Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

The Navy's a Drag: Vintage Photo

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | January 14, 2011 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: drag show, LGBT interest, military, Navy, vintage drag

No, no, I swear it isn't a still from the fired Navy Commander's porn movies. Just a bunch of bored sailors entertaining themselves and each other with an old-fashioned drag show in this vintage snap. Looks reasonably modern but I can't date it.


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I'd guess late 70's to early 80's. But I might be completely off.

I'd be willing to guess that this is a picture of an equator-crossing ceremony whereby first-timers are initiated into the mystic rites of King Neptune and are converted from "Polliwogs" into "Shellbacks."

Judging by the beards, I would say this picture is most likely from the 60s or early 70s. My dad retired from the Navy in the mid-70s, and they could no longer have beards by that time.

Having gone through a line crossing ceremony when I was in the Navy, I feel safe in saying that's what's going on here. That was the only time anyone did drag when I was on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63). I didn't have to do drag, but I did have to crawl across the flight deck on my hands and knees wearing just my underwear. The shellbacks would spank us as we passed through the gauntlet. Some of them also sprayed and rubbed shaving cream all over us. After the gauntlet we had to totally strip and wash off while on the flight deck.

Yeah... There was nothing gay about it. LOL

It looks like a Leahy class cruiser from the twin missle launcher. Those were steaming from the late 60's to the early/mid 90's.
With the beards, has to be before 85 OR it was during a crossing when the shave rules are relaxed for the few weeks prior to return to home port.
And during 'sail-bys' and line crossings they do have a bit of 'fun' that is sooooo totally 'gay'. Unless you tell them its gay, then your gay. Gotta love that Catch-96! Almost as popular as Catch-22!

There is a ceremony that is done for those who cross the equater for the first time. This might be a photo from that ceremony. I know this because my uncle served in the Navy and has pictures of the events.

After seeing this, why did we have to fight to overturn DADT?

So far as dating it by the presence of beards, it could be last week in SF, CA.

dharmapupil | January 16, 2011 4:31 PM

What is it with the Navy and drag? I have yet to see a straight sailor's photo album/page where there WEREN'T at least a couple of pictures of him and his friends in drag... "For Hallowe'en", suure.