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28 February 2014

Victoria Fenández (1932–) performer

Victor Fernández was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. His father persistently denied that such an effeminate child could be his.

Victor moved to New York soon after high school, where she became Vicky Starr and a performer.

In the 1960s she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and started female hormones with great success. She was able to work in a bar in North Beach as the district's first topless dancer. Conforming to the conventions of the time, she ended the act be taking the microphone and in a baritone: "I've got a secret. I'm a man!".

After surgical completion and several husbands, Victoria remained active in the Latina gay/LGBT/queer community. In the late 1990s she participated in the community oral history project.

She also amassed a personal archive documenting her life in the city, including her performances as “Mr. Vicki Starr,” friendships with fellow transgender women, and sex work. With funding from Center for Chicano Studies Horacio Roque Ramírez & Rolando Longoria have been digitizing her collection.
  • "Vicki Starr". Drag Queen, 1, Neptune Production, 1970: 34-9.
  • Laurence Senelick. The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre. Gender in performance. Routledge, 2000: 396
  • Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Harvard University Press, 2002: 201.
  • Horacio N. Roque Ramírez & Rolando Longoria II. "Digitizing Desires: Virtual Public Memory, LGBT Latino Histories, and the Vicki Starr Collection" UC Santa Barbara, Center for Chicano Studies Newsletter, X, 1, Spring 2007: 3. LONGER AVILABLE
  • Horacio N. Roque Ramírez. "Queer Immigrant Sexual Crossings to San Francisco: The Lives and Labors of Puerto Rican Performer Vicki Starr". GLBT Historical Society: Talking Back: Queer History Fully Exposed, 2009.  NO LONGER AVILABLE
  • Horacio Roque Ramírez. "Archives of Sexual Crossings: The Meanings of Puerto Rican Topless Transgender Performer Vicki Starr". American Historical Association, January 3, 2014.

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