Chamblee54

Harvey Fierstein

Posted in Book Reports, History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 28, 2022


@HarveyFierstein wrote a book, I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir. Harvey Forbes Fierstein is selling his book, and saying festive things in the process. This will probably not influence one star commenter amazon customer. “This story seemed disjointed and superficial.”

Free Library of Philadelphia begins the discussion. The lady began with the traditional question about how Popeye Harvey got started. “I never wanted to be a writer. I never wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be an artist, but artist is is the 1950s word for gay.”

The chat turned onto the topic of sobriety. “By the time I stopped drinking I was drinking half a gallon of southern comfort a day, of 100 proof. So you’ve got to work your way up to that, because that will kill you if you try doing that on one day’s notice.”

“I think we’re almost gonna head to the Q&A, but I’m curious.” (Harvey puts the Q back in Q&A) “What advice do you have for young artists starting out in the world right now?” “Go get a real job.”

Barbara Walters interviewed Harvey in 1983. 39 years later, it is a cringefest. “His name is Harvey Fierstein, and with this success, he’s become Broadway’s newest celebrity. He is, to say the least, an unlikely celebrity. Harvey Fierstein, 29 year old homosexual playwright, actor, two-time Tony winner, and, just until a few years ago, earning his living as a drag queen … a man dressed up as a woman. At the age of 13 his middle-class parents from Brooklyn knew for certain that he was a homosexual, and by the time he was 15, he was performing as a transvestite.”

The 20/20 appearance is remarkable in many ways. Baba Wawa was known as a close friend, and possible beard, of Roy Cohn. She knew a lot more homosexuals than she acknowledged that night. Ms. Walters was roasted in a 2013 article about her retirement. “She’s old friends with make-believe TV tycoon Donald Trump.”

The WTF podcast, with Marc Maron, made this feature necessary. There was the time Harvey’s mother took his grandmother to see Torch Song Trilogy, when it was on Broadway. “She’s watching the show, and she’s hard of hearing, and in the loudest voice that has ever been projected in in a Broadway theater, she says “So Harvey’s a homosexual,” and my mother, in a voice loud enough for my grandmother to hear her, said “how should I know I don’t sleep with him.”

“No one knew who gay people were. We were something they talked about. We were vampires that only appeared at night. We weren’t normal people. Then aids hit … and suddenly we were everywhere. We’re doctors and teachers and lawyers and priests and mothers and babies. Now they see us everywhere, hospitals, classrooms, obituaries. We were gay, and now we’re human, that was a huge change. All of a sudden we existed. Now did they run away from us, did they turn their back on us, did they wish we did all die, maybe, but we were no longer deniable. We existed, and that changed everything. We’ve now got this war we’re fighting for our lives, because because of aids, and out come these young people screaming for marriage equality, and I’m saying what the [ __ ] is wrong with you people. We have we have so much other work to do. We’ve got all this crap going on to take care of, and you care about a [ __ ] wedding cake. Where are your values? Then I stopped myself. I said, you know, these are younger people than you, and don’t they have the right to define what the revolution should be? So I shut my mouth, and I went to work for them, and they turned out to be right.”

“Now this generation, coming back to where we started this whole conversation, has brought up gender, said, we’re now going to show you about gender, or at least question all of the roles of gender once again. I don’t understand it but I have lived enough history now to know, follow the young people, it’s their world, it’s not our world. We should shut the [ __ ] up. The role of an elder is not to tell you what to do, even though people think that’s what an elder is supposed to do. The role of an elder is to facilitate what young people want to do. That’s the best thing we can do.”

Marc Maron: “That whole world of gay sex that you write about it, to me it’s just like, oh my god, I mean like it was just you just walking around [ __ ] wherever you wanted, and just like kind of the insane electricity of that world, I can’t even imagine it.” Harvey: “Mark, my love, do you really think we aren’t still doing that? You really think i can’t take you to Central Park now, and show you people
[ __ ] in the rambles, are they yeah of course they are … it’s boys yeah what do boys need to have sex a finger that can pull down a zipper.”

“I never had children, believe me, raising Matthew Broderick was enough.” Pictures for this unpaid exercise in book promotion are from The Library of Congress.

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