LGBTQ* Performance Artists in History
Barbette (Texas, b. 1904)
“Women think about love more than men; that’s because men think more about women.”—Barbette
Barbette was a female impersonator who took Paris by storm in the late 1920’s. Barbette’s performances included aerial acts, trapeze, and stunning costumes, Barbette would close the show by removing his wig and declaring himself an man to adoring fans.
Julie Andrews character(s) in Victor/Victoria is (loosely) based on Barbette. Note: Victor/Victoria is based on a series of previous films (including titles: Viktor und Victoria (1933) and First a Girl (1935) ), which Barbette was the inspiration for.
Barbette was photographed by Man Ray.
Greif, Martin. The Gay Book of Days: An Evocatively Illustrated Who’s Who of Who Is, Was, May Have Been, Probably Was, and Almost Certainly Seems to Have Been Gay during the past 5,000 Years. Secaucus, NJ: L. Stuart, 1982.
1st Photo Source: Male Soul Makeup
Barbette aka Vander Clyde
Female impersonator, high wire performer and trapeze artist 1920s – 1930s
2nd Photo Source: Gorgonetta’s Tumblr
Barbette - Photography by Man Ray