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RIP Mother Flawless Sabrina, Star of First Drag Docu “The Queen”

Submitted by on Saturday, 18 November 2017No Comment

The drag community lost a trailblazer with the passing of Mother Flawless Sabrina Friday night. Born Jack Doroshow in Philadelphia in 1939, she helped transform drag from an amusement for straight people into an art form that celebrated queer identity.

Doroshow first tried on women’s clothing as an 8-year-old, and by 19 had perfected the Sabrina Flawless character. Drag was still widely stigmatized in the 1960s—even within in the gay community—but Sabrina organized drag pageants across the country.

“We would take hotels, usually in the black section of town, and rent out the ballrooms,” she told Out in 2015. “We would hang sheets as a canopy outside so people could get in and out of the building without being seen, even though they were in suits and ties when they came in.”

Cross-dressing was still a felony, and she was arrested dozens of times. Sabrina also faced arrest for promoting her 1967 film The Queen, in Times Square. A semi-documentary, the movie recounted the Miss All America Beauty Pageant, where Sabrina played “Mother” to the contestants, including a young Crystal LaBeija.

It was the first drag documentary and, aided by interest from Andy Warhol, The Queen screened at Cannes and landed Sabrina spots on several TV talk shows. (Read more at New Now Next)

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