This is not your average Joe.

With legs smooth and breasts positioned to fill a flirty Marilyn-inspired dress, long auburn hair sweeping long and dramatic lashes, the man who has converted himself from Joe to "Miss Trixie" is impossible to ignore.

In June 1969 in New York City, a group of drag queens and other patrons put their foot down against sexual discrimination. Today in Durham, I talk with Miss Trixie, who digs her stiletto, three-inch heels deep into the gay liberation movement.

Being a professional drag queen like Trixie takes more than great legs and a soprano voice. It takes time, money, and practice. Performers lip-sync to pre-recorded songs, quickly change into elaborate costumes or sing new, often-raunchy words to classic diva-pop.

After some research and talking to some of Raleigh's best, we at Recess think we know what it takes. If you think RuPaul's got nothing on you, follow these steps to see how you can get in touch with your feminine side like a pro:

  1. Know the terminology. Drag queens are men who dress up as women for entertainment. They should be distinguished from transvestites, men who are emotionally satisfied wearing women's clothes, or transsexuals, one who feels he/she is actually of the other sex.

  2. A drag queen by any other name--Pick a name with a sexual sound. The old "middle name followed by street you grew up on" trick is a good starting point, although professionals often copyright their image and take it seriously.

  3. Body hair must go. Pluck it, wax it, just get it off ASAP.

  4. Costumes. To be a successful drag queen, you need costumes and a lot of them. Boas, heels, all accessories must be loud and beautiful.

But pace yourself--custom-made dresses cost between $7 and $24,000.

  1. Hair, makeup, repeat. Preparation for a performance can take from an hour and a half to more than three hours, so give yourself plenty of time.

  2. Practice makes perfect. Rehearse, and do it in heels.

  3. Have fun out there. Attitude transcends all sexual boundaries.