history

This 1992 local news report on drag queens is like a rare artifact from a queer time capsule

drag performers backstage

In 1992, a news station in Atlanta ran a story on local club promoter/drag queen (then called a “female impersonator” or “night person”) Mr. Charlie Brown.

The four-minute segment, hosted by reporter Tom Corvin, took viewers backstage at Charlie Brown’s Cabaret inside Atlanta’s famed Backstreet Club, giving the general public a rare glimpse at queer culture in the early ’90s.

It showed the queens putting on their makeup and costumes, interacting with the audience members, and talking about their craft.

“There’s a lot of comedy here,” Corvin says, “that appeals to all sexualities!”

Today, the Backstreet Club is closed, although Mr. Charlie Brown, now 69, still performs regularly.

“I am very fortunate to still be doing this at age 69,” he recently told an interviewer. “I live for the show each night.”

Watch.