Kim Christy's Lost World

Filmmaker and performer Kim Christy talks about life in the big city in the bad old days of drag, and being outed by Life magazine.

BY Christopher Harrity

February 12 2011 4:00 AM ET

KIM CHRISTYTHE QUEENS CRYSTAL LABEIJA XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMThis is Crystal LaBeija in The Queens [1967 documentary about a drag contest], right?
Yes, she made a fabulous scene in that film when she lost. She came in as third runner-up in the ’67 Nationals — a big drag contest. She stormed off the stage — but not in the wings, oh, no. She went down the stairs to the center aisle and all the way through the audience to the front of the theater, swinging her hips big-time. The announcer is all, “Will the contestant PLEASE come back to the stage!”

Were you in the film?
Oh, yes. But don’t blink. Here’s what happened. I was “hired” to be in the chorus. I wasn’t running as a contestant or anything. That wasn’t my thing. Rich boyfriends, that was my thing. Plus I liked to be in a show as long as they paid well. There was a scene in Bertha’s Costume Rental and we were all there to get fitted. I had to be a little careful because I lied and didn’t tell them I was 17. But all the girls lied. I mean, really! Then I found out we weren't being paid! We were supposed to be happy just with being in the film. Imagine.

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