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b. 19 October 1945, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A
d. 7 March 1988, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A

“Oh God, it isn’t easy being Divine”
– Divine, Mondo Trasho (John Waters, 1969)

Fifty years ago, in 1972, a film was released that was so repugnant the director handed out vomit bags before each screening1. The film in question is American filmmaker John Waters’ breakout film, Pink Flamingos (1972), which was billed as an “exercise in poor taste”. It featured a slew of transgressive scenes including chicken decapitation mid-sex scene and a contortionist known to this day only by the name ‘The Singing Anus’. Divine, a drag performer hailed by Waters as the “most beautiful woman in the world”,2 closes out the film with a literal shit eating grin as he joyfully eats a handful of fresh dog faeces while staring down the camera. Much to the surprise of Waters and Divine, this brown stained bow that ties off the film catapulted the director and his leading star from the gutters of Baltimore into the echelons of cult stardom.

Pink Flamingos Theatrical Poster

Like any good Catholic school student, I was speechless when a fellow student introduced me to the Pope of Trash and his disciple Divine. I was well versed in horror, but keen to acquaint myself with these flamboyant flamingos. Over the next 90 minutes I was both mortified and mesmerised at what I was watching, totally captivated by Divine. He had such a command over the camera, looking at once intimidating and glamorous. This unique and passionate performance made me forget that neither he, nor anyone else in the film, was a trained actor. That fateful viewing inspired me to delve into the mysterious depths of underground cinema, of which I have yet to emerge from. 

The Girl Next Door, Almost

Divine was born Harris Glen Milstead on 19 October, 1945 in Baltimore Maryland to two upper middle class conservative Baptists. As a child, Milstead moved into the same neighbourhood as John Waters, but the two wouldn’t become friends until their late teens. Milstead travelled regularly to New York to frequent underground drag parties with David Lochary. Lochary was an important friend and mentor to Milstead, helping him get his start in drag by teaching him how to dress, apply makeup and develop a drag persona. The drag parties they attended were quite different to those we’d associate with drag culture today. By all accounts they were more reminiscent of high tea parties blended with beauty pageants. Waters described attendees as wanting, “to look like their mothers.”3 Growing tired of this scene, Milstead began rebelling against the more conservative traditions of ‘60s drag culture by wearing revealing clothing that would show off his weight. Donning exaggerated makeup, Milstead parodied the refined feminine look many drag queens aspired to embody4, which undoubtedly ruffled a few feathers in the drag community5.

A young Divine in drag

At the time, police raids on gay bars were common. In the early hours of June 28 1969, patrons fought back when police became violent at the Stonewall Inn. The following days were punctuated by a series of spontaneous LGBT+ protests, activist groups formed within weeks and the first gay pride marches took place a year later. The Stonewall Riots are considered a watershed moment in the gay liberation movement, their central demand was the right to live openly without fear of being arrested for their sexual orientation or gender identity. This was the socio-political context that greeted Milstead when he travelled to New York to frequent underground drag and queer parties in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. 

It was at one of these events that Waters showed up with a camera and began to capture the happenings of the evening. The candid party footage became Waters’ first short film, Roman Candles (1966). Inspired by Andy Warhol’s use of split screen in Chelsea Girls (1966), Roman Candles was intended to be projected onto multiple screens at once, although the film was only screened once in a Baltimore church basement6. During the films production, Waters christened Milstead with the name Divine, a moniker borrowed from Jean Genet’s novel Our Lady of the Flowers7, adding that ‘he was divine so he should be called Divine’8. Divine was billed in the credits under this new stage name and would become Waters muse. Lochary joined Waters’ eclectic acting troupe known as The Dreamlanders.

Waters and Divine redefined queerness as something that was proudly iconoclastic and completely in opposition to mainstream culture by creating a gritty and satirically camp cinematic style that was unashamedly transgressive, spanning beyond gender, ‘good taste’, and societal conventions. In doing so, the two carried the torch far beyond their queer filmmaking predecessors such as Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith and Andy Warhol. However, to only see filth in the filthiest person alive is to completely overlook the impact Divine has had on cinema as well as queer and drag culture. Through their unabashed and provocative queer persona, fashion style, characters and films, Divine and Waters transformed drag culture and American underground cinema. 

