Program Guide: 2016 Mental Health Week ‘You are not alone’

“When your close family member (parent, sibling, cousin) suffers from bipolar disorder, you can’t help but consider the inheritability of the disorder. You’re constantly checking yourself for signs of crazy.” – Marguerite Suzette Rodriguez Sanders

17 St Phillip Street –Part 12-

Art by Rob Goldstein

Bobby studied the ways of the piss-elegant queen.

The piss-elegant queen understood the power of the irrelevant.

The piss-elegant queen knew why a salad fork isn’t used to stab meat.

The piss-elegant queen conversed on most topics, was friends with
at least one famous dead person, and knew the power of a grand
entrance.

Pissy queens were tragic in the Romantic sense of the wan and languishing genius who grows more beautiful as he dies of consumption just as his poetry is discovered.

Bobby’s teachers were the piss elegant queens of Charleston.

As the 1960’s merged with the 70’s fashion became a way of stating ones political beliefs.

A with it and out piss elegant fashion queen wore tight jeans, a semi-formal tweed jacket, a black turtleneck sweater, sneakers or work-boots, and he had a head full of freshly styled but fabulously unkempt hair.

As Bobby learned the speech and way of upper middle class men he also learned to play mix and match when it came to class styles and body Language.

He merged the style of the piss elegant queen with the macho swagger of a working class youth.

For Bobby, what began as pretension became a passion.

He wanted to be a writer.

It was a fantasy that started when he was eight.

When Bobby read the biographies of the working class writers that he admired he felt understood.

He admired the passion of the French surrealists writers.

He listened closely to the Beatles.

They proved that academic titles were not the same as talent and vision.

The Beatles gave working class kids like Bobby the hope that they could be writers and artists.

Bobby believed that somewhere there were people who would show him what he needed to know to be the kind of man he wanted to be.

His faith was that he would find them.


Summer closed.

Paul and Maurice had gotten part-time jobs at a local Dinner Theater.

Paul was the director and Maurice was in set design.

Bobby joined them as a stage hand.

The only theater Bobby had ever seen were drag shows.

He said the drag shows at the gay bar were better than the, “Now Voyager Dinner Theater production of Little Mary Sunshine. “

Bobby sarcastically suggested that Paul direct a lip sync version of Jesus Christ Superstar at the gay bar.

Paul nodded, smiled, and said: “Brilliant!”

Art by Rob Goldstein

Paul gathered the cast of Little Mary Sunshine together and asked for volunteers for an experimental production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

He got them.

He met with the owner of the gay bar and secured a six night run.

Within a week Paul had the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar assembled at the bar
for tryouts.

Maurice suggested that Paul change the title to Le Jésus Christos du Superstar.

Maurice was asked to leave the bar.

The production still needed a Christ.

A straight guy showed up to try out for the part.

Paul thought he’d make a good Judas and that Bobby should be Christ.

The straight guy said he wouldn’t play second fiddle to a fag.

Bobby was instantly in his face: “Get the fuck out of our bar!”

Maurice quickly grabbed Bobby by the arms and pulled him onto the dance floor: “Honey I told you not to swallow, it makes you jumpy!”

Paul apologized for Bobby and led the straight guy out of the bar.

He also decided that Bobby would make a terrible Christ.

Art by Rob Goldstein

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016 All Rights Reserved