He became a hairdresser. He called his shop: The Abbey. He gave free haircuts to nuns. He also gave free haircuts at homeless shelters.
He became friends with Jeannine Gramick, a nun who was starting to organize a Catholic ministry for lesbians and gay men. Dominic was a co-founder in 1973 of Dignity of Philadelphia for Catholic gays, and from 1980 he was co-ordinator of the group’s AIDS ministry.
He was irreverent and outrageous. He would go to the 5th floor of the Graduate Hospital which was prominently gay Catholic priests with AIDS, and tell them what he thought of the Church and its homophobia. His drag persona was Madominic, based mainly on Madonna. In 1989 he tested positive for HIV.
In 1991 he was part of Act-Up when they sprinkled condoms on the altar of SS Peter and Paul while the Cardinal was preaching. In 1992 he led the Philadelphia Pride Parade in a purple-and-pink sequined leotard and a lavender feathered boa.
He died from complication of AIDS at age 46.
- Ralph Cipriano. “Dominc Bash, Hairdresser who helped AIDS victims”. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan 27, 1993. Online at: http://gayhistory.wikispaces.com/file/view/dominicbashobit.pdf, and at http://articles.philly.com/1993-01-27/news/25960643_1_aids-victims-dignity-s-aids-unconditional-love.
- Angela Bonavoglia. Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church. New York: ReganBooks, 2005: 149.
- “Bash, Bominic”. The Gay History Wiki. http://gayhistory.wikispaces.com/Bash%2C+Dominic?responseToken=0cb1343a84c30116942d66744492f82d4.
- Chris Bartlett. “Dominic Bash - Sticks and Stone Queer Memoir”. The Rotunda, 7/20/2010. Online at: www.scribd.com/doc/34822837/Dominic-Bash.
What a shame that Dominic’s Spiritual Guide is behind a firewall at The Philadelphia Inquirer and cannot be accessed by those who need it.
The Gay History Wiki has some good pages but the name is completely misleading as it is a Wiki of gay Philadelphia only. It has section called 'Outside Philadelphia' which contains three men in Cleveland, Ohio. New York, London and Berlin obviously don't come under the rubric of Gay History. The Wiki needs to be more specific in its name.
There are a few Philadephia trans and queer persons that I have featured in this blog that are not in The Gay History Wiki: Charles Hamilton finished his life in Philadelphia, Reed Erickson was raised there, as was Gladys Bentley, Donna Delbert was from Philly and returned there after adventures in England, Flawless Sabrina organized pageants from Philadelphia, Rachel Harlow, pageant winner, nightclub owner and engaged to Grace Kelly's brother, was very much a Philadelphian, Leslie Townsend grew up there and returned in her mature years, Tenika Watson lives there, Elizabeth Coffey, who was in John Waters' Pink Flamingoes, grew up there, Camille Paglia teaches there. In addition Dawn Langley Simmons registered the birth of her daughter in Philadelphia, and IFGE/Trans Events had most of their conferences in Philadelphia.