ABOVE: One of Sylvester’s performance costumes is part of the collections at the GLBT Historical Society. (Photo by Rick Gerharter)
Curators working with the Oakland Museum of California on its first major LGBT exhibition, dubbed “Queer California: Untold Stories,” displayed a blue sequined jacket created by San Francisco designer Pat Campano and worn in 1985 by the gender-bending gay disco diva Sylvester.
The garment, on loan from the San Francisco-based GLBT Historical Society, provided a bit of glam and visual whimsy to the show, which closed in August. The coat is one of a number of costumes, antique gloves, jewelry and personal items that once belonged to the “Queen of Disco” now housed in the society’s archives. The Sylvester collection, in museum-speak, measures more than eight linear feet.