In fact, Pat came to Miss Vera’s Finishing School with the support of his wife of 15 years. She asked that we refer to her by her middle name, Leigh — because she too is concerned about potential scorn. Leigh says she sees how becoming Bianca lifts the weight of the world off her husband’s shoulders.
“It’s definitely a stress release for him,” she says. “It definitely helps him have more balance in his life. And all of that is good. It’s good for me as his wife. It’s good for my children.”
Leigh says she’s more concerned about her husband being judged than being judged herself.
She uses her middle name – which is precisely how I became Helen back in the day.
So we were just in New York, and one of the awesome things we did was meet the cast and crew of Harvey Fierstein’s new play Casa Valentina.
We didn’t get to see the whole thing – just a few key scenes – but I am so looking forward to seeing the whole of it.
And it opens to audiences tonight. I have no doubt the reception will be great.
But here’s the thing: we were invited to come see a rehearsal to advise. One of the actors contacted me a few weeks back – when I was already scheduled to be in NYC – and asked that we come because a bunch of the cast were reading or had read my books.
& Mare Winningham – who plays the wife of one of the crossdressers – said really nice things about them. She was so welcoming and cool to us.
Anyway, it was an awesome experience all around, & I only wish I could have stayed in town a day longer to catch the first night of previews tonight, but alas, the class I’m teaching started today, too.
I’m hoping to get a group together to go see it when we’re next in town, because from what I can tell, this is a gorgeous play – honest (maybe in ways some people won’t like) but compassionate, by which I mean: the wife is a real person.
“Helen Boyd’s study of the relationships between crossdressers and their partners is a gender equality must-read, as well as a startling insight into the psychology of a variety of different draggies.”
I don’t know about the term “draggies” but I’m not hip to Dubliner slang, either.