Strip tease

burlesque-1
THE FACE, AND BODY, OF BURLESQUE Satan’s Angel, center, continues in a profession that has welcomed such newcomers as Dita von Teese, left, and Jett Adore, right.

Out burlesque legend Satan’s Angel last performed in Dallas at Jack Ruby’s club in late 1963. And that’s not the only thing that has changed in the last 50 years

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Although she liked the film, Satan’s Angel thought the movie Burlesque was more about a lounge act than the actual art of the tease.

She should know. Satan’s Angel — a stage name, of course — is a legend who has a few healthy decades under her belt and she doesn’t want today’s generation to forget what burlesque should really mean to performers and audiences.

“Burlesque is about sexuality, being sensual and teasing,” she says by phone in a gravelly voice. “It’s getting the audience worked up and then letting them go home all fired up. It really is about the journey of titillation, not the destination.”

As part of Saturday’s Hotter Than Hell show at The Kessler, Ms. Angel doesn’t perform like she used to, but she still headlines this show that will include “boylesque” artist Jett Adore. Now 67, Ms. Angel has seen it all and welcomes the diversity in burlesque now, but she was in a class all her own back in the day.

“Well, I am the big lesbian legend of burlesque that probably paved the way for every queer there,” she laughs. “It was a terrible time. No one could really be open and lots of places were owned by the mob. If they found out, they’d throw you out the door.”

But she was defiantly queer in a pre-Stonewall era — even when she traveled in the South. She always “had a woman” and when a fellow dancer outed her to a club owner, she didn’t back down.

“Oh, he grabbed me by the hair and was hitting me in the face asking if I was gay,” she recalls. “Other dancers were telling me to just say I wasn’t, but I just told him to piss off. It was really hard then.”

Ironically, burlesque now is very fluid in its sexuality. Lesbianism could almost be looked at as a selling point. But Ms. Angel says many of today’s performers have replaced the tradition with shock art. She intends to keep the classical nature of it alive.

“People do this variety, bizarre stuff and it’s very offensive to me,” she says. “They need to put the truth of this out there. Don’t try to shock. That’s not burlesque; that’s bullshit. This Latina dancer had these donkey piñatas in her act and she’s fist-fucking the donkey’s ass. I mean, what the shit is that?”

Today’s performers haven’t all strayed from the traditional values. She cites Dita von Teese (who was in Dallas last week) and Ginger Valentine as staying true to the form, and commends the work of Jett Adore, who also performs Saturday.

Boylesque isn’t new to Angel — as she saw it decades ago in Canada and Europe. It’s just new to America.

“They were way ahead of us. Everyone was doing nudity outside of America and we were just trying to go topless,” she says. “What I like about Jett is he’s extremely masculine on stage and his Zorro makes Antonio Banderas’ a zero.”

Her appearance this weekend is something of a homecoming for Ms. Angel. She worked the Texas circuit back in the day, landing a gig in the fall of 1963 at Abe Weinstein’s Colony Club on Commerce Street. But then her agent found an offer for more money at a place called Carousel Club owned by some guy named Jack Ruby. Ruby wasn’t thrilled with the lesbian idea, either, but she was the featured performer.

Of course, a few weeks later, Ruby became more infamous than she could ever hope to be.

“He was a weird dude, very Jekyll and Hyde and a big talker but not much else,” she says. “He treated me well but I worked my week and was out of there and on to Kansas City. Next thing I knew, he’s on TV for shooting Oswald. He was strange, but I really never thought he was a killer.”

Life is a calmer these days. She does the occasional performance, live readings and burlesque classes, but finds her haven in Palm Springs. She calls her life partner of 14 years her “poor little butch” who has to sell merch, be her dresser, drive her to the airport and act generally as an assistant.

“If I didn’t just bring her along, I’d have to hire somebody,” she jokes. “She’s got bad knees. What is she going to do for a job?”

Of course, she’s just teasing.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 5, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Concert Notice: Joan as Police Woman to play Club Dada in April

The last time I wrote about Joan as Police Woman, she opened for Rufus Wainwright back in November 2009. I can’t say she impressed me much, but whatevs. I will say that I’ve gone to listen to some of her recordings and am quickly getting on board. Just in time too because the indie music lady comes to Dallas on her own playing at the thankfully reborn Club Dada in Deep Ellum. And come to find out, she plays for our team — we think.

