The first time I went out in public in clothes that I genuinely felt comfortable in, I was, ironically enough, wearing a costume. I’m a trans woman, and although I had been presenting as a woman in the comfort of my own home for a little while at that point, I hadn’t ever presented the way I wanted or worn the clothes I felt comfortable in in front of other people until I went to a Halloween party hosted by some friends in 2011. I was dressed up as Velma from Scooby Doo, wearing an orange long-sleeved shirt, a red pleated skirt and kneehigh orange socks with a little makeup and a brand new way of styling my hair. As soon as my friends saw me and their faces lit up and they started complimenting me on my outfit. I don’t think I had ever appreciated a compliment as much as I appreciated hearing “Oh my gosh! You look so great as Velma!”
I’d been a big fan of Velma (and the rest of the Scooby Doo gang) for a long time, I mean, she was a nerdy girl obsessed with the paranormal, how could I help wanting to be just like her? But I really loved her since 1998. That’s the year that Scooby Doo on Zombie Island first premiered on the Cartoon Network.
Zombie Island picks up a little while after the Scooby Gang has decided to end their ghost and monster hunting days and go their separate ways. Scooby and Shaggy are sniffing out (and eating) contraband food at an airport, Fred and Daphne have a TV show called Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake and Velma is running her own mystery bookstore. The team reunites and decides to visit an island that’s supposedly haunted by a ghost pirate (which it is), but end up running into not just ghosts, but also zombies and the last remaining members of the cat-worshiping cult who originally settled the island and are now immortal werecats.
“What style of makeup are you looking for?”
I shrugged, told her I didn’t have the makeup vocabulary. I just wanted to look good. After my wife had finished adding the third layer of glitter to her eyes, I asked her to do mine. She asked if I wanted what she wore most days. Maybe a strong eye or lip, but mostly subtle. I laughed. I wanted it big. I wanted everyone to notice. Eventually we settled on the idea of a painting. A few colors running together on my eyes and a really bold cherry red lip. I thought it would go well with my beard. I was excited. I squirmed in the chair as she painted me, checking the mirror every few seconds. The moment she finished I ran to the bedroom, tearing off my carefully planned outfit to better coordinate with my new face. I settled on an old torn up Keith Haring t-shirt, because I was art. It felt freeing and fun and I hadn’t thought twice about it. I just wanted to go dance to one of my favorite bands.
“Should we get a car or take the bus?”
For the first time that night, nerves hit. I hadn’t thought this part through. I’d been so amped for everyone at the show to see how good I looked it hadn’t occurred to me I’d have to worry about what people in public think. Or say. Or do.
Up until now, the only way to read Bad Movies was to get the full issue. You could get it online, but it always came packaged as a full piece. The idea was that if there was one specific story you wanted to read, you'd hopefully pass a hundred other cool things on your way to getting there. We still like that idea and have no intentions of abandoning our full issues. However, from here on out we're going to supplement that by publishing some work directly to this space.
You'll find a few things here. First, content from upcoming issues to hopefully get you excited about its release. Similarly, there will be content we loved from past issues to tide you over until something new comes along. Most importantly, there will be content that won't be in the magazine at all. The magazine has a very specific mandate and style that we try our best to adhere to. But a lot of really great writers, artists and comedians have other amazing work to share that we'd love to bring to the world.
That means reviews, thinkpieces, satire, whatever we want. If we like it and think our audience will, we'll publish it. The magazine has always followed that edict to a certain extent and we want to take it even further with this space.
If you're interested in contributing, contact us.