Lady Patra - Donny West

"This Is Lady Patra North, Secret Of My Song"
Donny West

Review by: Len

     With no doubt this is one of the most enjoyable and diverse journals of a female impersonator I have read. West has a comfortable writing style which not only endears the subject, Lady Patra, but provides an excellent historical view of the world of drag from the 70's through current times. Full of anecdotes which amuse, touch, and inform. West traces his development from possible transsexual to accepted female impersonator. Donny does not shy away from any topic or term. 

     Dealing with family reaction and support to that of a rooming house chock full of "queens." Particularly amusing are his tales of the rooming house, one unforgettable "gentleman" for lack of a better description, a family funeral, and the obligatory visit to the local jail.

     It is all here in vivid description. Right down to what outfits for which show, pageant etc. When Patra wins the top local title, you are tempted to  get a little wet eyed right along with the entertainer. The "Lady" in Lady Patra is not attitudinal, more an apt description of the performers demure conduct. West is true to the subject and provides a full view of his experiences.

     A great resource for any Transgendered person, offering real reasons for personal pride. West has set down in writing a document which not only provides a much needed role model, he has documented a portion of GLBT history. For that we all owe thanks. The view of midwestern GLBT life, the times, are all enlightening and entertaining. Make no mistake, there are no excuses and or apologies for the life path West has chosen. You do however share in the sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious experiences along the way. Dealing with basic bar gossip, rivalry, friendships, and yes love Donny brings a realistic and poignant art form and life to vivid and relatable events. An easy read, and even more fun. I highly suggest this excursion into self growth, acceptance, and personal discovery. The reading time is well spent and you are all the better for having done so. A wonderful look at the GLBT scene of the 70's. Learn more about this charming multi-talented performer at his soon to open website.

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