A terrific teaser trailer for I Am Divine, the upcoming documentary about Divine was released the other day and it looks great. I can’t wait to see this. Divine, in my opinion was a truly great American and deserves, at long last, a decent doc to be made about him.
In 1984, at the massive Hippodrome nightclub in London, I saw Divine absolutely WOW an audience of several thousand people with her high-energy Eurodisco set. The place was packed to the gills with adoring—and very glamorous—people who were there to be bathed in her divinity… if not her flop sweat. Looking around the audience that night, it occurred to me what a personal triumph this event must have represented for someone who was so marginalized growing up. Let’s face it, Harris Glenn Milstead was a full-blown freak (in a good way), and John Waters is absolutely right when he says in this trailer, “Divine stood for all outsiders. A young person could be inspired because anything is possible.”
Divine’s life and rise to worldwide fame and unlikely icon-hood was the ultimate “It Gets Better” story, whether you are gay or straight!
I met Divine once at a Manhattan nightclub I was working at during the mid-80s. I took up a tray of food to his dressing room. You’d expect maybe that he would have been intimidating, but he was absolutely a total sweetheart. I still have the autographed invite for the event (a “Father’s Day Party” themed-party if you can believe it, Divine wrapped in an American flag on the front). In marked contrast to the London appearance, Divine had, just a few years years later, become morbidly obese. I saw him when he walked offstage and he was out of breath, sweating profusely and it took him some time before he was breathing normally again. Later my friend remarked that he didn’t expect that Divine would be “long for this world.” A little over a year later, Divine was dead, but his legend will live on forever.