Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Pride Story - Aww, How Sweet, Heroic, and Romantic...,

HuffPo |  In the ’30s and ’40s lesbians formed an unusual alliance when they started working for and with the mafia in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Back then, dressing in a suit was illegal for women — It could mean the difference between life and death. Butch women were taking real fashion risks and the mafia offered lesbians much-needed protection.
Although it might sound surprising to hear about out lesbians working with and for the mob, there was a time in New York City when all the gay clubs were mafia-run. —Vice
There’s always been an attempt to erase women from his-story, but make no mistake, the suffragettes were the first to plant their flag in the Village. The Village was run by lesbians. Working with the mob gave them clout and there was a good amount of money to be made.
Most of the bars in the Village were lesbian...The Village belonged to the gay girls, because the suffragettes had been there first, and they were all queer as pink plates. —Vice
While the mafia used their power to pay off the cops, lesbians in the Village found their own brand of power. Many performed as drag kings, dressed to the nines in suits and ties. They put together acts that included a variety of talents. They worked the biggest drag shows in town, and were some of America’s first drag superstars. Drag was appealing — it meant cash and freedom. Coming out of the Depression, lesbians in Greenwich Village were living it up, buying cars and spending like there was no tomorrow.
“It was mafia bosses who founded hot spots, from the famed Stonewall Inn to the lesbian haunt the Howdy Club to the 181 Club.” —“New York Post
Off stage, women who broke the dress code oozed with style and sex appeal. Their hair, sleek and daring. Their style choices, undeniably seductive. Women never needed men to tell us what was sexy— We already knew.