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Whore Next Door: Whore-cruxes - By siouxsie-q - February 22, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Whore Next Door: Whore-cruxes

(Photograph by Isabel Dresler/Isabeldresler.com)

My parents came to visit last Saturday afternoon.

We spent the day at my house with the cats, listening to the radio and doing some crafting. An argument briefly broke out about the order of operations for dyeing my wedding dress red for a burlesque show later that evening. They wouldn’t be attending, of course, but they were happy to help out with props and costumes — as they always have been, regardless of the dramatic endeavor.

Being show business professionals, they were quick to volunteer their skills in stage management and lighting design at dance recitals and school plays when I was younger. Now that I’m an adult and still doing crazy things onstage, their support hasn’t wavered.

Although we’ve had our disagreements, they’ve been beyond accepting.

When I told them I had been elected president of the Gay/Straight Alliance in my high school, all they said was, “Congratulations.” They didn’t ask questions when I brought home girls with shaved heads, or boys who wore dresses.

They came to visit with very little notice, but they happily helped with show prep, and together we turned the once-sacred garment signifying that I was the the “right” kind of daughter — one that could be successfully married off — into just one more costume.

I was married in August 2015 in a redwood grove, next to an apple orchard by the sea.

It was beyond idyllic. Every person I truly cared about was there, and we ate, drank, and sang the weekend away, celebrating family and unity. My boyfriend and our shared girlfriend were both members of the wedding party, and delivered a hilarious and heartwarming toast during the brunch reception. It felt like a fairy tale.

Two months later, my husband left me for our girlfriend: The fully poly nightmare unfolded. So I packed the cat in the car and headed north to my parents’ house. I cried for weeks without stopping.
When people experience trepidation about having a threesome or opening up their relationship in some way, they fear that what happened to me will happen to them.

The holiday season that unfolded in the wake of the split was strange and cold, and I rang in 2016 in a hotel room in my hometown with my mom, dad, and a ragtag bunch of my high school friends who had become like siblings over the years. My “sister” Becky had just had a baby. We passed around a bottle of cheap Champagne and braced ourselves for the coming year and all the rest of its calamities.

I’ve been storing my wedding dress at a friend’s house in Oakland since the break-up. I had jumped in the river immediately following the ceremony, so it was in no shape to donate, but I just couldn’t bring myself to toss it into a dumpster. Items of such significance feel like horcruxes — objects containing parts of a soul, as seen in the Harry Potter universe — and I wanted to dispose of it with care.

A burlesque show felt like the perfect graveyard.

I crafted a Beetlejuice-themed act in which I, dressed as Lydia Deetz in the final scene, rip the dress off once I discover that it’s full of bugs — not far off from how I currently feel about the whole situation.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. So has my marriage and, slowly but surely, my heartbreak. But as the conversation hearts go on sale for 75 percent off and quickly become replaced by chocolate bunnies, when I take a step back and look at the love in my life that is enduring, it’s the love from family that has held me up in times of great need.

Though they always took pride in our home as a refuge — especially for my peers who did not have families who celebrated or even tolerated them — I saw that for many parents, a career in the sex industry can be a dealbreaker, in even the most liberal of families.

I was never discouraged from going into showbiz, but when I veered left of the chorus line and into the strip club, I worried my parents’ support would vanish.

I am grateful every day that it didn’t, because I don’t think I would have survived the last year without them.

It’s not just my mom and dad, but the tribe of misfits we’ve welcomed into our homes over the years. The bonds formed by people facing adversity together are stronger than blood.

For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, hold tight to the people who love you when you’re on top of the world as much as when you’re at rock-bottom — equally as a blushing bride, and as the whore next door.

Last year was hard, but it’s not going to get easier. Find your people and start destroying horcruxes as fast as you can.

Siouxsie Q has been writing “The Whore Next Door” since 2014.