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“I’m a Man in a Dress, and I’m Not Afraid to Show That”
“Beautiful by Night” captures the transformations of San Francisco’s veteran drag queens.
Photographs by James Hosking; Text by Jeremy LybargerApril 17, 2015 10:00 AM
Olivia (a.k.a. Frank) says that drag is both a screen and a way of shedding her skin.James Hosking
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On a Saturday afternoon, Olivia Hart gets dressed in her pay-by-the-week hotel room before heading out to Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, one of the last gay bars in San Francisco’s tough Tenderloin neighborhood. Fifty-four-year-old Olivia is one of several veteran drag performers profiled in Beautiful by Night, a documentary and photo series by filmmaker and photographer James Hosking. Olivia (a.k.a. Frank) says that drag is both a screen and a way of shedding her skin. “Olivia and I are pretty much one and the same,” she says. But, she adds, “my thing is not being a female illusionist where I look dead-on like a woman. I’m a man in a dress, and I’m not afraid to show that.”