I Am Divine

Divine’s talent for playing female roles would begin to blossom as early as his second film appearance in John Waters short, Eat Your Makeup (1968). The film revolves around a psychotic nanny who kidnaps girls and forces them to model and pose until they pass out and die. Divine plays Jackie Kennedy in a dramatic reenactment of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, marking the first time Jackie Kennedy had been portrayed in a fictional film9. Waters claims this was the film that inspired Divine to treat acting as a vocation rather than recreation10. The Diane Linkletter Story (1969) was Divine and Waters last short. Like Eat Your Makeup, Divine reenacts a tragically violent moment in American history where titlular character Diane Linkletter (Divine), the daughter of American radio personality Art Linkletter, commits suicide after taking LSD. Despite its controversial subject matter, the film became a small hit in Baltimore. Divine, dressed in tie dyed hippie garb, is almost unrecognisable in the role.

Divine and Waters’ first feature film, Mondo Trasho (1969), recounts a day in the life of Divine after she accidentally runs over a young woman and tries to discard the body. The quasi-silent film moves to a soundtrack of pop hits and b-sides, with Divine speaking the only lines of dialogue as she’s visited by the ghost of the Virgin Mary. Divine’s persona and iconic look began to take shape, showcasing his quintessential exuberant acting style, coupled with badly bleached blonde hair and a tiny sequined outfit. This encapsulates what Waters called an “inflated, insane Jayne Mansfield.”11

Jayne Mansfield & Divine

While Waters said in retrospect that Mondo Trasho should have been a short film, it gave him and his muse their first taste of notoriety in their hometown of Baltimore, with Divine almost getting arrested during filming as The Dreamlanders were shooting naked at John Hopkins University without a permit12. They avoided arrest, only after a car chase and hiding out for the rest of the day13.

Filth Is My Life

Divine’s dramatically enraged, sexually transgressive character Lady Divine took things a step further in Waters second feature Multiple Maniacs (1970). Lady Divine runs a travelling freak show – a front for a group of homicidal thieves. The film is often eclipsed by its climatic scene, depicting what Waters called a “Rosary Job.”14 Here, Divine and Mink Stole use rosary beads as anal beads inside of a church, triggering Divine to have a holy vision of Jesus’ life and crucifixion. The sequence was inspired by The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964)15 and may be one of the most sacrilegious pieces of celluloid ever projected in a cinema, bookended by a giant lobster sexually assaulting Divine, who then transforms into a monstrous version of herself that’s intent on destroying Baltimore. Waters calls this lobster the most logical conclusion to his monster movie, positioning Divine as “the Godzilla of drag queens.”16 This uniquely camp cinematic style combines and queerifies elements of Golden Age Hollywood cinema with ‘50s b-grade movies to create provocativly queer satires of Americana and the distinctly Baltimore culture of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Multiple Maniacs

These core elements crystallise in Pink Flamingos. The film follows Babs Johnson (Divine) and her family of misfits comprised of infantile, egg obsessed mother Edie (Edith Massey), her son Crackers (Danny Mills) who has a fetish for chickens and her equally bizarre travelling companion Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce) as they band together to battle it out with the leaders of a local drug dealing, baby trafficking gang. The film goes far beyond good artistic and cinematic tastes. Instead, it parodies society and art to shock its audience. Emanuel Levy states that, “For [Waters] camp attacks acceptable values, normal physical appearances, and conventional modes of behaviour.”17

Waters wanted to create a new look for Babs Johnson, something even more over the top and radical than their previous efforts. Divine worked with make-up artist Van Smith to create his now iconic look by not only shaving his eyebrows, but shaving the entire front portion of his hair to enable his eye make-up to be as big as possible. Divine and Smith paired this with tight fitting outfits and a badly bleached beehive wig, which Waters described as a combination of “Clarabell the Clown18 and Jayne Mansfield”19. Together, they transformed Divine into a deranged satire of the quintessential ‘60s American housewife. This look, along with her ludicrously dramatic performance, shattered any form of gender or societal norms. Therein completely reshaping and redefining drag culture forever. 

Clarabell The Clown, Divine & Jayne Mansfield

Divine always memorised Waters’ long monologues, performing them verbatim with a flair for melodramatics that allowed him to shine amongst his fellow Dreamlanders. While Waters’ films look like they transpire out of pure chaos, Waters was very meticulous and would act out each part himself in a series of rehearsals before filming and instructed his actors to mimic him without any improvisation20. This attention to detail on Waters’ part, paired with Divine’s acting prowess, led to one of the most quoted monologues of Divine’s career. Towards the end of the film as the Johnsons are about to execute their nemesis’ Connie (Mink Stole) and Raymond Marble (David Lochary), Divine, clad in a tight red dress with pistol in hand exclaims: 

“Kill everyone now! Condone first degree murder! Advocate cannibalism! Eat shit! Filth is my politics! Filth is my life!”

