“The Queen”, filmed in NYC in 1967 (lived queer history)

"These are the Queens who opened the doors for RuPaul and RuPaul’s Drag Race of today." (see youtube write-up below)

I cannot recall seeing the doors flung open for Miss RuPaul. To this day she is for me one of the most remarkable and courageous people i can think of. And “Drag Race” here or there, at the risk of sounding like an embittered veteran, this struggle ain’t even close to over yet, never mind won.

This by no means belittles the will and the poise of our stunning eldresses, some of whom we see in this excellent quality film from, read it an weep, 1967! At one point in the film an artist is even mentioned who had been performing for 40 years, albeit in jest, but were that the case, that would have been since 1927. We go a long way back, kids. I bow to you, ladies.

  • Director: Frank Simon
  • Producers: Si Litvinoff, Don Herbert
  • Naration: Jack Doroshow
  • © The Queen Company, NYC, 1968

The Queen was filmed in NYC in 1967 and released in theaters in 1968. In 1967 it was illegal for men to dress as women. The documentary follows a 1967 Drag pageant judged by Andy Warhol among others. It stars Jack Doroshow aka Flawless Mother Sabrina, Richard Finochio aka Rachel Harlow and Crystal LaBeija. Crystal went on to start The House of LaBeija pageants which was the premise of the 90’s documentary “Paris is Burning.” In 1972 Richard Finochio underwent sex reassignment surgery to become Rachel Harlow, she began dating John B. Kelly, Grace Kelly’s brother. The relationship ended when John’s mother said she would disinherit him if he married Rachel. Rachel opened the Philadelphia night club “Harlow’s” in the 1970’s. The only person to surface since this classic film was made is Jack Doroshow when he was interviewed by James St. James on youtube. International Chrysis (1951-1990) can be seen as a teenage boy rehearsing dance numbers. These are the Queens who opened the doors for RuPaul and RuPaul’s Drag Race of today.