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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Native Americans
A social role for individuals who crossed or mixed male and female characteristics was one of the most widely distributed institutions of native North America.
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
Mixed-Orientation Marriages
Mixed-orientation marriages--those in which one partner is straight and the other is gay or lesbian--often end in divorce, but such an ending is not inevitable.
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Transgender Activism
Since the late nineteenth century, transgendered people have advocated legal and social reforms that would ameliorate the kinds of oppression and discrimination they suffer.
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
In Memoriam
In Memoriam: Mario Montez (1935-2013)
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 10/04/13
Last updated on: 10/04/13
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Mario Montez in a film by Andy Warhol.

Drag performer Mario Montez, who earned fame as a Warhol "superstar" in avant-garde theater and films of the 1960s, died on September 26, 2013 in Key West, Florida of complications from a stroke.

Montez was born Rene Rivera in Puerto Rico on June 20, 1935 but was reared in New York. Douglas Martin reports in the New York Times that Rivera changed his name to Mario Montez in tribute to the 1940s film actress Maria Montez.

Montez was discovered by experimental filmmaker Jack Smith who cast him in his cult film Flaming Creatures (1963). He subsequently appeared in numerous Warhol films, including Harlot (1965), Screen Test #2 (1965), Camp (1965), More Milk, Yvette (1965), and The Chelsea Girls (1966).

Montez was a member of Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theater troupe, which featured surreal settings, cross-gender casting, and wild improvisation. In his book Ridiculous Theater: Scourge of Human Folly, Ludlam said of him: "Whether he is playing The Wife, The Mother, The Whore or The Virgin, Montez captures the ineffable essence of femininity."

John Waters, who was greatly influenced by the cinematic experimentation of the 1960s, once said that Montez "forever holds the highest position of royalty in the world of underground cinema."

In 1980, Warhol wrote that Montez "had that classic comedy combination of seeming dumb but being able to say the right things with perfect timing; just when you thought you were laughing at him, he'd turn it all around."

Montez, who dressed in conventional male attire in "real life," reportedly had religious qualms about cross-dressing but, according to Warhol in 1980, rationalized that if God really did not want him to do drag He would have long ago struck him dead.

Montez retired from acting in 1977 and moved to Florida. He is survived by his partner David Kratzner.

The brief silent film below, Warhol's Mario Banana, illustrates Montez's seductiveness.

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