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Pride Month 2023: Detroit Red

Officially designated in 2000 by #PresidentBillClinton as #GayAndLesbianPrideMonth in recognition of the #StonewallRiots and gay activism. In 2009, #PresidentBarackObama chose a more inclusive name: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

Due to the recent bans on drag shows, we at Nanny Jack & Co, LLC wanted to highlight a pioneering drag performer. This extremely rare signed photograph of legendary #DragKing #DetriotRed was during her weeklong stint at the historic #ClubAstoria in #BaltimoreMD. She also performed at the famed #RoyalTheatre #PennsylvaniaAveBaltimoreMD and in #HarlemNY.

Text from Images of America: Old West Baltimore (Arcadia Publishing, 2020):

"Born as Laura Livingstone, “Detroit Red” was a dancer and singer who often dressed as a man for her performances. She was given her nickname by comedian Speedy Smith, who called her “Detroit” to distinguish her from all the other red-headed girls in his show. Before going into show business, Livingstone was an undertaker’s assistant and a professional embalmer. Early in her stage career, she was one of the stars of Irvin C. Miller’s Brown Skin Models. In 1928, she befriended singer Billie Holiday and the two remained friends until Billie’s death. Detroit frequently performed at the Club Astoria and the Royal Theatre."

It's important to recognize historic LGBTQ contributions year-round, and not just during the month of June.

Courtesy of Nanny Jack & Co Archives

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