If you've ever seen The Queen (1968), you'll know why RuPaul's Drag Race — for all its glories — seems like child's play. The film was peopled by men willing to be seen competing in a drag pageant 50 years ago, when they faced arrest for their self-expression and skills.
Sadly, Flawless Sabrina aka Jack Doroshow passed away Friday night at approximately 78 years of age. She was known as the Mother in that film, which probably spawned the concept of the drag mother, and was arrested more than 100 times for crossdressing back in the day.
An undisputed drag pioneer, she was at once an artist and an activist. Consider the row she had to hoe as you read this quote from her regarding the reception The Queen received:
There was no sexual content, but the movie came on the market as triple X rated. It wasn’t until twenty years after The Queen was made that I got it into the New York Public Library, because of the rating.
Sabrina's apartment off Central Park was also a hub for creative types since she moved in back in 1967, including Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Truman Capota, Halston and even Michelle Obama.
Along with The Queen, she appeared briefly in Pink Flamingos (1972) and was photographed by the legendary Diane Arbus (1923-1971).
Check out a mini-interview with her from 2012:
One parting thought from Sabrina, taken from a 2014 Dazed interview:
Norm is a setting on a dryer, and reality is a mass hunch.