Cabaret, Variety, and Revue Entertainment
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Recent research argues that gay-oriented performances have been a constant in American entertainment at least since the early nineteenth century. Evolved from minstrel shows and a gay subculture, female impersonation, a popular mode of gay performance, entered variety theater in San Francisco by the 1860s and eastern cities in the 1870s. By the 1890s, the homosexual presence was overt in clubs in New York’s Bowery.