Thursday night at Pandemonium is where I see God. She waits for me in my makeshift dressing room directly across from the women’s restroom and the garbage shoot. She is beautiful, fine, and expensive.
Finest Korean lace-front I could manage. She’s modeled after two of the kidz’ idols– B-Day Beyoncé in shape but Loud Rihanna in color. If God has a form, it’s this wig and, honey, it’s time to go to church!
Pandemonium was the first club Andromeda ever performed in. Back when she donned a yard-long purple braid that would whip the stage and slay the girls. Back when it was about the love of performing…back when it was about the community. But I’ve returned! Even if it’s just for a night.
I’ve gained a little fame since THAT Andromeda took the Pandemonium stage. Released an album. Guest started in a movie or two. You know, some real RuPaul shit. But something was missing. It no longer felt real which, according to Leondre, didn’t need to feel real as long as I was still collecting “the coins, mamma!”
Leondre was a good friend, one of my best judies and my manager but he didn’t understand. Before the paychecks, when I had to sweep up my tips off the stage floor, I had purpose. I stood for something:
Andromeda was a beacon, an icon– “Androgyny. Afrofuturism. Andromeda: an exotic dark skin beauty from a distant galaxy come to deliver hope to her genetic offspring on Earth. Mutha has landed!”
She was everything Andrew wasn’t. Confident. Empowering. Positive. Sexy. Powerful. Everything I’ve ever wanted to be and when Andrew put Andromeda on nothing could stop us! We were superheroes. But now…I don’t know what Andromeda is but she’s no hero.
She fancies herself a deity. Not an Orisha or any sort of Holy Spirit but like Zeus or some rancid ruler straight out of the Old Testament. Her long red hair became a symbol of control. She was an alien invader instead of a savior and I had the audacity to name it God.
But I still had fans! Not my original fans, however. No poor fags who just wanted to fantasize about being from another planet– the way they’ve learned to accept their oddities. No femme girls with dreams of performing with Andromeda on a downtown stage. Nope. Most of my fans were white and wealthy enough to pay the cover to get in.
They fetishized my skin, my thickness, my height. Had another life chosen me I would have been built for football and they would fetishize me just the same. Here, I was their Bojangles. I was their tap dancing fool.
But at least I had fans! Well, Andromeda had fans. Andrew had nothing. Andrew Kidd was still a poor Black boy from wrong side of the tracks with just enough education to delete himself and start anew. Andromeda was above being bullied, she escaped racism and homoantagonism…
Because Andromeda was a god, before the fall and after.