"I said ridiculous, nonsense, foolish prattle. How can Batgirl be the best anything when Catwoman is around. Haha. No best-dressed list is complete without the addition of the Queen of criminals, the princess of plunder, your’s untruly... In any comparison between Batgirl and myself, she runs a poor third.”
Oh yes, the Queen herself, Eartha Kitt as the original Catwoman. It should come to no surprise that I chose to be this iconic character for Halloween. A feline in its most evolved state, Catwoman was no ordinary villain. She was sleek and sophisticated and had a charm about her that could beguile anyone into getting her way. A deliciously dangerous demon on the prowl for adventure, she was a free spirit that promenaded her way through fear. With nine lives, the number in numerology that symbolizes completeness and eternity, it’s no wonder this goddess of mischief had no concern of reality; peril was her sidekick and could be reborn to whatever machinations she desired. On a day where I could choose to dress up as anyone, I had no second thoughts...Catwoman! Since society considers me a man, would it have been more approriate for me to have chosen a different super villain? Perhaps that would come as less of a shock had I chosen to be maybe the Joker or Darth Vader? They are clever and not doubt skilled at what they do, but those characters never really appealed to me as much. Being Catwoman was the way I could feel most powerful and invincible, following no one’s rules but the beat of my own instinctual guidelines. And I had all the right materials: the ears of a cat with the incredible perception of hearing, the dark mask to remain mysterious with my identity, my claws to scratch, scrape and slash anything in my way, and the body suit of seduction that immediately allured any onlookers into a hypnotizing spell. However, along with these materials, I had the most important piece; my high heel stilettos. Elevated 5 inches above the ground, weight strongly forward on the balls of my feet, ready to pounce at any moment, I had a liquid gait to kill. Cunning with my presence through Catwomen’s heels, I could vicariously walk the city indomitable. I felt my superpower.
This was my first Halloween in NYC and only second time actually celebrating Halloween (first time was junior year in college) so I didn’t really know what to expect but when my friends and I left my apartment to venture off into the night, I had no hesitations. We arrived at the club and there was a line all the way to the end of the avenue. It was also raining and none of us had umbrellas. Placed in a dilemma, Catwoman had her first challenge ahead of her. I boldly stormed up to the security guard, skipping the long line, and demanded with my presence that he let me in. He was hesitant at first and asked if we had VIP passes, which we did not, and then, a second guard saw my friends’ epic costumes and it was confirmed that we were genuinely VIP indeed, no passes needed and were let in; no wait in line. (Note: if ever going out in NYC, dress epically; can get you far).
Walking through the club at Providence, in upper west side, there were eyes all over me, looking me up and down as if to say, yum…and I ate it all up. I would tease and gently claw all the men and women that came up to me to acknowledge my fierceness and I responded with a purr. I was really in character. This was only my second time wearing my stiletto boots and as you read before, the first time was in normal everyday clothing but I can honestly say, wearing them in a provocative costume definitely brought out a certain persona in me. It was more of a persona of power rather than carnal. When I got on the dance floor I was fearless and got on top of the speakers to display my virtuosity. Soon I had strangers giving me money as if I was a hired stripper, although I clearly wasn’t since there were go-go dancers on top of the platforms that were dressed accordingly to their roles. I guess throwing money was their way of showing appreciation to the figure of movement before them. I didn’t want to disappoint.
What can I say? I’m a performer by nature…
The inner feline came out. I had a great night! The attention I got was indeed abundant and was overwhelmed by the support I got. It felt awesome! Due to the sensual demeaor of my costume, I expected more people to be on the crude side with their remarks but instead, I had both men and women saying how beautiful I looked and praising my balls (no pun intended) to wear such a costume in public with confidence, finesse, and ease. One random woman in the street even stopped me just to thank me. When I had gone into the CVS with my friend Amanda to get an umbrella, the security guard literally followed me through the store, not becuase he thought I was suspicious behavior, but because, he was so mesmerzied by my appearance. I think he was astonished, trying to figure out how a man could pull off such a look and he smiled as I left and waved goodbye. I had people stopping me in the clubs, in the streets, in the stores, in the subway and even the cab driver turned all the way around to give me a good look up and down with a seal of approval and said, "you got it." I guess it was Halloween so I was "allowed" to dress up however I wanted but if it was a normal day, I'm not sure the responses would have been so encouraging. Guess I'll have to test that theory another day.
Of the many compliments I got that night, the one I most remember was from three ladies at 59th street Columbus Circle. When taking the subway back home, there were 3 MTA subway workers, 2 on their night shift in their uniform cleaning the platform inthe subway and the other going home. They stopped me and told me how much they enjoyed my costume and that I was “wearing them heels.” They were very impressed by my walk and said that I walked better than they ever could. Filled with enthusiasm, their faces radiated excitement and we had a long and wonderful conversation. I asked them how they felt about seeing a man in high heel stilettos. I wanted to record their statement but because they were in uniform, they were not allowed to. However, the one leaving said something that really moved me that I will share with you. She said, “You are not hurting anyone wearing those heels. If you want to wear them, it is no one’s place to tell you whether you should or shouldn’t. Plus, you look great in them. I was enjoying just watching you walk in ‘em! You are not hurting anyone.” It was so refreshing to hear.
Here is a testimony from Amanda who was out with me that night:
When I got home, my feet were numb! I had to slowly try to move my toes again when I took off my shoes because they were in so much pain from being jammed together in the stilettos. I was limping. My friends and I were out from 11pm and got back home at 6am so that was seven hours straight walking and dancing (lots of dancing) in high heels. Yeah, I really committed myself as Catwoman and my feet definitely were whimpering but nevertheless, I am convinced that high heels can give you superpowers.