Jun 3, 2021
On this special Pride month podcast, Dennis handles the audio editing on this one as he welcomes past podcast guest Steven Reigns to present a project he produced about the legendary disco star Sylvester's Los Angeles roots. Here's the official synopsis:
Born in Watts, Los Angeles, to a middle-class African-American family, Sylvester developed a love of singing through the gospel choir of his church. Leaving the church after the congregation expressed disapproval of his homosexuality, he found friendship among a group of black cross-dressers and transgender women who called themselves The Disquotays. He made an impact in music, fashion, personal expression and also on those he befriended even before his fame. Hear about Sylvester’s influence to a previous West Hollywood resident who grew up with him, Tiki Lofton. Tiki met Sylvester, then known as Dooni, and that friendship influenced her life. Listen to her tales of growing up black and trans in LA in the 60s as a part of the Disquotays with a good friend that soon became a disco superstar. Sylvester biographer Joshua Gamson is featured as well. This program is presented with the support of a grant from the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division as part of the City's One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival.
Steven Reigns, Los Angeles poet and educator, was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. He has two previous collections, Inheritance and Your Dead Body is My Welcome Mat, and over a dozen chapbooks. Reigns edited My Life is Poetry, showcasing his students' work from the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBTQ seniors. Reigns has lectured and taught writing workshops around the country to LGBTQ youth and people living with HIV. Currently he is touring The Gay Rub, an exhibition of rubbings from LGBTQ landmarks around the world. His new book A Quilt for David will be published by City Lights in September 2021.
Steven Reigns: www.stevenreigns.com
Joshua Gamson: http://www.joshuagamson.com/