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01 February 2010

Minette (1928 – 2001) performer.

Jacques Minette was born in Manhattan to visiting French parents, and raised in Boston. A child performer, her career as a female impersonator dates from the 1940s. As Minette she played all the big drag clubs of the period.

She, and most drag performers, were driven out of Boston in 1948 when Archbishop Cushing banned them. In New York she was a regular at 82 Club. She put out an LP, Come to Me at Tea-Time, 1968, and was a guest singer in the seminal film, The Queen, 1968, hosted by Jack Doroshow (Sabrina). She was a regular in Avery Willard’s Ava-Graph films, and also a member of the Ridiculous Theatre Company. She also worked with the underground film director, Andy Milligan, even to the point of sewing dresses when he opened a dress shop.

She is a connecting link from the drag shows in the days of vaudeville and burlesque, through the avant-garde of the 1960s to the end of the 20th century. However she says that she made more money as a sex worker than as a singer.

She was an activist in the early Gay Liberation movement in New York. Although she was non-op, she normally wore female clothing off-stage as well as on, and preferred female pronouns for herself. She was also a musicologist and gay historian.  She died at age 73.
  • Minette, edited by Steven Watson. Recollections of a part-time Lady. New York: Flower-Beneath-the-Foot Press 72 pp 1979. Autobiography. Photocopy edition.
  • Stephen Holt. “Passing of a part-time lady: Memorial for a legendary drag queen Minette”. New York Blade. Feb 15, 2002. Online at
  • Avery Willard. Female Impersonation. New York: Regiment Publications. 95 pp 1971: 18-21. Online at:
  • F. Michael Moore. Drag!: Male and Female Impersonators on Stage, Screen, and Television : an Illustrated World History. McFarland, 1994: 185-6. 
  • Jimmy McDonough. The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan. A Cappella, 2001: 36, 183, 341.
  • Adrian Milton (dir). Minette: Portrait of a Part-Time Lady. With Minette. US 27 mins 2006.



IMDB is totally deficient and has hardly anything of her filmography.

Here is an attempt at her filmography based mainly on F. Michael Moore.

Speakeasy Queen, 195?, Avery Willard (dir)
Fashions of the Twenties, 1958,  Avery Willard (dir)
The Last of the Worthingtons, 1961.  Avery Willard (dir)
Magic Music Hall, 1961.   Avery Willard (dir)
The Dead Sister's Secret, 1962.   Avery Willard (dir)
Variety, 1963.  Avery Willard (dir)
If Ads Were True, 1963.  Avery Willard (dir)
Compass Rose, 1967, Andy Milligan (dir)  IMDB
Flaming Twenties, 1968.  With Mario Montez.  Avery Willard (dir)


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1/2/10 13:40

    An interview with Minette late in her life. She's a hoot.



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