Many of you know I spent my, shall we say, formative adult years living in Austin, TX. (1975-1991). Unfortunately I moved away before Leslie, the famous homeless cross-dresser exploded on the local scene and made his mark as a public icon of Austin weirdness. I’ve heard about Leslie for a few years now and followed his 2000 mayoral campaign, rejoicing in the fact that he garnered 8% of the popular vote (coming in second, mind you) and bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t vote for him, what with me here living in the land-locked Midwest now. Leslie is a vocal opponent of the Austin police department’s treatment of homeless people and has been arrested numerous times for parading around Congress avenue in his thong and high heels. According to Bookpeople, Leslie had the highest recognizability quotient in the city, in terms of branding. Not bad.
My friend Tracy recently sent me a Leslie refrigerator magnet dress-up set for my birthday. I’ve got him front and center, along with my Blessed Mother dressup set and my GWB dress up set. George is now dressed in Leslie’s TX Longhorn cheerleader outfit, complete with pompoms, and he looks freakishly normal in it. The Blessed Mother looks on with a great sadness in her eyes at the spectacles around her. I figure it’s good for her.
Yesterday Tracy went to see her stylist, Valerie, who has her salon at her home, and was describing my refrigerator magnet set-up and how much I loved my Leslie magnets. As some kind of bizarre conincidence, Valerie told Tracy that Leslie just happened to be at her house at that very moment, and why not just tell Leslie herself? So Tracy got to meet the icon. Leslie was curious to know if he looked as good in George’s Presidential suit as George does in his cheerleader outfit, but alas, George did not come with a Presidential suit. However I think Leslie would look great in the black boots and the little Carmen Miranda top. I’ll be trying that out that later today. Also, as a bonus gift, Tracy will be sending me a second, autographed Leslie magnet set that I will be able to proudly display in my office alongside my Kinky for Governor (How hard could it be?) poster. I figure if one has to spend 9 hours a day, five days a week in an office, one should make it as enjoyable as possible. Don’t you agree?
So rock on, Leslie! If only Kansas City had someone as original as you…