Eddie Dame (1940 - ) began cross-dressing at age 3, but usually only when the parents were away. The family regarded him as effeminate, and called him 'Butch' to toughen him up. Cousins slapped him around, to the same end. By age 13 he had started drinking, as did most of the family. Eddie's sisters helped him with makeup, and Nellie, the elder, introduced him to her fiancé with the comment: "my brother wears my clothes". However the rest of the family played a game of denial.
Anticipating being drafted Eddie volunteered for the US Air Force in 1959, where he entered into a relationship with Larry. From 1963, the year that they completed service, to 1967, they lived as a couple in New York. Larry refused to escort Eddie when he was cross-dressed. In 1967 Larry, announcing that he wanted children, married a woman. Eddie was the best man, and Eddie and Larry had sex the night before, as they continued to do occasionally until 1982 when Larry was seriously ill. Eddie never heard from him again.
After the wedding, Eddie went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and bought a full set of female clothing. Back in New York Eddie started going out dressed female.
In 1968 he joined Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, and had a part in When Queens Collide. The name Inez Bunny Eisenhower was first proposed for cis actress Regina Hirsch, without her approval, and both names were listed for her in the flyer for Jack Smith's film Big Hotel. However she settled on the nom d'etage of Lola Pashalinski by the time that she was in Bill Vehr's Whores of Babylon. By the time of the production of Ludlam's Turds in Hell, 1969 the name had been assigned to Eddie.
He took up with
Bunny and activist Lee Brewster founded the Queens' Liberation Front in 1970. They campaigned successfully to de-criminalize cross-dressing in New York. Previously a bar or club could be closed and patrons arrested, simply because a single person, deemed to be cross-dressed, was present.
|Enid & Bunny in 1973 gay parade. p8 Drag Magazine 3.11|
Eddie and Enid stayed married for seven years. When Eddie let his hair grow and grew a beard, Enid thought that his cross-dressing would stop, but he continued with a scarf to hide his beard.
In 1977, Eddie got a position as a proof-reader in a law firm. The next year he and Enid divorced.
Barbara was able to retain her job as a proof-reader. She became active in gay organizations. In 1990, the Gay Veterans Association was excluded from the Veterans Day Parade and Barbara joined the GVA. She became a member of the board and editor of the newsletter. In 1993 she was arrested while marching in the unofficial St Patrick's Day Parade with the Irish and Lesbian Gay Organization.
- Jayne County & Rupert Smith. Man Enough to Be a Woman. London: Serpent's Tail, 1995: 64.
- Arthur David Kahn. The Many Faces of Gay: Activists Who Are Changing the Nation. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 1997: 3, 15-20, 266-9.
- David Kaufman. Ridiculous!: The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2002: 95, 98, 107,119.
- Susan Stryker. Transgender History. Seal Press, 2008: 87. 2nd edition, 2017:111.
- Burt Kimmelman. "The Historical Imperative in Contemporary Jewish American Poetry: Enid Dame, Michael Heller, and Nikki Stiller". Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 21,2, Fall 2002: 103-110.
- "Enid Sue Jacobs Dame". Legacy, The New York Times, Jan 9, 2004. Online.
- "Enid Dame (1940?- ) Jewish American". In Linda Cullum (ed). Contemporary American Ethnic Poets: Lives: 91. Greenwood, 2004.
- "Honoring Enid Dame". Friends of Rutgers English, Spring Summer 2005. Online.
- Madeline Tiger & DeDe Jacobs-Komisar. "How Enid Dame Led Us Beyond Paradigms". Bridges, 16,1, Spring 2011: 200-7.
Kahn refers to Enid as Esther, which I initially followed until corrected by her brother.
Wikipedia, Contemporary American Ethnic Poets: Lives, etc, etc totally ignore Enid's first two marriages and her being in a Communist group, simply describe Donald Lev as her husband, not as her third husband, and do not explain why her surname is 'Dame".