Trish Bendix over at AfterEllen wrote up this piece last month where Joan Wasser (yes, the same Joan) apparently told Bendix she’s bi:

It might not surprise you, then, that Joan is queer. “Surprise” only because you might know she famously dated Jeff Buckley before he tragically drowned in 1997, a fact that likely haunts her in every discussion of her musical career. But there is no trace of her discussing her sexuality, which she once told me a few years ago was not-so-straight.

After she’d written me (via MySpace, remember that?) to let me know she was bisexual (after I’d inquired, mind you — gaydar in action), she gave me her publicist’s contact information so that I could set up an interview. I was denied, unfortunately, which is (also unfortunately) part of the job when it comes to being from the gay press. But upon hearing some music from Joan’s new album, I knew I had to try again. And this time, she had a new publicist, who, like Joan, wasn’t going to position her as something she’s not.

We’re used to that game of nebulous orientation. It’s just something we like to point out. Really, I’m just hoping she brings along her entourage from “The Magic” video to the show. Right??

Spune presents Joan as Police Woman at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. April 29 at 10 p.m. $10. Click here for tickets.

—  Rich Lopez

Bigot of the Day: Texas Rep. Mike Conaway

Rep. Mike Conaway

Despite a Pentagon study that recommends just the opposite, Texas Republican Congressman Mike Conaway continues to spew right-wing propaganda by suggesting that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” will force the military to build separate living facilities for gay and lesbian troops. Conaway also says he thinks DADT is currently working “unless you intend to make sexuality your No. 1 issue when you wake up in the morning.” Which, of course, is precisely what Conaway is doing. From the San Angelo Standard Times:

“You’re going to accommodate folks’ preferences as to whether or not they want to be in the same sleeping arrangements or bathroom facilities, all those kinds of things,” Rep. Mike Conaway, a Republican from Midland, said Monday. …

“Apparently their housing arrangements are not set up in that direction,” Conaway said. “And if you have to segment them further from what they are just between men and women, then you’re going to have to provide additional facilities that weren’t provided before. …

“I think my final conclusion was it’s a policy that’s currently working unless you intend to make sexuality your No. 1 issue when you wake up in the morning,” he said.

We’re not sure why the Standard Times is even bothering to publish this crap at this point, but at least the story goes on to note that Conaway is dead wrong:

The Pentagon study released Nov. 30 on the effect of a repeal recommended that “the Department of Defense expressly prohibit berthing or billeting assignments or the designation of bathroom facilities based on sexual orientation.”

Commanders would retain authority to alter those assignments or accommodate concerns about privacy on a case-by-case basis, the study said.

“Most concerns we heard about showers and bathrooms were based on stereotype,” the study said.

The study also indicated 70 percent of military members surveyed believed doing away with the policy would have mixed, positive or no effect.

—  John Wright

Pope: ‘Sexuality Has An Intrinsic Meaning…Which Is not Homosexual’

Pople
The Pope, who earlier this week clarified his new stance on condom use, has a new book out called "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times." Not surprisingly, the book, which is formated as a series of interviews, is full of some of the same anti-gay views we've heard from him in the past:

The interviewer, German journalist Peter Seewald, asked the pope whether the church's teaching that homosexuals deserve respect isn't contradicted by its position that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered."

The pope answered: "No. It is one thing to say that they are human beings with their problems and their joys, that as human beings they deserve respect, even though they have this inclination, and must not be discriminated against because of it."

"At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual," he said. "The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a future."

The pope said the church needs to hold firm on this point, "even if it is not pleasing to our age."

He said it was still an open question whether homosexual inclinations are innate or arise early in life. In any case, he said, if these are strong inclinations, it represents "a great trial" for the homosexual.

"But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed," he said.

Meanwhile, some HIV workers have welcomed the Pope's recent views on condoms saying "It's long overdue because people are dying and the Church has a responsibility to step up and take care of its people."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Portia DeGeneres: Stress Over Sexuality Had Me Eating 300 Calories, Dropping To 82 Pounds

"It wasn't that I was proud of it," the newly renamed Portia DeGeneres (nee de Rossi) tells Oprah in an interview airing Monday about her anorexia. "But it was certainly a recognition for my self control. I definitely had some pretty amazing willpower to get down to 82 pounds. And that's what I was holding on to. I didn't think about anything else." It required dropping her food intake down to a frightening 300 calories — part of which she blames on feelings of depression while struggling to come to terms with her sexuality.

