“This book changed my life. Tom Rasmussen’s honesty, vulnerability, and fearlessness jump out of every page and every word. It is the queer bible I’ve always needed.” —Sam Smith, singer and songwriter
"Tom covers the nuance, doubt, and uncertainty of being a drag queen. Crystal covers the transcendence . . . Charisma and quick intelligence—two qualities that have long been prerequisites for drag . . . Diary puts on technicolor display." —Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
In these pages, find glamour and gaffes on and off the stage, clarifying snippets of queer theory, terrifyingly selfish bosses, sex, quick sex, KFC binges, group sex, the kind of honesty that banishes shame, glimmers of hope, blazes of ambition, tender sex, mad dashes in last night's heels plus a full face of make-up, and a rom-com love story for the ages. This is where the unspeakable becomes the celebrated. This is the diary of a drag queen—one dazzling, hilarious, true performance of a real, flawed, extraordinary life.
"I hope people like me will read this and feel seen and loved by it. I hope people who aren't like me will enjoy it, laugh with it, learn from it. And I hope people who don't like me will file lawsuits just so I can wear my brand-new leopard-print skirt suit and bust their asses in court."
—Crystal Rasmussen, in Refinery29
Twenty-something British journalist and drag queen Rasmussen, who goes by the stage name Crystal, delivers a cheeky, irreverent debut memoir in diary form. Rasmussen covers such topics as sex, career, and self esteem and doesn't shy away from sharing graphic sex stories with vivid details of their dating app hookups. Rasmussen also discusses writing about queer issues for magazines; being verbally and physically attacked for going out in drag; struggling to make it as a drag performer; and the freedom of being a drag queen ("drag allows you to become the kind of superstar you never thought you were allowed to be"). The memoir nods to Sex and the City (Rasmussen identifies as a Samantha and later as a Carrie) and often reads like a queer Bridget Jones's Diary (like Bridget, the author is a broke writer, and they're emotionally entangled with a Mark Darcy figure). Beyond being an entertaining romp, this memoir serves as an education for those living outside queer and drag circles. This exuberant, irreverent confessional is loud and proud with its message of acceptance and inclusion.
For fans of drag in the US, you're not going to find the wit, shade, or humor in this read. Thank goodness for e-readers because I had to search the web for so many words, places, references just to understand what was going on. I'm still not sure of the purpose of this book, but I hope the author feels better for having written it.