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Dorian Corey (1937 - August 29, 1993)

Dorian Corey (circa 1937 – 29 August 1993) was an American drag queen and performer who notably featured in Jennie Livingston's 1990 documentary about the ball culture of New York City, Paris Is Burning.

Corey grew up in Buffalo, New York. After studying at the Parsons The New School for Design, Corey toured in the 1960s in the Pearl Box Revue, a cabaret drag act. Dorian was a member of the Pearl Box Revue, a group of night club performers managed by Jay Joyce. The group traveled up and down cities and venues on the East Coast. The group consisted of Miss Dorian, Jay Joyce, Clyddie McCoy and Tony LaFrisky.

Corey died of AIDS related complications at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan. After Corey's death, in October 1993, his friends were going through his things at his Harlem apartment. (Corey was well-known for his tailoring skills.) As his friends dug through his wigs, sequined dresses, and feather boas, they stumbled onto a heavy trunk. Inside the trunk was a male body tucked into a fetal position, dried like a mummy, and wrapped in imitation leather.

The victim, later identified as Robert Wells, had a history of arrests for rape, burglary, and assault. It was determined he had died from a shot in the back of the head, and the he had been killed at least 15 years previously. His family had last seen him in in 1968.

While there were no additional clues in Corey’s apartment, Chi Chi Valenti, the producer of “Jackie 60,” (an underground club where Corey often performed), said there was a rumor that Corey had left a note explaining that he killed Wells in self-defense during a break-in.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorian_Corey

Further Readings:

The Queening of America by David Van Leer
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Routledge (October 4, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 041590336X
ISBN-13: 978-0415903363
Amazon: The Queening of America

Since at least the end of the nineteenth century, gay culture - its humour, its icons, its desires - has been alive and sometimes even visible in the midst of straight American society. David Van Leer puts forward here a series of readings that aim to identify what he calls the "queening" of America, a process by which "rhetorics and situations specific to homosexual culture are presented to a general readership as if culturally neutral." The Queening of America examines how the invisibility of gay male writing, especially in the popular culture of the 1950s and 1960s, facilitated the crossing of gay motifs in straight culture. Van Leer then critiques some current models of making homosexuality visible (the packaging of Joe Orton, the theories of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, the rise of gay studies), before concluding more optimistically with the possible alliances between gay culture and other minority discourses.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
What a great potential mystery story - finding the body and wondering what really happened. So fascinating.
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
Caro Soles wrote about it I think: Caro Soles - Drag Queen in the Court of Death starts exactly like that.
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
Okay, now that I will have to hunt down and read. Between the title and starting off with that story, it sounds like an interesting read. :)
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
I read it years ago, but I remember I liked it. Caro Soles wrote some good mysteries, wonder what happened to her, it's a bit she is not writing.
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendation. I will seek it out.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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