Alexandria Digital Research Library

The Golden Age of Gay Nightlife: Performing Glamour and Deviance in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, 1966--2013

Author:
Henkes, Andrew Joseph
Degree Supervisor:
Ninotchka D. Bennahum
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2013
Issued Date:
2013
Topics:
Theater History, American Studies, GLBT Studies, and Performing Arts
Keywords:
Gay
Performance
Queer
Lesbian
History
Nightlife
Genres:
Online resources and Dissertations, Academic
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Theater Studies
Dissertation:
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013
Description:

The last five decades marked the golden age of gay nightlife as bars and clubs served as the primary social venues for marginalized gay men and lesbians in Los Angeles. The performance stages within these spaces became theaters for drag queens, actors and other performers to speak to the values and struggles of their audiences, while the dance floors granted patrons license to embody the meaning of songs and to renew themselves through improvised movement. These businesses incubated new subcultures like disco clones, lipstick lesbians, fetish queers, and queer punks that represented interventions in gay and lesbian identities. Through interviews, periodicals and extant club artifacts, I reconstruct the narratives of these entertainments not only to establish the legacy of their artists and entrepreneurs, but also to expose the mechanism by which gay nightlife has transformed sexual norms and popular culture in the United States.

This dissertation examines how the gay and lesbian communities of Los Angeles have deployed nightlife to define, contest and promote themselves in the years following the birth of gay liberation. The circulation of bodies throughout the club space demonstrated the agency of participants in their interactions with various artists as well as the potential for creative and sexual connections among individuals. Gay clubs constitute spectators as co-producers of entertainment with paid performers, and empower political dissenters and sexual deviants to experiment with performance modes and corporeal experiences. Within the artistic and social laboratories of the clubs, these performances of glamour and deviance interrogated queerness and heteronormativity alike and functioned as catalysts for radical change in nightlife and beyond.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (311 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f3k935mf
ISBN:
9781303425714
Catalog System Number:
990040770480203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Andrew Henkes
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