When the late Laurie Lee was a Drag Queen in London in the 1970’s & 1980’s , life was much simpler. ‘Lol’ as he like to be called had done his National Service which was still compulsory in those days and he did a stint in the Merchant Navy where finding a ‘partner’ was easy albeit ilegal.
Living in the East End, still very much a working class area, with very few gays bars, he did his drag act at Hen Parties and Stag Parties and who else would book him.
This fascinating documentary made by BBC TV in 1981 captures a very happy Lee unashamedly gay and extremely openly effeminate which was quite remarkable given the times. He is so keen to share what it is like to be queer, and one of the most delight segments is when he describes to the camera all the different ‘queens’ there are. Trust me it’s not only highly amusing but an eye opener too.
Lee died in 2003 and by then his world of drag had long been replaced by a new younger generation. Laurie Lee was part of an era in London’s gay life that we have find memories of, and so this wonderful wee film is a sheer joy to watch