A recent item in Obit Magazine by writer Michael Schaffer critiqued the U.S. obituaries of Danny La Rue, a famous British drag performer, who died at 81.
Here’s an excerpt:
“The obits from the British press were magnificent: ‘Beneath huge headdresses and decked out in sequin-studded gowns, La Rue in his heyday would don specially-designed creations of beaded pink lace and tulle with trains of ostrich feathers up to 20 feet long,’ recalls the Telegraph. ‘What La Rue achieved was to replace a traditionally derisive mocking of women – which showed them as faintly grotesque – with glitter and elegance,’ explains The Guardian. The Independent even has some good-natured fun with La Rue’s sexuality, labeling him ‘the queen of drag.’
“But while the British papers all note that the performer was pre-deceased by Jack Hanson, his companion of 40 years — the Telegraph includes a heart-rending description of the devoutly Catholic, avowedly monogamous La Rue being ‘hysterical with grief’ after Hanson’s death — The New York Times and the Associated Press don’t mention Hanson at all. The result lets readers imagine that La Rue led a lonely life. Given the ongoing politics of same-sex marriage, the omission of the news that an archetypal gay performer lived a life of domestic stability is especially disappointing.”
Why does the mainstream media continue to omit such important details from the lives of LGBT people?
If La Rue had been pre-deceased by an opposite-sex companion of 40 years, then we all darn well know that the opposite-sex companion would have been mentioned.
(Hat tip to The Daily Dish.)