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Sepia Gloria Swanson
& Sepia Mae West

There was a practice in the 1930s that I thought interesting,
of several female impersonators taking their names from
celebrities. And the ones that caught on took their names
from Gloria Swanson and Mae West. They were quite
successful, especially in Harlem, often sharing bills with
top entertainers.

Sepia Gloria Swanson was prominent enough to be
mentioned in reference books, like "Gay New York,"
by George Chauncey

And James Wilson's "Bulldaggers, Pansies and Chocolate Babies"

and a number of times in Chad Heap's "Slumming" and in
"Chicago Whispers" by St Sukie De La Croix



Harry Winston

...dies in train wreck

Walter Winston

Sepia Mae West

a name used by several entertainers...
must have been confusing, especially as the clippings
did not always give the real name

Dick Barrow (or, Barrows)


(note above: sharing a bill with Bessie Smith )

San Fouche


and they even confuse the photos...

Note: also on the above bill was gay performer Rubberlegs Williams

Sam Fouche


Richard Barrow


Richard Barrow

Peggy Joyce


Dick Barrows

Sam Fouche, aka Peggy Joyce

Dick Barrows


Mae Johnson

Mae Johnson

Ida Cox

Octavia Ward

More Dick Barrow