gender bending

Life's A Cabaret, Old Chum

Some time ago my partner, David, bought us tickets for the one-year anniversary of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School - a burlesque-meets-art school monthly event. David and a pirate had attended a previous Dr. Sketchy's and loved it.

What happened? A lot, I tell you. I sang along to Cole Porter songs and my partner produced this:

Some of you might know that in my former life as a quasi-academic, I worked and published on Alasdair Gray, the writer and the writer-artist. Who would have thought I'd end up sitting next to him at a burlesque-meets-art school event? Or that David would think it funny to draw Ally Gray and have him sign the drawing? It beats my signed first edition hands down, damn him.

Another boon was that the founder of Dr. Sketchy, the very lovely Molly Crabapple (NSWF, possibly) was present as well. I've long nourished a minor internet crush on her and her illustrations. Sigh. And we absolutely loved Kitten on the Keys (quite NSFW) and David drew yet another fabulous portrait. I'd post it but it'd completely ruin his ego.

Mmm.. I'll be humming Cole Porter songs in my sleep, methinks.

How are YOU Doin'?!

Thanks to Tina who's still in academia (and thus has access to Project MUSE and I'm not at all envious of this), I have learned that F. Scott Fitzgerald had many talents:

"In the collection of his papers at Princeton University, Fitzgerald's scrapbook contains newspaper clippings of his publicity photograph and the letters that he received in response; one writer urged Fitzgerald to consider working as a female impersonator. In the same book, he also clipped and saved newspaper articles in which college presidents debated the danger that cross-dressing posed to their students. Yale enacted a rule that men could only perform as women [End Page 27] once every two years, lest their sense of themselves as men be damaged. Perhaps disappointed over his suspension from the Triangle Club (and other extracurricular activities as a result of his grades), Fitzgerald took it upon himself to attend a University of Minnesota fraternity party in drag while home for Christmas vacation. This performance also hit the papers ("He's Belle of the Ball Until Astonished Co-eds Find Blond Wig on Chair") and appears in Fitzgerald's scrapbook."

(Source: Pearl James' "History and Masculinity in F. Scott Fitzgerald's this Side of Paradise", MFS Modern Fiction Studies 51.1 (2005) 1-33)