So was Jason Holliday exploited into presenting a less-than-ideal version of himself, for sensationalistic effect? Or were he and Clarke engaged in a mutually beneficial (if adversarial) act of co-creation? Even a half century later, "it's impossible to know how upset he is or whether the tragic gay man on screen is just an act," Manohla Dargis said in her 2013 New York Times review celebrating Portrait of Jason's re-release.
“When was the last time you went to the theater and actually felt something authentic?” Mac asked me rhetorically as we discussed the show. By this, he meant something more than the reflected glow of the emotions of the actors. When was I made to feel something in my body? When was I moved? More than his song and dance on the stage – beautiful though those are – this is his true art: Breaking down the walls that keep us from feeling genuine emotion.
For the first time in 40 years, celebrated photographer Roz Joseph’s images of the San Francisco drag scene in the 1970s will go on display this month at the San Francisco GLBT History Museum in "Reigning Queens: The Lost Photos of Roz Joseph."