Pink Flamingos

Pink Flamingos garnered a huge cult following, spread primarily through word of mouth after a series of successful midnight screenings at New York’s Elgin Theatre. The film became a staple of the American midnight movie circuit in the ‘70s alongside El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975) and Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)21. Divine adorned every poster of Pink Flamingos, becoming the face of the film, further cementing her status as a cultural icon. Divine and Waters would tour the film around the USA, with Divine performing a drag show to introduce the film and solidify his reputation as a larger than life performer22.

Divine’s gender confused audiences, as she never tried to “pass” as female. Instead, Divine presented as an exaggerated, even monstrous caricature of femininity and the nuclear suburban housewife. This style has become popularised within the modern drag community, being a key fixture of drag performances and personas. Divine’s pioneering work has been hailed by People Magazine as “the Drag Queen of the Century”23 and canonised through RuPaul’s Drag Race24. Even now in Melbourne, Australia where I’m writing this, Divine’s character Babs Johnson takes centre stage in the 2022 Melbourne Queer Film Festival’s program and promotional material as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pink Flamingos.

Melbourne Queer Film Festival 2022 Poster

Nice Girls Don’t Wear Cha Cha Heels

Waters intended his next film, Female Trouble (1974), to be a vessel for Divine to vent some negativity from the woes in his personal life. The film plays out as a darkly comedic fictionalised biopic of Divine’s life. He plays the titular Dawn Davenport, who begins the film as a teenager who runs away from her loving conservative parents on Christmas day after they refused to buy her “cha cha heels” and becomes pregnant after being sexually assaulted. We then follow Davenport as an adult after she’s become a neglectful, abusive mother and a petty criminal who delves deep into a life of crime after meeting a married fashion art photographer duo who persuade her to perform increasingly dangerous criminal acts for their art, for which Davenport is eventually arrested and given a death sentence by the electric chair. 

Beginning as a childish teenager and ending as a crazed criminal, who much like his character in Multiple Maniacs becomes intent on destroying everything around him, Divine was able to showcase his range as an actor. While maintaining his characteristic hyperbole, playing Davenport from adolescence to adulthood inadvertently reveals the trials and tribulations of being and becoming a woman in this weird wild world when one rejects the conventional standards of femininity, motherhood and beauty.

Divine embodies the core themes of Waters early work – the divine beauty in the dangerous and the subversive sides of life. Fellow Dreamlander Mink Stole would say that Divine was always willing to do anything Waters asked him to do25, sharing and believing in Waters cinematic vision, while being solely dedicated to his acting craft. Levy describes these sensibilities as a means to deliberately “assault mainstream culture”26 and reject “traditional aesthetics”27. Stuart Richards highlights that Levy’s approach to camp is informed by blending Susan Sontag’s definition based on stylised artifice, and Barbara Klinger’s pop cultural knowledge based approach, a mesh of ideas that Divine and Waters celebrate28. Divine’s characters in Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble personify Levy’s theory. Each character’s diegesis escalates as they become increasingly enraged. They ditch mainstream society for a world of crime and become more physically grotesque, especially in Female Trouble as Davenport’s face is irreparably scarred from an acid attack. Instead of despair, these characters revel in their disgust and disfigurements, completely eschewing conventional beauty standards. Divine’s physical presence alone was radical, as an overweight gay man playing female roles. In being anointed by directors and co-stars as glamorous, Divine completely subverted and satirised all forms of traditional gender roles with Waters even calling him “a drag terrorist”29.

Female Trouble

Waters and Divine’s work during this period was a direct response to The Stonewall Riots. Waters believed that their work attracted the queer people that felt alienated from mainstream society, much like the queer communities around the Stonewall Inn30. For Divine, his queerness was a prominent and radical part of his acting. It served as a means to shock those in mainstream society at the time, by holding a mirror up to how absurd the status quo actually was.

