She told Out in 2015,
“We would take hotels, usually in the black section of town, and rent out the ballrooms. We would hang sheets as a canopy outside so people could get in and out of the building without being seen, even though they were in suits and ties when they came in.”
Cross-dressing was still a felony, and she was arrested dozens of times. Sabrina also faced arrest for promoting her 1967 film The Queen, in Times Square. A semi-documentary, the movie recounted the Miss All America Beauty Pageant, where Sabrina played “Mother” to the contestants, including a young Crystal LaBeija.
The Queen screened at Cannes and landed Sabrina spots on several TV talk shows. It was the first drag documentary. Sabrina was photographed by Diane Arbus and, in 1972, had a cameo in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos.
She told trans activist and artist Zackary Drucker as part of the for the 2014 Whitney Biennial, where Sabrina held tarot card readings in her Upper East Side apartment,
“It took me a very long time in my life to get over being angry all the time. I mean, really angry. It not only seemed illogical; it was also so unkind. I didn’t go around pointing my finger at people, telling them how to live or what to do, or who to sleep with or how to dress. And I wasn’t teaching people to do that.
I just was like a cork in the ocean, and by serendipity became involved in something, which in retrospect looks like pioneering, but I don’t think it was anything of the sort,” Sabrina told Drucker. “It was just cultural change, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time—or the wrong place at the wrong time, depending on your point of view.”
Mother Flawless Sabrina was 78.
The legendary Flawless Sabrina passed away last night. A star among stars! pic.twitter.com/4k3ZSbXZnr
— Morgan M Page (@morganmpage) November 18, 2017
rip legendary mother flawless sabrina pic.twitter.com/XA6nNaL5qV
— hari nef (@harinef) November 18, 2017
(Photos, Diane Arbus, Zachary Drucker; via NewNowNext)