Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

History

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Lauren Sklaroff

Abstract

Known for her improvisational risqué lyrics and tailored white tuxedo, Gladys Bentley was one of the most notorious figures of the 1930s. Situated in the pansy and lesbian craze of the 1920s and 30s, Bentley’s career was part of a broader trend that favored gender-queer performers due to their exotic appeal. Despite being more transgressive than most, Bentley has ultimately faded from society’s collective memory.

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