What a man he was. Born in 1947, Sylvester James first had sex in 1955, but he never claimed he'd been abused. "One of the choir leaders turned me out," was how he put it. Three years later his mother learned he was a homosexual when he required rectal surgery, and by 13 he had quit the Palm Lane Church of God in Christ, where he'd crashed the choir as a boy without ever becoming a star. By 1963, he was the most fabulous of the Disquotays, "a cross between a street gang and a sorority" who nurtured his genius for grand entrances, which was exceeded only by his genius for drag itself: a little something stapled out of aluminum pie tins to dazzle the Watts Summer Festival, or "a babydoll dress, windowpane stockings, and square-toed, big-buckled... More >>>