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Southern Babtist Sissy

Glenn and his Aunt Lo on Easter Sunday 1960 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Who would have ever dreamed they'd write us a play? I took over the role of "Peanut," an alcoholic, homosexual, former Southern Baptist for six performances of Del Shores' SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES at The Zephyr Theater in Hollywood in June 2001. I had participated in the first reading of Mr. Shores' play about growing up gay in the Baptist Church. After seeing the remarkable Leslie Jordon in the role when the play opened in September 2000, I was apprehensive about following his award winning performance. It was a lot of work for only six performances and I knew this rehearsal period would dredge up some old ghosts from my childhood in Alabama.

I spent the 1950's at Westside Baptist Church in Bessemer, Alabama and I was one of the obvious sissies in the congregation. I remember skipping through the hallways of the church at age six wearing an available choir robe and headscarf pretending I was Loretta Young. When my horrified Uncle Frank discovered me he must have had an "I knew this was coming" moment. I was always terrifyingly dramatic and my childhood was filled with Church Drama -- not limited to my appearances in every biblical pageant produced. Although, my desired roles of Delilah and Jezebel always went to less talented amateurs! Admittedly, I did get some of the ideas of the Southern Baptists all balled up. I was told that Jesus loved me in a most miraculous way, and with this in mind I often called upon him to level the playing field for me as a small child. I was overheard (at four years of age) asking Jesus to send a storm to blow away my cousin Dale who had failed to please me in some way. In my humble defense I will say that it was also overheard that I specifically told Jesus to not "let it hurt too much."