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Sir Lady Java (right) and Redd Foxx in front of the Redd Foxx
Club in Los Angeles in 1967. Source: Digital Transgender Archive.

Beyond the Stage: Uncovering Drag Culture in Los Angeles Save As: NextGen Heritage Conservation

Drag performances have long been a draw for audiences in L.A., though often held “underground” because of threats of prosecution. In addition to its entertainment history, drag has had a role in affirming and protecting gender identity.  Architect and recent graduate Jesús (Chuy) Barba Bonilla researched this history for his master’s thesis, Drag Culture of Los Angeles: Intangible Heritage through Ephemeral Places. In this episode, Willa Seidenberg chats with Chuy about how he chose this topic and why it matters within and beyond the LGBTQ+ community. He delves into the challenges of researching drag’s hidden and erased heritage and the vital need to uncover, document, and share these stories.

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Illustration reading "Winner, 2022 Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award"
Illustration reading, "California Preservation Foundation 2022 Preservation Design Award"
Illustration reading, "AASLH 2022 Leadership in History Awards"