Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:00:00] I think the cabaret’s in the Unions was the thing, the saving grace for everybody because they were funny. The Queens used to put on a really good show and they used to look after us. So that was for sure. And I’ll never forget those shows. Those are the memorables of those that I would have thought were the best thing since sliced bread that made you laugh. And they gave him the sense of humour. And they always gave a little thing by saying they think we’re mad and you know, and all the rest of it. I can say the whole sentence because I’d be swearing.But they used to say that they think that we’re mad who they used to go you or so it was really uplifting. They were saving grace for everybody and they still are today because they still really keep everybody going when they’re down in the dumps the queens, they’re brilliant.
Dr. Sarah Feinstein: [00:00:50] And when were the shows? On the weekends, in the evenings? What time? And was it just Saturdays or…?
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:00:58] Yes Saturdays. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They’d have a good old cabaret. And to be of different queens and little acts that had come on and do things and they’d ask people to get up from the floor, you know, very talented people. And that was held back in life because they were gay. But they they showed off their stuff in the union, you know. So it was great. We saw a lot of raw talent in there, believe me, and especially with people who came out later, who I shall not name because I don’t have their permission to do that. But yet we saw a lot of very young talent. And in the gay clubs, a lot of movie stars and television stars would come into the gay club, the rouge at the weekends as well and sit there. And they were very welcome. And and that was that. We all kept their secret, let’s put it that way. We never outed anybody. And that was sacrosanct amongst everybody. Don’t out people. And Dusty Springfield herself manage their time when she was in town at the Star and Garter would come into the union with her little black cap on and just stand by the bar in the shadows. No one ever went near. You know, she she was very well respected that way. Yeah.
Dr. Sarah Feinstein: [00:02:11] And when so there were performances, there were cabarets…. and what else would happen at the….?
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:02:18] Oh we danced the night away there on the floor the minute the queens got up to sing their songs and various things that would be all up there. You’d see a discos today. I mean I’m sure it was us that really invented the the air punching and all the rest of it, you know, because it was such a relief, because people, you know, were oppressed in their jobs on the streets with their families and their extended families, everyone.
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:02:40] So you went into that Union of a night and, you know, everyone was in there that cared about you, that was looking out for you, that loved you, that understood you. It was like you and you were like them. So it was like a home from home. You know, this was our real family. These were the people that accepted us. And it was fantastic. It really was. And the landlords and landladies of these pubs were second to none. They were absolutely flying the flag at the time because most of them were heterosexual and they looked after us young ones like there was no tomorrow. For example, the landlord of the union offered me a job when I was homeless and penniless and and so did the manager that owned the Rouge club.I had a job in two places, and with that I was able to make enough money to look after myself and pay my rent.