TAMPA — Randy Constan wants you to know he's just a normal guy who
feels great dressed as Peter Pan.
And Blue Boy, a Purple Pixie, Little Lord Fauntleroy and, oh boy, a
Call up his Web site — www.pixyland.org — and you'll help push him
past the 3.2 million hits he's gotten in 18 months, an e-stampede to see
him model homemade costumes and wax whimsical about them: "I found this
super starry glitter fabric to make tights, and it turned out super
Why can't a real man wear tights? This Peter Pan claims he's just a
48-year-old computer programmer who doesn't want to grow up.
"I realize this is my second childhood. I'm in play mode."
Constan's Peter Pan Web site has earned him plenty of publicity all
over the planet. There have been newspaper stories from San Francisco to
Sydney, London and Calgary, St. Petersburg and Seattle, radio
appearances from Howard Stern to NPR.
Winning a Webby last year, the Internet's equivalent of an Oscar, in
the "Weird" category made him an instant pop oddity celebrity. At the
San Francisco awards, he made a five-word acceptance speech: "Weird? God
loves us all."
God might. But not everybody loves this pixie. Constan's Webby win
brought reporters, radio guest spots — and cheap shots.
Losers.org, which tracks the Internet's "biggest losers," named
Constan's Web site one of the top four most pathetic on the planet:
"He's PETER PAN! He FRIGHTENS CHILDREN and DISTURBS ADULTS nationwide!"
Constan, who is 6 feet tall and sinewy as Tinkerbell, isn't getting
his tights in a wad over the insult.
"I was on uglypeople.com," he says. "Let those people make those
decisions. I know I'm cute. Put me on idiot.com. Who cares?"
Kim Corbin, a friend of Constan's, is a free-lance publicist in San
Francisco. She has a Web site (www.jumpstartjoy.com) devoted to personal
"A neat part of his message is be childlike," she says, "But there's
a deeper message — be free and do whatever you want and be secure in
If you want to be super cute, what the heck.
"It takes a lot of courage and a lot of guts to do what he's doing
with the gender thing," Kim says. "Other people may not understand it,
but the world would be a better place if everyone lived their passion."
Esteban Wilson, also known as "Bubbleman," agrees. An elementary
school science teacher in San Francisco, he runs a Web site
(www.iblowbubbles.com) devoted to the benefits of blowing bubbles.
"He's a fun-loving person," Wilson says of his friend, Constan, "a
free spirit who isn't worried about what people think.
"There's a lot of instinct these days to conform."
But, really, how much fun can it be to dress in khaki Dockers every
day? Constan's got a rather routine day job — so why shouldn't he be
free to dress like Little Lord Fauntleroy on his days off?
"What he does with outfits is his feminine side," Wilson says. "Some
men are afraid to admit they have a feminine side. He's just being true
At a Pinellas Park software company, Constan creates computer codes.
His other job is being Peter Pan. Because of the rising cost of his
e-fame — Web hosting fees, autographed photos — he is now selling "Be A
Pixie" T-shirts and mousepads at his Web site. Any money past paying Web
bills goes to children's charities.
Constan lives in a ranch-style home, and every room shows off his
collection of plush rabbits. He lives with his cat, Joshua, and a live
rabbit, Pookie. A 23-year childless marriage to Patty ended two years
She got out. He got the house.
"There are times when faith is a good thing, and sometimes it's a
bad thing," he says. "(At) the final incident, her announcing I want a
divorce, I said, 'I think it's a good time to do that.'
"I'm glad to say we're better friends now."
The divorce created an opening for the position of Constan's
personal Tinkerbell, which he is advertising on his Web site. He wants
"a life partner, a soulmate," he says.
Every day, the Peter Pan site generates receives about 20 viruses and
80 e-mails, a majority positive, a few threatening.
"If I lived next door to you, I'd burn a cross in your yard and then
I'd blow your head off with a shotgun," he paraphrases. "I send those on
to the police. That's the person we need to be afraid of, not a guy who
dresses up like Peter Pan."
He created the Peter Pan site to get people to his Through The
Cracks Ministries! page. Constan has a simple multidenominational
message: "God loves everybody, stop judging each other."
He sorts his ministry e-mails into three categories: spiritual
people frustrated by organized religion; people wanting to debate
theology; despondent people who are suffering.
When he mentions the last group, his eyes fill, his voice catches.
"I honestly believe God is using me to bring this simple message —
God loves us all."
An only child, Constan lost his mother, Florence, when he was 12.
She committed suicide. "I woke up in the middle of the night and there
was dad with mom on the floor."
His father, Roy, "didn't tell me it was a suicide until I was 20. It
was pretty wise. He told me it was an intestinal blockage, and I bought
Constan's father, a toy designer, died seven years ago, leaving
Constan with no family. He clearly misses his dad, who never asked his
son about the costumes and the gender-bending "until it started to
affect my marriage." Growing up, says Constan, "I don't remember my
father concerned with the typical father things — liquor on your breath
or cutting out of school. You dreaded his lectures, not the back of his
Pages of Constan's Web site are devoted to his music. Writing and
playing started in Staten Island, where he grew up. A songwriter, his
music can be downloaded at his Web site. As a teen, he was a garage-band
guitar slinger always tinkering with electronics.
"Guy things. Hangin' out and partying," he says.
He loved bands with "a big, heavy sound" — King Crimson, Pink
Floyd, Moody Blues, the Beatles.
Teenager Constan began to notice "a left brain/right brain thing
with my personality like hair and clothes. The guy side didn't care, the
girl side did care."
He loved coming of age in the bright-colors, anything-goes,
androgenous, late ’60s and early ’70s. He sees his life today as a
simple return to happier times.
"A lot of them grew up," he says of his friends. "The Peter Pan
thing began crystalizing, that cool image, when I was in my 20s.
"I have mixed gender feelings," he concludes cheerfully. "I'm kind of
an unusual person."
The sex question comes up early and often.
Yes, he says, he is heterosexual and, yes, there are women attracted
to guys dressed as Peter Pan.
Heterosexual women like this man who hates sports and loves to
workout, shop, sew, talk, listen and primp in front of a mirror. They
want him to be straight, Constan says.
He explains his appeal to women, especially fortysomethings, this
"A lot of women have embraced a lot of guy things, but they're
frustrated by men who haven't adopted any feminine things. I have. I
love ballet, for instance."
Gay men want this man who hates sports and loves to workout, shop,
sew, talk, listen and primp in front of a mirror to be gay.
He receives vitriolic — "disturbing," he says — e-mails from gay men
who demand, once and for all, that he come out of the closet and be done
"I'll write back, 'You've been fooled by people pushing stereotypes
on you. What does it matter?’ ”
And then there are the lesbians who just want to hang with him.
"Some of my lesbian friends want me to go to a Bucs game," he says,
of Tampa's NFL team. "I have no interest in sports whatever. I'm a total
sissy there, but I never wanted to be the cheerleader either."
On a recent weekend, he headed to Ybor City, Tampa's packed
nightclub district, in his Little Lord Fauntleroy costume. At a
testosterone-rich pickup place called The Green Iguana, women noticed
"Half the guys there came up to me asking how to get this much
attention," he recalls with a smile. "I told them, 'What can I tell ya?
Put on some tights.’"