Drag and Atlanta: We go way back

Here’s something from the Atlanta Constitution in 1913 (from the book Gay and Lesbian Atlanta). The article was about Anthony Auriemma, “a professional female impersonator who contested  Atlanta’s city ordinance banning cross-dressing.” Would that he were still around today, because Danni Lee Harris totally wouldn’t let “Chief Beavers” mess with him!

Auriemma was at at the top of his game back in these days as a vaudeville drag queen (primarily performing as Francis Renault after leaving Atlanta), traveling the country where he “enjoyed the attention of many bedazzled young men.”

Lots more on Francis Renault here at Queer Music Heritage with some fantastic photographs.

Gay and Lesbian Atlanta also mentions Baltimore Block, which I didn’t know was a thing in Atlanta. These rowhouses between West Peachtree and Spring were, in the ’20s and ’30s, “home to a vibrant assortment of artists, photographers, landscape architects, and antiques dealers.” In other words, GAYS.

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