With a fresh outlook on life at the age of (almost) 50, Ed found confidence in honesty and love.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 49, from Ohio, partnered for 10 years, and a nurse by profession.
What can you tell us about confidence?
When I met my current partner and came out as a gay man to my friends and family, something seemed to have changed in me. I became liberated in ways I never even thought I could be liberated, and that included how I dressed myself, even down to my underwear.
What was it specifically that made you more aware of what you wore?
I would have to say it was finally noticing the same old, tired clothes in my closet. Looking and dressing like everyone else. Not really exploring and asserting who I really was on the inside, and that was a proud gay man who deserved the chance, like every other gay person, to not live in secrecy.
What prompted you to come out to family and friends?
It was encouragement from my partner. It was also the fact that I knew that my friends and other loved ones already were aware of the fact that I was gay, that I always had been, and not even being married for ten years to a woman would ever change that.
Why weren’t you able to come out before?
There wasn’t a good reason why I hadn’t come out long before I did. It was one thing and one thing only: my own fear of facing who I really was. I wasn’t afraid of losing the love of my friends and family by coming out as a gay man. It was admitting to myself that I needed to live in MY truth, not the truth of others. It was the fear of learning how to live my life as a proud gay man. It was the fear of standing up and being counted as worthy.
Assuming coming out offered you a new-found confidence, where did you find confidence before?
I didn’t find it before coming out. I didn’t know I had confidence inside of me until I came out. At least, I never believed I had any confidence to begin with.
Ten years later, what gives you confidence now?
Several things. Turning 50 this year and knowing I have lived half a century and experienced so much of this life that hasn’t always been easy or fun, but somehow I have managed to stay alive. My wonderful and amazing partner Richard who has kept me grounded. Going back to college after twenty years to finally finish my RN degree. THAT takes a huge amount of confidence, believing that no matter how old you are, education is something everyone can and should pursue. You are never too old to learn!
Anything else you would like to share?
Yes. A favorite quote of mine: “We do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand other worlds”. This has always resounded with me. It says so much to me as a human being, and particularly as a gay man.
DAVID MRAMOR / ENID ELLEN
NYC, New York
Yoga instructor and artist, David Mramor channels Mother Nature to become the commanding performer, Enid Ellen.
Have you always written poetry?
Yes always. As a young child I kept journals and journals. I was really in to Anne Frank and I had visions of being stuck like her and I wanted people to see that realness. The words as poetry aren’t that great to me. They seemed a bit dead without the piano. It depends what energy I can bring to it. The words are coming and I just got to get them out of here. Clear these spaces in my brain.
How did Enid Ellen transpire?
I was writing these poems about my ex lovers and how I wanted to punish them. I was channeling me some Lizzie Borden and Greg “double C” Potter helped me put the words to music. I created a myspace page, gave her the name Enid Ellen and created a whole look for the project. And that was about it but one day this bar downtown contacted me and asked us to play live! I was like “What!” but I knew I had to do it. Give this powerful female a voice.
How do you channel Mother Nature?
For me the biggest part of getting into character is my outfit, wig, and makeup. The foundation of all that is my underwear. I love slipping on a pair of lady panties cut for a man. As Enid Ellen continues to develop from a boy to a woman one thing is always certain I must feel sexy. Channeling Mother Nature is no easy task!
What is it about the foundation that gets you ready for performing?
It’s the fabrics and fit. I like when the cut flatters my curves or lack there of. And the fabric, the touch on my skin. It makes me feel sexual and sensual.
Do you have a performance wardrobe and day-to-day wardrobe?
Yes I do. They overlap on some aspects but Enid is another being. She has her own style which draws from so many influential people. From Boy George to Nico, she takes from all. As a regular day boy I go for comfort but I still need to show my body. I don’t want to be afraid of this body. Tight when I feel skinny and loose when I’m feeling a bit bloated!
How has your personal life influenced Enid Ellen (or vice versa)?
Well I am an artist first so anything that allows that creative flow to run through me takes first step. But I am also a yoga teacher and my yoga practice is very important to me. It gives me the energy to sustain my art making. It allows me to not get stuck on things, such as my emotions. Enid lets things go and I attribute this to my yoga practice. I have also been in a serious relationship for the past three years and that steps into the work. It lets me see things from another angle.
What would you consider your best show/performance?
I have to say my favorite show was when Greg and I took to the subway platform. It was amazing. The audience came and went and so many new faces were exposed. It was great to interact with that environment. I loved it. The roots of NYC!
Has anyone ever said something that made you self-conscious when performing?
Girl, I’m a sensitive being so I take everything to heart especially critiques of my body, but as I start to feel more comfy in my own skin I don’t really care. As RuPaul says, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?" Amen.