For our Banned! Books in Drag event at Neighbours Nightclub hosted by David Schmader this Saturday, Sept. 27 (6:30-9:00 p.m.), we asked Drag King Ernie Von Schmaltz, about his first LGBTQ book:
A pivotal LGBTQ book I remember reading and re-reading is Leslie Fienberg’s Stone Butch Blues. I first read it 10+ years ago when I was starting to be more interested in LGBTQ literature. As I read, it struck me as such a harsh piece of work, the character in the story goes through such horrific things in order to survive, just for being visibly butch and/or gay. But in the same way it was startling in its harshness, it was also so eye opening to realize that even though this story is (supposedly) a novel, so many of the things the main character Jess had to endure really happened. It really opened my eyes in a personal way about people in the LGBTQ community that had lived before me, and what it might have been like to be yourself in a time of less social tolerance and acceptance. To me, this book bridges the gap between historical stories about “gay people a long time ago” and real lives of friends and loved ones. As I have read and re-read this book over the years, I continue to think of it as iconic must-read for anyone in the LGBTQ community and beyond.
Come meet Ernie and our other amazing drag performers Saturday night! We hear Ernie puts on quite a show!