Stonewall Riot

After Female Trouble, Divine took to the stage acting under the direction of playwright Tom Eyen in the revival of his off-broadway play Women Behind Bars (1975) and its sequel The Neon Woman (1978). The plays were camp satires of women in prison exploitation films and Divine played the Matron of the prison, a role which he was quite well suited for. Divine approached each role with the same poise and humour of his film characters, equally entrancing his audience while making them laugh at the same time31. Women Behind Bars became so popular that it went on tour in the UK in 1977 and has been performed by a number of acting troupes since, most recently in January 202032. However, because of the UK tour Divine wasn’t able to star in Waters next film Desperate Living (1977), despite having a role written for him. When asked if he prefered acting on the stage to the screen, Divine declared, “No… Film is forever y’know, it’s always there, I mean the show tonight is now a memory for the people that saw it.”33 

From Maniac to Mother

Becoming apathetic with infamy, Divine and Waters reorientated their work towards ‘50s and ‘60s American suburbia in Polyester (1981) and Hairspray (1988). Their nostalgia for the period was in equal parts satirical and sentimental, which was buried beneath the shock value in earlier works. In a marked departure from underground cinema, Polyester and Hairspray were made for mainstream appeal. 

Polyester is a Sirkian spoof of ‘50s melodramas. The film follows Divine as the suburban housewife Francine Fishpaw whose world is shattered after she becomes the subject of local ridicule because of her loutish husband who owns a pornographic theatre. She soon finds out he’s been cheating on her, that her son is a violent foot fetishist, crushing women’s feet throughout town and her teen daughter is pregnant. By that description I have to admit that Polyester does sound a lot like Divine and Waters earlier works, yet like Jane Wyman in All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955) Fishpaw meets a new man who enables her to transcend her neglected suburban life. Waters cast ‘50s Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter to play the role of her new beau, parodying Hunter’s earlier career. Divine was a huge fan and nervous to be acting alongside him. However, the two hit it off and share a real chemistry in the film, fully committing to their respective parts34. Unlike his early films, this performance doesn’t feel like Divine delivering a caricature of his drag persona. Instead, he truly embodies Francine Fishpaw and the struggles she faces. Waters even admitted that this was the first time it felt like Divine was playing a real person. 

Polyester

Polyester offers another important avenue for understanding Divine, by shedding light on the influence of Elizabeth Taylor on his aesthetic and performance style. As his mother Frances notes, Divine was enamoured by Taylor from an early age and would even dress up to resemble her in his early underground drag party days. Waters shared this affinity for Taylor and was inspired by films from the golden age of Hollywood where she grew in prominence. The theatrical release poster of Polyester parodies the poster for Boom! (Joseph Losey, 1968). Divine’s style and performance in Polyester, Female Trouble and Multiple Maniacs resembles an exaggerated balancing act between Taylor’s early glamorous roles and her more erratic later ones, simultaneously channelling elements of Maggie from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958) and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Mike Nichols, 1966). This pivotal element to Divine’s work offers a queer camp recontextualisation to not only Taylor, but to the films of the past. As Levy explains, camp “relies on (or imitates) the hyperbole of movies”35 as well as offering “real value to its practitioners because it enables their insider status, their very cultural existence”36. It’s evident that through the candid influence of Elizabeth Taylor on his acting, crystalised in Polyester, Divine has offered a uniquely queer perspective on cinema at large with Waters even saying, “He [Divine] was my Elizabeth Taylor.”37

Polyester & Boom! Theatrical Posters

You Think You’re A Man

Divine’s first film without Waters was Lust in the Dust (Paul Bartel, 1985) starring alongside Tab Hunter once again in another spoof of ‘50s Hollywood cinema, this time taking aim at the Western genre. Critically panned upon its release, the film still manages to be quite a funny satire of Hollywood Westerns that would help set the tone for many spoof films to come in later years. This marked a time in Divine’s career where he began to branch out and take on more roles outside of his usual Dreamland fares. Throughout his career, Divine had stated quite candidly that he was not solely a drag performer, or a member of the trans community, but was instead a character actor who happens to play women’s roles38. Divine called his female costumes his “work clothes”39 and wouldn’t dress in drag in his private life, instead choosing to live quietly as Glen Milstead when he wasn’t in front of a camera or audience. This was in stark contrast to the infamous persona he had created and many fans were confused by this dichotomy. Divine grew tired of this persona and the barrage of Pink Flamingos related questions he continued get about eating dog faeces, so at this point in his career he became quite vocal about wanting to play male roles and began to seek them out40.

