Posts in tag

drag history


M. Butterfly

On this day March 20: M. Butterfly: the true story

On March 20, 1988, the play M. Butterfly opened on Broadway. David Henry Hwang based his script on a newspaper report of the trial of a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer jailed for spying. “Bernard Boursicot was accused of passing information to China after he fell in love with Shi Pei Pu, whom …

February 25 adventure island john-michael howson

On this day February 25: Adventure Island

At 4 pm on the afternoon of February 25 1971, Aussie kids settled in front of the tele to watch the John-Michael Howson scripted Adventure Island. Howson also co-starred as the dim-witted Clown alongside Brian Crossley as Mrs Flower Potts. Scroll down to watch an episode of Adventure Island. It was pre-historic Drag Queen Storytime …

Everett Stuart the male patti february 21

On this day February 21: The Male Patti

The Joplin Globe reported on February 21 1937 that female impersonator Everett Stuart had recently died in Hollywood. Known as The Male Patti, Everett toured the US and Europe during a 50-year drag career. Everett Stuart grew up in a small mining town in Kansas. And it seems, even in the 1870s, the residents of …

Sylvia Rivera february 19

On this day February 19: Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera died on February 19 2002. She’s an icon now, an emblem of the long LGBTIQ+ fight against oppression. Although much celebrated, she’s still sadly little heard. Sylvia Rivera whored on the streets of New York from the age of 10. Just to survive. Her father deserted his family while she was still a …

On this day January 9: Charles Holt, drag war hero

On January 9 1922, the Sydney Morning Herald reviewed the opening night of female impersonator Charles Holt and his Smart Set Diggers at Fuller’s Theatre in Castlereigh Street. “The make-believe girls removed their stage wigs when responding to the clamorous curtain call at the close of a frisky finale.” According to the Sunday Times, “Most …

the cockettes december 31

On this day December 31 1969: The Cockettes’ first show

On December 31 1969, the Cockettes performed their first show at San Francisco’s Palace Theatre. The troupe of male and female performers would make a lasting impact on fashion and drag. Singer Sylvester and movie actor Divine both performed with the Cockettes early in their careers. The fame of the troupe grew, especially following a …

aussie herstory pre drag race all-stars downunder

The pre Drag Race all-stars downunder – Aussie herstory

Today, RuPaul’s Drag Race defines drag. Indeed, drag queens of a particular vintage complain that baby drags have no idea the artform even existed before RuPaul’s Supermodel of the World. But a glance through old newspapers and magazines shows pre Drag Race all-stars downunder making Aussie herstory decades ago. Undoubtedly, thanks to RuPaul, drag enjoys …

gene saint legendary brisbvane drag queen

Gene Saint aka Jean Delmonico, legendary Brisbane Drag Queen

Smiling postie by day, legendary Brisbane drag queen by night, Gene Saint lived a long full life. The elder of Brisbane’s Rainbow community passed away peacefully last week aged almost 93. I met Gene in the early 70s at one of Dame Sybil Von Thorndyke’s annual Queen’s Birthday Balls. I thereafter received invitations to his …

Jaq Grantford ken tootsie atherton kennedy prize

Portrait of octogenarian drag queen wins Kennedy Prize

Victorian artist Jaq Grantford this week took out South Australia’s Kennedy Prize for her painting Tootsie, Just an Old Drag Queen. The portrait is of 84-year-old drag queen Ken ‘Tootsie’ Atherton. Tootsie died shortly after the completion of the portrait in September last year. The artist told the ABC Tootsie had a tough life. His …