in homemade AstroTurf dresses, with Peeps marshmallow candies hot-glue-gunned onto them. One of the guys also has attached to his dress a Ken doll nailed to a cross; it squirts water out of its wounds.

Last year, Deidre George won the "Drunkest" award.
Paolo Vescia
Last year, Deidre George won the "Drunkest" award.
Marcie Meow, Metal Patricia, Andrew Marlin, and 
Jason el Diablo.
Paolo Vescia
Marcie Meow, Metal Patricia, Andrew Marlin, and Jason el Diablo.
Heklina started "Trannyshack" in 1996 as a punk rock - 
style drag show.
Paolo Vescia
Heklina started "Trannyshack" in 1996 as a punk rock - style drag show.
Le Bottomé opts for counter service at McDonald’s.
Paolo Vescia
Le Bottomé opts for counter service at McDonald’s.
George and Roberts show that el Diablo has the sex 
that they need.
Paolo Vescia
George and Roberts show that el Diablo has the sex that they need.

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El Diablo, Roberts, Marlin, and George are crashed on a couch in the lobby, looking like an exhausted rock band waiting for its tour bus to arrive. Roberts is wearing a pair of bunny ears on a headband. They are perkier than his haggard face, which he swiped hurriedly with beige makeup minutes before. Marlin, who's dismantled his hair extension mohawk, laments that all eight bottles of champagne they brought are finished.

The bus stops at Boomtown Casino for breakfast on the way out of Reno, and Marlin makes a beeline for the bar, returning with Coronas for everybody. Somebody has passed out homemade T-shirts that say "Almost Fuckable," and the trannies who put them on are kicked out by security guards. "'Fuckable' is not even a word, much less a dirty word," gripes one tranny.

Post-breakfast, back on the bus, everybody's rip-roaring drunk again. The aisle, especially near the back, is a press of bodies. Hands steal out to grab asses, shirts come up, nipples are licked. Vodka is pounded straight from the bottle. The "Drunkest" award, announced by Peaches, goes to the boy who dropped the bottle of booze in the lobby of the Cal Neva.

When the bus arrives at the Auburn McDonald's again, the 17-year-old punk rockers, alerted by cell phone, are waiting. "Show me your pooper!" hollers el Diablo, who has been drinking vodka for the past hour. "Show me your pooper!"

"Jason, do you even know how to spell pooper?" somebody asks.

"P-O-O ... show me your pooper!"

The presence of the underage boys, and their ambivalence about acceding to his demands, seems to agitate el Diablo. The last vestiges of his snarky, ice-queen persona fall away, and in a gesture of absurdity mixed with self-loathing, he pulls down his pants, revealing black Calvin Klein underwear. Falling onto the grass beneath the golden arches, el Diablo rolls around on his back, screaming, "Woo! WOO!"

The other trannies watch him for a minute, bemused. Is this the same Jason el Diablo who ate pâté on the way up, as detached and glamorous as a runway model? His legs become tangled in his pants, so that all he can do is toss his upper body back and forth.

"Woo! WOO!"

Finally somebody hoists him vertical and pulls up his pants for him. Although later he will claim not to remember much about this episode, it's clear that some inner demon has been exorcised. George is waiting at the back of the bus, ready to minister to him with a big bottle of Crystal Geyser. As he stumbles toward her, his long black hair as tousled as a wild pony's, el Diablo glows with his first real smile of the trip.

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