Today in social psychology class I showed the Christmas Day, 1977, episode of All in the Family where transvestite Beverly LaSalle is killed by thugs and Edith has a crisis of faith as a result of the loss.
In looking for more information about the man who played BLS, Lori Shannon, I found an interview with female impersonator, David de Alba. The interviewer was Chris Lee and I found this exchange interesting.
Chris: What’s your explanation of the connection between Female Impersonation and Gay men? What’s all that about? I’m speaking both from the standpoint of most FIs being Gay and most FI fans being Gay.
David: I hope I am answering your question correctly, but although most of the FIs I knew were gay, there are some who claim that they were bisexual and were married to straight women. In fact we had several FIs like that at Finocchio’s. There are many gay men and lesbians who I have known in my showbiz past who loved FIs and my work as an FI, but there are some gay men trying to be so ‘butch’ that they claim they don’t like female impersonators. Somewhere in their personalities there are femme characteristics they want to deny. Putting us FIs down makes them feel like a straight male talking rough and putting down a gay male. Strange how some people feel they have to play roles. If people were true to themselves this world would be an easier place to live in.
In light of discussion on this blog about masulinity and homosexuality, I thought it was interesting that this icon in the San Francisco gay community described masculine gay males as being in denial about their feminine side. Being a masculine gay male seems to be doubted from a variety of perspectives. I am not making an opinion statement here, just blogging.