Tributes are pouring in for Sweetie aka Daniel Booth, a much-loved NYC drag artist who died of cancer today. Claire McCartney writes at Paper:
PAPER spoke with Sweetie just last year, and in the far-reaching conversation with Michael Musto, she spoke candidly about her upbringing, coming out, her drag icons, and even her cancer treatments.
"They thought I was going to be around for three and a half months and here it is, two and a half years," she said at the time.
More from Sweetie's chat with Musto:
I came back to New York after being on the road for a year and a half. I lived at 52nd and Second, right around the corner from Rounds hustler bar for about four months. I was living in this incredible apartment with somebody I really didn't know. I came home one night and he said we had three days to leave or the marshals were going to lock us out. He said, "I was diagnosed with full blown AIDS three months ago. I've been spending all the rent money on coke." I had to get out in three days, literally. I retreated back to mom and dad's house in Michigan for three months. That whole thing about how you can never go home again. Even though it was nice, New York had become my home. I had met [drag performer] Faux Pas at South Dakota, a bar in Gramercy. We had become peripheral friends and stayed in contact on the phone. She had a roommate situation open up on the Lower East Side and invited me to move in with her. I jumped at the opportunity. I moved in the beginning of October 1990 and we had started plotting that we were going to do drag together. We went out for Halloween to a Susanne Bartsch party. My original drag name was Cousin Gert Munson, Lesbian Authoress. My look was a cross between Fran Lebowitz and Oscar Wilde -- this ridiculous look. And we got bit by it. Pas had been going to [the East Village hangout] Pyramid and she found Channel 69 [Linda Simpson's weekly drag party]. She said, "You've got to come see this." I had always considered myself a serious actor in a lot of ways, and drag was kind of lowbrow to me. I loved watching it, but never thought I'd do it seriously, until I found out they were making money doing it, you know what I mean? So Pas and I cleared all the furniture out of my bedroom one night and came up with a routine and started haranguing Linda to use us in Channel 69. She put us in a show. We were supposed to do five minutes, but ended up doing a 17 minute thing with fireworks. I was this fat girl who used to do cartwheels in heels, and that always made people happy. When I finally became Sweetie, I'd gone through a ton of names. Tootsie McTavish…These retarded, awful names, just to make people say them. When I got in a cab and the driver would try to come on to me and say, "What's your name?", I'd always give him the most horrific names, like Shirley, and make him call me that. They don't know these are out-of-date American names. I got Sweetie from that Jane Campion movie Sweetie. I'd fallen in love with that character. Of course five years later AbFab came out with "Sweetie, darling…:
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