Lust in the Dust

This led to his first, and only, male role in the neo-noir Trouble in Mind (Alan Rudolph, 1985). Technically this is not Divine’s very first male role, having appeared earlier as the absent, alcoholic father of Divine’s daughter in Female Trouble, playing the part so convincingly that I didn’t even realise it was him the first time I saw it. Yet Trouble in Mind was important to Divine’s career because it was one of the few times he wasn’t in a leading role, as well as performing as a man. The film follows a group of people who converge around a small diner as they’re drawn into a world of crime by the criminal kingpin Hilly Blue (Divine). While Divine only appears very briefly throughout the film, his character is spoken about in almost every scene. This imbues his brief moments on screen with a sense of glamorous mystery that casts a long shadow over the otherwise gritty setting and characters within the film. Coming in just under two hours in runtime, the film feels like a slog to watch. Balancing serious moments with humour becomes disorientating, particularly by its failed attempt to get the audience to root for one of the main characters after he sexually assaults another within ten minutes of the film’s opening. Hence this uneven tone and blatant misogyny renders the film as derivative, threadbare neo-noir nonsense. Kris Kristofferson, Keith Carradine and Divine feel so underutilised. Furthermore, Keith Carradine’s costume and hair style changes throughout the film are unintentionally hilarious, making him look almost like a caricature of Divine wearing a suit Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face would wear in Batman Forever (Joel Schumacher, 1995). Despite this, Divine was able to play a new style of character, one that was in stark contrast to the loud, extroverted roles he had played in the past, instead exhibiting a much more quiet and reserved performance style which he would apply to his final two roles.

Trouble in Mind

Waters’ next film, Hairspray, saw Divine and Waters break into the mainstream. A homage to Baltimore in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, Divine plays the mother of Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) who joins a local teen music television show as a dancer and challenges racial segregation with her friends. Like Polyester, Hairspray focussed less on being transgressive and was more invested in making a satirically subversive comedy that could be stomached by a wide audience. Divine achieved a similar evolution in style, as his role in Hairspray feels like a more refined version of his role in Polyester. Divine eschews all of the glamorous outfits and makeup that characterised his earlier roles to become a loving mother who’s in equal parts supportive and slightly concerned for her daughter. His character ranges emotionally from meek to furious, making it hard to believe that Divine wasn’t actually a middle aged woman. Hairspray was met with rave reviews, receiving the widest release of any of Divine and Waters films and has become a classic of ‘80s cinema. Hairspray has gone on to have multiple revivals, most famously as a successful broadway musical which debuted in 2002 that received its own film adaptation in 2007. The latter became even more popular than the original, garnering Waters and Divine a whole new audience that otherwise may not have seen their work.

Divine & Jerry Stiller behind the scenes of Hairspray

Following Hairspray, Divine played another male role in the forgettable slasher Out of the Dark (Michael Schroeder, 1989). Divine used his newfound stardom to land a recurring role as an uncle on the popular TV sitcom Married With Children (1987–1997). This role would’ve been Divine’s first major role acting as a male on mainstream television. However, on the evening before Divine was set to begin filming, he passed away from a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 42. Many of his friends, family and fans were shocked. Waters never cast another drag performer in his films, saying that Divine was, “Only actor who ever gave me what I wanted”41

Divine & John Waters

Divine’s career was cut short, due to his untimely death. Appearing in nine feature films, six directed by Waters and three short films before migrating to the stage for a handful of off-broadway plays and a successful stint as a disco performer. His drag persona, look and influence is still felt in cinema and queer culture today. Divine has since become the subject of two documentaries: Divine Trash (Steve Yeager, 1998) and I Am Divine (Jeffrey Schwarz, 2013), the latter takes a deep dive into his life from childhood, yet both documentaries are incredibly insightful and essential in understanding Divine. He was also the subject of two books, the first by his manager Bernard Jay titled Not Simply Divine (1993) which was slammed by Waters and many of Divine’s close friends for being largely fabricated. However, the biography written by Divine’s mother Frances Milstead with the help of Divine Trash director Steve Yeager, entitled My Son Divine (2001) has been praised for its intimate portrait of one the most unique actors the world has ever known42. It’s almost impossible to disentangle Divine’s legacy from Waters’ work, it was his complete immersion into female characters that showcased the full breadth of his character acting. His persona loomed so large that every subsequent staging of Hairspray has seen Divine’s role played by a man. Divine was also a major inspiration for the tentacled villain Ursula in Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid (John Musker & Ron Clements, 1989), which further cements Divine’s influential legacy in cinema and pop culture.43 Divine’s character acting, passion, humour, and style continue to transcend gender and societal norms. For old and new fans, Divine will remain a beacon of success, support and entertainment for the outcasts of the world. As Waters so eloquently said:

