There is an old and powerful saying that goes: “Judy, Liza, Barbara, Bette… These are names I shan’t forget.”
These names belong to the crème de la crème de la gay icons of musicality. There are others… Cher, of course. Madonna goes without saying. Tina Turner, Rosemary Clooney, Bernadette Peters. Some, including my collegiate self, thought New York superstar, Linda Eder, was poised to be “Barbara” for the new generation. We realize, now, that was a bit extreme a comparison to make, but Ms. Eder certainly deserves an honorable, “Sssing, Bitch! We love you!”
Cuz we do.
We love them all. It’s deep and it’s real. But I don’t know why. What is it about these women, these voices, that can captivate audiences full screaming queens? I don’t know. But I do know this: being gay is not a choice. It’s genetic.
Perhaps whatever pink gene makes us swish, also affects our ear drums in such a way that we are immediately prone to falling in love with the sound these particular women produce. If a man genetically prone to alcoholism is never exposed to whiskey, is that man not an alcoholic? I don’t know. If a man genetically prone to gay-ism is never exposed to Judy’s “Rainbow” dreams or the wind beneath Bette’s wings, is that man not a gay? I don’t think so.
All it takes is one shot of Jack Daniels. All it takes in one shot of “Proud Mary.” Genetics take hold and lives are forever changed.
Maybe it’s genetics.
Or maybe it’s the uber-fabulous, drag-inspiring outfits. Could be that, too.
Speaking of which…
Look at this woman. Thin strands of woven pewter bling up a sexy satin dress that plunges down to there and screams “DIVA!” Not just any ol’ “somebody” can pull this off. It takes a certain level of -- dare I say it? -- iconography.
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Traci Kern has been thrilling audiences of all ages and orientations in the Denver area and this weekend, la diva de Denver takes the stage at the Avenue Theatre for two nights, only. Ms. Kern will be joined by fellow Denver icon Donna Debrecini, as well as three of Denver Musical Theatre’s most recognizable voices.
And though Traci Kern, with a voice as big as her boobs, is most definitely a local gay icon in the making, fear not. Her concert is open to the straight folk of Denver, as well. But be careful, boys. Check into your family’s genetic history before buying your ticket. If there are any limp wrists or uncorrected lisps in your bloodline, it may take nothing more than one of Ms. Kern’s killer riffs to cause genetics to take hold.
You’ve been warned, gurl.-- Steven J. Burge
Traci Kern and friend, live in concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20. Tickets are $10 general admission. For tickets, call the Avenue Theatre (417 East 17th Avenue, Denver) at 303-321-5925.