Reading John Waters’ article about Tennesee Williams – and in The New York Times Book Review, no less! – was a treat. I love them both, for being queer, for their art, for their humor and sarcasm and truth.
These are my people, and always have been.
But it made me think about the books I had to “steal” as a kid, or read secretly. For me, it was Joe Orton’s biography, Prick Up Your Ears, first and foremost. I heard about him reading interviews with Adam Ant, who simultaneously introduced me to Marc Bolan, the erotic art of Allen Jones, Derek Jarman, and Tom of Finland. Around the same time I discovered Soft Cell and Marc Almond, who in turn turned my head toward the likes of Jacques Brel and Jean Genet. (And I wonder why I turned out the way I am, reading about rough trade and anonymous bathroom sex when I was 15.)
They were all great “bad” influences, their books and art I hid from my mother. They told me there was another world out there, just as Tennesee Williams told John Waters there was.
So who were yours?