CONTINUED »


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , ,

Queerty

—  admin

Why Keeping Your Sexuality ‘Private’ On Facebook Is a Farce (Or, How To Find Out If Anybody Is Gay)

We already know Facebook is leaking your sexuality to advertisers through its data-rich demographic targeting system. And there's the possibility Facebook's check-in platform Places could let your friends reveal you're a big homo without your consent. And there was that time Facebook let any of your friends spy on your person IM chats, possibly reading in real-time about your steamy gay affair. And there was that computer script some college students built that could pretty accurately guess if you're gay simply by seeing what kind of company you keep in your social network. Let's add one more potential means of Facebook outing to the list.

CONTINUED »


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , ,

Queerty

—  admin

Johnny Weir Takes on Sexuality

JOHNNY WEIR 201007 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMIn an in-depth interview with New York magazine, Olympic ice skater
Johnny Weir explains what he calls his “very specific philosophy about
gay, straight, married, sex, [and] partnership.”
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Archie Comics Writer: Gay Character’s Sexuality Is A ‘Nonissue’

Back in April, Andy wrote about the impending introduction of Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the Archie comic book series. Keller pops up in the pages of “Veronica” next month in an issue titled “Isn’t It Bromantic?” 

VeronThe cover for the landmark issue is now available. There's also a lengthier explanation of Keller's character from writer and illustrator Dan Parent. Apparently, his sexuality will be no big deal to the other characters in the Archie world – as it shouldn't be. He tells the Colorado Springs Gazette:

"The introduction of the character also comes as Archie Comics has been working to bring more diversity to Riverdale."

"'We’re trying to show that Riverdale is contemporary, and that it is a diverse and accepting place,' Parent said. 'At some point, you have to address these subjects.'"

"To the kids at Riverdale High, Kevin’s sexual orientation is a nonissue, Parent said. 'Their reaction is very nonchalant.' It’s a reaction reflective of the real world, he believes. 'My daughter is that age, she’s 16. I see in her high school that there are a lot of openly gay kids. It’s not even like a big deal.'”

"One character who quickly becomes Kevin’s friend is Jughead, but that doesn’t say anything about Jughead’s sexual leanings, Parent said. Kevin and Jughead are fellow foodies."

"'The reason they’re friends is because Jughead is the character you would befriend first, because he’s so accepting of everyone.'"

But don't expect Keller to get involved in any hot action. Says Parent: “We don’t get into sexual situations with the straight characters, let alone the gay characters. It’s still a safe place for kids.”


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Right-winger: Prop. 8 decision wrong because marriage is really ‘a necessary defense of a women’s sexuality’

Just so you know what the other side is thinking, read this one from an opponent of Judge Walker’s decision. It sounds like something straight out of the 1700 or 1800s:

Marriage is a necessary defense of a woman’s sexuality and her human liberty from determined assault by men who would turn her into a slave, a concubine – something less than fully human. Human communities need to give women some additional degree of protection – through law, custom, religious decree, or sacrament – generally some combination of all three, neatly summarized by the plaintiffs, who demanded the sacred and the eternal from the state of California.

Of course, marriage’s power to protect women is far from perfect, but no human institution is. Parents, too, sometimes do awful things to their children.

Hmmm. I don’t know many women who would agree with this. But, I’m sure it resonates in the right-wing.

H/T to Gilberto for sending the link.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Minn. pastor back in pulpit after gay report

PATRICK CONDON  |  Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A Lutheran pastor in Minneapolis who opposes homosexuals being allowed to lead congregations says he is attracted to men but says he’s not a hypocrite because he never acted on his urges.

The Rev. Tom Brock told The Associated Press on Monday, Aug. 2 that he has known for many years that he is attracted to men. He says he is still a virgin at age 57 and doesn’t consider himself gay because he hasn’t acted on his attraction.

Brock’s sexuality became an issue after a gay magazine reported on his membership in a support group for Christians battling same-sex attraction. Brock was put on leave while a task force at Hope Lutheran Church looked into the matter.

Hope Lutheran’s executive pastor says the task force found Brock credible, and he was back in the pulpit on Sunday.

—  John Wright