Club My-O-My: New Orleans Vintage Drag

The Club My-O-My was a female impersonator club that originated and ended in the French Quarter. It flourished after first being kicked out of an informal, after-hours home in a fur warehouse in the Vieux Carre in the early 1930s, according to oral history in the New Orleans gay community. The Club My-O-My joined the older Wonder Bar in the West End area of New Orleans. The Wonder Bar eventually closed; from the 1930s through the 1960s, the My-O-My served as a popular part of New Orleans nightlife for tourists as well as residents.

The New Orleans club was one of several in the United States whose impersonators performed for heterosexual as well as homosexual audiences. Grayline Tours brought tourists by the busload for decades until a 1972 fire destroyed its lakefront location. The club relocated to the French Quarter for a short while before closing for good. The once risque club had been rendered too tame by the sexual revolution and changes in dress and mores. For the majority of its existence, the club allowed only white patrons and white performers.

Produced in association with New Orleans PBS Affiliate WYESTV-12 in 1996. Edited by Courney Eagan and Billie Norris.

Images

Mid-1900s Matchbook

Mid-1900s Matchbook

Club managers relied on pamphlets, matchbooks, and other advertizing handed out to patrons in order to spread word about their unique entertainers. Image, J.D. Doyle, Queer Music Heritage View File Details Page

Long-term Master of Ceremonies

Long-term Master of Ceremonies

View File Details Page

Video

Club My-O-My: New Orleans Vintage Drag, segment 1

Creator: Produced by Thomasine Bartlett, Michael Mizell-Nelson, and David Wolf in association with WYESTV-12. View File Details Page

Club My-O-My: New Orleans Vintage Drag, segment 2

Creator: Produced by Thomasine Bartlett, Michael Mizell-Nelson, and David Wolf in association with WYESTV-12. View File Details Page

Club My-O-My: New Orleans Vintage Drag, segment 3

Creator: Produced by Thomasine Bartlett, Michael Mizell-Nelson, and David Wolf in association with WYESTV-12. View File Details Page

Club My-O-My: New Orleans Vintage Drag, segment 4

Creator: Produced by Thomasine Bartlett, Michael Mizell-Nelson, and David Wolf in association with WYESTV-12. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Thomasine Bartlett, Michael Mizell-Nelson, and David Wolf , “Club My-O-My: New Orleans Vintage Drag,” New Orleans Historical, accessed July 26, 2017, http://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/367.
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