Saturday, September 16, 2023


URBAN LEGEND: Was Mae West really a man?


Before Mae West's death in 1980, at the age of 87, there were rumours of a dark, deep secret which would be revealed only posthumously. The received wisdom, based in part on the drag-act appeal of her screen persona, was that she had really been a man. Watts authoritatively dismisses this on page one as an unworthy canard: 'Her death certificate, signed by a physician and an undertaker, confirms that she was all woman.' But she spends the next 373 pages insinuating another deep, dark secret in its place: that whiter-than-white Mae West was really black.

Professor Watts adduces no genealogical evidence for this startling claim, beyond the fact that the 'ethnicity' of West's paternal grandfather, a hardy seafarer named John Edwin West, is 'harder to pinpoint' than those of her other three 'undisputedly European' grandparents....

1 comment:

  1. Mae West wasn't a man but she was a maneater!