Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Jesse Helms: Cross Dresser?

Pam Spaulding (who is here in Austin and I hope I get a chance to meet her) has the story of a man in Massachusetts who had a business teaching men how to cross dress.

Several years ago, he started offering a service for straight men who liked to cross-dress, tutoring them in makeup skills while videotaping them, and the client could then take the instruction video home to use in private. After putting an ad in the Boston Phoenix:

“Curious about cross-dressing? Professional makeup artist, totally non-sexual video instruction. Totally discreet.”

Brian booked over 39 appointments the first week @ $300 a session. Eventually he received a call from a man staying at the Copley Plaza hotel (right next door to Brian’s studio), who was southern, very nervous and worried about discretion. And the story goes on from there…


And here’s what the man told Mike Signorile on his radio show:

“He [Helms] picked out this big black beehive wig and I did the instruction and gave him the tape, and the next morning when I picked up the paper, I saw that Jesse Helms was in Boston staying at the Copley Plaza , and I am telling you that it was him.” Brian was so worried about repercussions of the client/Helms getting paranoid about the whole matter that he shut down his service.

He doesn’t have any real evidence for it; the videotape was given to the client. But I certainly wouldn’t be shocked to find out it was true. Roy Cohn, anyone? J. Edgar Hoover? I still crack up at the thought of what Bill Hicks said Jesse Helms:

Anyone that far to the right is hiding something. When he dies, they’re gonna find the skins of small children drying in his attic. And you’ll see his wife on television saying things like, “I always wondered about Jesse’s collection of little shoes.”