ARTIST SERIES

The World Famous *BOB* is a female burlesque dancer based in Brooklyn who is a central part of the neo burlesque movement that began in New York City in the 1990s. Raised on an isolated 115-acre farm in the California Valley, she renamed herself “Bob” after Robert Smith of The Cure when she was a teenager and was later crowned “The World Famous *BOB*”—now her legal name—by her drag mother, Jackie Beat, when she performed in her first Wigstock. Born female, she nevertheless aspired to be a drag queen from a young age, which led to years of searching for her true gender identity, drug abuse, hustling, and alienation from family. A self-described “female-female spiritual transsexual,” this intense, often painful personal journey eventually drew her to burlesque, which allowed her to embrace her femininity in a way that finally made her comfortable. She currently shares her life story with college students in a highly moving, theatrical one-person show, “One Man Show: The True Story of Miss World Famous *BOB*,” in order to spread a message of hope and survival to the younger queer and queer-friendly community.

Work by Amy Touchette

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