“I thought of him as a great character actor who started his career playing a homicidal maniac and ended it playing a loving mother which is a pretty good stretch, especially if you’re a 300 pound man.”44

Selected Filmography

  • Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972)
  • Multiple Maniacs (John Waters, 1970)
  • Polyester (John Waters, 1981)
  • Hairspray (John Waters, 1988)
  • Female Trouble (John Waters, 1974)
  • Mondo Trasho (John Waters, 1969)
  • I Am Divine (Jeffrey Schwarz, 2013)
  • Divine Trash (Steve Yeager, 1988)

Selected Bibliography

  • My Son Divine (Frances Milstead, Kevin Heffernan & Steve Yeager, 2001)

Selected Podcasts

Endnotes

  1. m s, Movies That Shook the World: Pink Flamingos, YouTube, June 8 2013
  2. Sjb10014, Emerald City TV 1977 #52 John Waters, YouTube, January 27 2018
  3. Divine Trash (Steve Yeager, 1998)
  4. For deeper insight into the 1960’s American drag community, see The Queen (Frank Simon, 1968)
  5. I Am Divine (Jeffrey Schwarz, 2013)
  6. Yeager, Divine Trash
  7. Schwarz, I Am Divine
  8. Sjb10014, DIVINE (John Water’s) on Emerald City TV 1978, YouTube, January 24 2018
  9. Yeager, Divine Trash
  10. Schwarz, I Am Divine
  11. Ibid
  12. Yeager, Divine Trash
  13. Ibid
  14. BFI, “John Waters: on stage with the ‘Pope of Trash’ (Extended) | BFI, YouTube, August 7 2016
  15. Yeager, Divine Trash
  16. Ibid
  17. Emanuel Levy, Gay Directors Gay Films? (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), p. 290
  18. Clarabell the Clown was one of the main characters on Waters favourite childhood show The Howdy Doody Show (1947 – 1960)
  19. Schwarz, I Am Divine
  20. Ibid
  21. Yeager, Divine Trash
  22. TLAVIDEO, “Divine and John Waters – Midnight Screening of Pink Flamingos – 1974“, YouTube, August 26 2015
  23. Brad Darrach, “Death Comes to a Quiet Man Who Made Drag Queen History as Divine,” People, March 21 1988
  24. Cameron Crookston, The Cultural Impact of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Why Are We All Gagging? (Chicago: Intellect Books, 2020)
  25. Yeager, Divine Trash
  26. Emanuel Levy, Gay Directors Gay Films? (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), p. 290.
  27. Ibid
  28. Stuart Richards, “Divine Dog Shit: John Waters and Disruptive Queer Humour in filmSenses of Cinema, issue 80 (September, 2016)
  29. Yeager, Divine Trash
  30. Ibid
  31. Sjb10014, “DIVINE (John Water’s) on Emerald City TV 1978”
  32. Greg Evans, “Kathy Griffin To Host New ‘Women Behind Bars’ Stream Of Camp Classic Featuring Final Performance By Chi Chi DeVayne,” Deadline, August 19, 2021
  33. Sjb10014, “DIVINE (John Water’s) on Emerald City TV 1978”
  34. Schwarz, I Am Divine
  35. Emanuel Levy, Gay Directors Gay Films? (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), p. 290.
  36. Ibid
  37. Yeager, Divine Trash
  38. Sjb10014, DIVINE (John Water’s) on Emerald City TV 1978
  39. Schwarz, I Am Divine
  40. Ibid
  41. Sjb10014, “Emerald City TV 1977 #52 John Waters”
  42. Ibid
  43. Chris Dart, “Read This: How Divine inspired Ursula The Sea Witch,” The A.V. Club, January 1, 2016
  44. Yeager, Divine Trash

About The Author

Jacob Agius is a film critic, sound designer, film composer and sound recordist based in Melbourne, Australia. They are a committee member of the Melbourne Cinémathèque and the Czech & Slovak Film Festival of Australia.

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