Okay, raise your hands, how many have heard of Miss Destiny? Well, she was likely the most famous drag queen of 1960’s Los Angeles, and she got that fame courtesy of John Rechy. He devoted a chapter of “City of Night” to her, and as that book is considered one of the early landmark works of gay literature, she was delighted.
Her celebrity enabled her to tell her own story in the magazine “One, The Homosexual Viewpoint,” in September of 1964, where she took a couple of snipes at Rechy, but he forgave her. You can read that entire article on a page of my website, by clicking below.
Read “Miss Destiny”
And, she’d be so pleased, there’s now a rock band in Melbourne, Australia, calling themselves Miss Destiny, in her honor.
Also, on a long shot, thinking I might could do some genealogy research on her, I wrote to John Rechy, asking if he knew her real name. Alas, he never knew it, and wrote me:
Dear Mr. Doyle,
How wonderful, a page for Miss Destiny!… I’m afraid I knew her only as “Miss Destiny,” and little else about her, other than her passionate desire to have a “fabulous white wedding.”… I don’t know how she got my telephone number back in the 80’s, but she would call me sometimes late at night to tell me that she had a “new husband” who did not believe she was “the fabulous Miss Destiny”. Please, she said, tell him it’s so. I would take the telephone and would say to a boozy voice that, yes, he was with the “real Miss Destiny.”… I never again saw her beyond the scenes in “City of Night.”
You may be interested to know that this year marks the 50th anniversary of “City of Night.” My publisher, Grove Press, is putting out a special edition to mark that date, with some supplemental material.