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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why is it Called “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Juilio Sarria” ?

Why is it Called “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Juilio Sarria” ?
From 1951-1963, Sarria stood in bright red heels on table tops at the Black Cat Café in San Francisco to sing torch songs accompanied by a honky-tonk piano. The diva performed one man opera parodies, replacing the straight love story with a gay one. 
Whenever the vice squad entered the café to entrap patrons, Sarria exposed them by forcing his closeted patrons to stand up and sing “God, Save Us Nelly Queens,” a takeoff on Britain’s national anthem as the vice marched out of the café.

Who is Jose Sarria?

Who is Jose Sarria?
When San Francisco city officials vowed to shut down all the gay bars in 1961, the 38 year-old female impersonator threw caution to the wind and campaigned for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Sarria lost the election, but garnered nearly 6,000 votes, proving for the first time in American politics that the LGTBQ community had a voting bloc.

What is Nelly Queen?

What is Nelly Queen?
Nelly Queen: the Life and Times of Jose Sarria is a feature documentary on the life of Jose Sarria, the first openly gay American to run for public office in 1961. The drag cabaret performer was an early and leading champion for equality for the homosexuals in San Francisco 15 years before Stonewall. The 90-minute documentary revolves around personal footage taken by Sarria’s close friend and Executive Producer, Joe Castel, spanning 23-years from 1992 to 2013.