Previously, I wrote a post about Randy Constan aka Peter Pan Man and announced that he was kind enough to allow me to interview him for my website.‚ Below is the interview:
Joel: What do you do on a daily basis? Are you employed or do you participate in other activities?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): I’ve always been in high tech. Mostly electronic design and embedded software coding.‚ How old are you and what area of the country do you live in? Why did you pick that region?
I’m in Tampa Florida, currently 5-1/2 (I only count decades now), and I’m here because New York was too “freegin” cold!
Joel: Why do you dress up as Peter Pan and in other non-traditional outfits? Do you wear them daily or just for special occasions?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): I dress to express an androgynous and gender fluid personality. The central Peter Pan theme is mainly because it is a symbol of not growing up. It has always seemed to me that especially for males, society insists that an adult have a clearly defined gender, something normally not imposed on very young children (except by very ignorant parents). Therefore the character suits me well. Peter Pan also is a fairy tale character, and being a “boi fairy” is a notion that brings me joy.
Joel: Do you consider yourself a member of a group of a people who dress like that? If so, what is the group?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): No. While I’ve found many venues where I can express myself in this way, I don’t know of any group in which I could honestly say I’m one of many. Some groups with some shared interests, lots of costuming groups obviously, but I suspect the majority of others that might feel as I do might be very private about it, fearing rejection. Although I have no specific intent to create such a group, I do understand that what I’m doing is an encouragement to many, a testimony of God’s diverse creation (despite what organized religion may teach), and certainly it is a great joy to me.
Joel: What charities do you try to promote? Why did you pick those charities?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): The charities are mainly to underscore the fact that what I’m doing, at least at the moment, is truly a labor of love with no immediate monetary income goals. With the exception of the CD sales, 100% of all income from the website that exceeds expenses is given to Kid’s charities. The reason for the Kid’s charity emphasis is because it both relates to the Peter Pan theme, and because it parallels the wishes of the author of the original Peter Pan story, who gave the copyrights over to a children’s hospital in England.
Joel: Do you travel much?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Not as much as I’d like to someday. Never been out of the USA except to Canada.
Joel: I saw on your website that you were engaged to be married. Is this still on or are you married already? What does your wife and her family think of the way you dress?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): We’ll we’re a bit on in years for family concerns. Not many living relatives. But those that are with us, along with our friends love our outfits and the way we express ourselves. We’re planning to have the wedding sometime this year (2009)
Joel: Do you consider yourself heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual? Or do you identify in a different way?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): I’ve never had any physical attraction to anything but grrls. Strange though, I consider myself to have a strong feminine side and have often thought of myself as a boi lesbian. So you can see where the answer to your question is a bit multifaceted. Indeed, were we to have a society where all manner or gender, attraction, and sexual variations were at least out in the open and accepted, I can imagine a very much expanded vocabulary would need to evolve, to categorize them all.
Joel: When did you first start to dress as Peter Pan? What made you wish to continue to do so? How do people react?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Well as a child of the 60s, arguably a lot of us dressed Peter Pan like. But I suppose it wasn’t until the age of about 20 or so that I really began my journey into expressing the appearance I enjoyed, despite natural fears of negative reactions. As with anything creative a person does that is off the beaten path, reactions range from praise to disdain and ultimately this makes one realize that both are equally deceptive. No one should think more or less of themselves based purely on reactions or opinions. It also makes us continually re-examine ourselves and choose between being true to ourselves or retreat.. Of course the road less traveled is always the better choice in such matters. As to why I continue, for me that is akin to asking me as a guitarist, why I continue to play the guitar. In other words, from the perspective of the artist, there reaches a point where the “Why” questions don’t make sense to try and answer.
Joel: In your pictures, you appear very youthful and athletic. What do you attribute this to?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Well I’m sure a lot is genetics, which of course is the luck of the draw. Who knows why I still have a full head of hair while so many 1/2 my age are balding already. I’m sure being a bit vain makes me watch my weight more than some, but there again everyone has a different metabolism. I do consider myself blessed, but then again a heart failure could take my life tomorrow. I could jokingly say alcohol is a preservative, but don’t want to encourage self destructive behavior. I AM sure, however, that personal attitude must have a tangible affect on youthfulness and health, and am quite sure that those placing value on their child nature are likely to fare better physically than they would have otherwise.
Joel: How do you look at your life? Are you happy? Do you have regrets?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): I am happy. The only regrets I have, looking back, are the times I knew I should have asserted myself and did not.
Joel: What are your goals for the future?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): I’d like to find a way to do the things I like for a living rather than just a hobby. Music, costuming, making people laugh, writing, encouraging others, and designing wonderful gadgets, to name some of my interests. To that end, my fiance and I are saving our money, working to pay down debts, and get to were we are as independent as possible. I’m keenly aware of how work and obligations eat away at all our time, and create the illusion that we really have no time for our own dreams. In fact, we need to believe, pray, wish, dream, and then MAKE the time for what we believe in. It’s a lifetime endeavor.
Joel: What do you consider to be the most formative time period of life? Why?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Can’t say. It wholly depends on your circumstances and health. Assuming you can feed yourself and have relatively good health, life should continually be better tomorrow, and the best time ever is always TODAY!
Joel: What level of education do you have? From where? Did you enjoy formal learning?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Only 2 years of college in New York. Beyond that I’m self taught at most of my skills.
Joel: Who would you consider to be a personal hero?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Jesus (the real one, not the one religion has created), my deceased dad, Robin Williams, Barack Obama, to name a few.
Joel: What music do you like? Any favorite artists?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Oh my god! Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Zepplin, The Moody Blues, Chopin, DeBussay, gee… I’m all over the map. I like rock, Jazz, and classical. But most of my favorites, as you can seem are one or more generations back.
Joel: Is there anything else you would like to share that might help me better understand you?
Randy Constan (Peter Pan Man): Don’t swallow any belief system in its entirety, be it all of science or religion. Let no one answer the big questions in life for you, but find them out for yourselves. I could tell you, for example, that God is good, loves us all, and has set fourth the challenge to us, as a planet, to get along with each other. That’s what I say, but don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself if God is real, and either way leave the question open to a greater influence, just in case you’re wrong. The answer is not in any book. And in any case, figure out what you’re here for, and make it a life endeavor to do so as much as you can. Few things are accomplished without first believing. If I can attain this level of happiness believing in such things a fairies, I’m quite sure many others can accomplish far greater good if they believe in themselves. And for a synopsis of my “message to the world”, please listen to the “Who Is PeterPan”, last song on my CD, on the music pages of my website. (If you purchase a copy, 20% goes to kids charities too!)
Thank you to Randy Constan for the interview!‚ Please support his charities by going here.