Brigham Young | Drag Queens | Mormon | News

Here is a Photo of Mormon Leader Brigham Young's Son in Drag


Kevin Sessums writes:

For your visual edification here is a photograph of Brigham Morris Young, son of Brigham Young, in drag as Italian opera diva “Madam Pattirini,” circa 1901. It is a photographic placard which advertised “her: appearance at the Sugar House Ward, a Mormon “meeting house” in Salt Lake City, Utah...Lord have mercy.

Kevin offers us some additional information:

Brigham Young had 55 wives and fathered 56 children by 16 of them . Brigham Morris Young was his 35th son and founded the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association (YMMIA), the predecessor to the Young Men program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). You can't make this stuff up. He performed as Pattirini in north and central Utah venues from 1885 to the 1900s. He could produce a convincing falsetto, and many in the audience did not realize that Pattirini was Young.

He did marry one wife and had children of his own.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. in early mormon history, hushed up as all hell homoeroticism, if not outright homosexuality was quite common, and a couple of young's antecedents thought it was better for young men to cohabit until such time as they was many years later after some scandal that the prohibition on hanky panky became law. i can't remember the names or the dates at the moment, but await some corroboration from someone with more astute historical background to flesh this out.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Aug 3, 2012 10:23:06 AM

  2. I'm starting to get it. Christopher Nolan couldn't get funding for Inception 2, so he's staging this election instead.

    Posted by: melvin | Aug 3, 2012 10:25:13 AM

  3. and the point to this pointless post is?????

    Posted by: vwdavy | Aug 3, 2012 10:26:56 AM

  4. You know, the larger the family, the odds greatly increase the possibility some of the children will be gay, effete boys, lesbian, etc. So, it's not surprising a Young fathered cross dressing boys, maybe gay boys, maybe lesbians, and so on.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 3, 2012 10:28:35 AM

  5. "and the point to this pointless post is?????"

    To enlighten us on the history of Gay bars, silly. The "Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association" must have been a swinging joint...but probably not integrated. Kevin needs to investigate where the Buffalo Soldiers hung out.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 3, 2012 10:35:26 AM

  6. correction in the above should be SMITH. young has become so synonymous the LDS one forgets he is well after smith who was the "visionary", or charlatan, depending on your pov.

    "a leading mormon historian, until he was excommunuicated, Quinn, who himself is openly gay, has publicly argued that homosexual relationships, between both men and women, were quietly accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its leadership up until the 1940s.[2] This theme has arisen in Quinn's The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power and is the central topic of Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example. Several LDS scholars have disputed Quinn's work, calling it a distortion of LDS history and saying he completely misrepresented the facts.[citation needed] They deny any acceptance from previous leaders of homosexuality, suggesting that Quinn conflated an absence of early Church proscriptions of homosexuality with tacit acceptance of same, and state the current leadership of the church “is entirely consistent with the teachings of past leaders and with the scriptures
    in other words, mormon leaders are busily rewriting their own history to be consistent with their current dogma.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Aug 3, 2012 10:42:50 AM

  7. Good one, Melvin.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Aug 3, 2012 11:29:16 AM

  8. The LDS are just another crazy religion like the Scientologists. Mabye not quite as crazy as Roman Catholics who believe their priests magically change a piece of bread into the "body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ", but crazy none the less. ALL RELIGION IS MYTH. Get over it. It is the 21st century.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 3, 2012 11:31:21 AM

  9. "You know, the larger the family, the odds greatly increase the possibility some of the children will be gay, effete boys, lesbian, etc. So, it's not surprising a Young fathered cross dressing boys, maybe gay boys, maybe lesbians, and so on."

    That's true...and I feel awful for those Duggar kids.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Aug 3, 2012 11:31:42 AM

  10. Any culture or society that promotes polygamy-without-polyandry has to address the issue of surplus males within the community. American frontier history paralleled this with disproportional imbalance of men opening the cattle lands and early mining camps.

    Either you find ways to sanction male-male relationships...sexual or otherwise...or face chaos.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Aug 3, 2012 11:37:27 AM

  11. Nice pic, but comments about history aren't right- homosex was always against their religion, as was premarital sex in general. Doesn't mean it never happened, but it was definitely sin.

    Posted by: Trent | Aug 3, 2012 12:04:59 PM

  12. trent, if you accept their history as current mormons write it, you would be justified in saying that. one presumes if you are sufficently socially conscious to be reading this blog, you know better than to accept history as written by the subjects of that history. reflect for a second on what most of us, especially those of us over 40, learned about the conquest of the western united state, how the noble soldiers, all white of course) protected the courageous settlers in taming these uncharted wastes, and then compare it to what we NOW know was western civilizations dealings with indigenous tribes.

    see the difference. the last historian who dared to put to print the somewhat scandaloous early days of the church of latter days saints was unceremoniously excommunicated when he refused to recant what he had turned up. there was nothing stodgy about early mormonism, that came later and with a vengeance. don't correct someone if you haven't bothered to at least do some basic investigation of the allegations.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Aug 3, 2012 1:01:09 PM

  13. Does he look like Steve Young? Uncanny resemblance, huh?

    Posted by: cowboy | Aug 3, 2012 1:21:17 PM

  14. Is it wrong to be amused that he named his son "Gaylen"?

    Posted by: Vint | Aug 3, 2012 1:54:07 PM

  15. Not exactly a shocking and uncommon phenomon:

    Posted by: Todd | Aug 3, 2012 1:59:43 PM

  16. The purpose of the post was edification. I consider myself duly edified. A general note: no matter what strictures any religion promotes, human nature is the same and out it will come.

    As someone once said, there's no point to making laws banning things that people DON'T do. Oh, those naughty Mormons!

    Posted by: thanks for the memories | Aug 3, 2012 2:56:43 PM

  17. Congratulations on running a reasonable discussion of the Mormon religion vis a vis gay history, without any rants or name-calling. I am an active Mormon, not gay, but willing to learn and discuss ideas with dignity. I had almost given up trying, before stumbling upon your site. One correction: in early Utah, women were much in the majority; polygyny served a useful social purpose, aside from its theological foundations.

    Posted by: Poindexter | Aug 4, 2012 1:27:13 AM

  18. As a 6th generation Mormon (now former Mormon and happily partnered with another guy of similar background), I can attest to both the homoerotic history and Poindexter's comment above. There were more women in early Utah. But consider this: it was common for married men to be sent away on missions, like my great-great grandfather, who was gone to New Orleans and Jamaica for several years. He had 3 wives when he left. When he returned, one wife had moved in with Brigham Young and had taken two children with her. Brigham had ordered them "divorced" and married the woman and also adopted the two children, changing their last name to Young. (I am a descendant of one of my great-great grandfathers other wives.) When the adopted children reached adulthood, they changed their names back to my (and their former) surname. Soap operas and reality television of today really have nothing on the early days of Mormonism in Utah.

    Posted by: Jerry in Utah | Aug 4, 2012 10:59:44 AM

  19. Bandanna Jack you said in your response to trent, if you accept their history as current mormons write it, you would be justified in saying that. one presumes if you are sufficently socially conscious to be reading this blog, you know better than to accept history as written by the subjects of that history.
    I would say Bandana Jack the this would likewise apply to those who follow the religion of ATHEISM (HOMOSEXUALITY) most of what we read in this blog can not be believed.
    If one is applying a standard to another accusing them of being liars that standard should likewise be applied to the accuser religion which would be ATHEISM which is generally embraced by the HOMOSEXUAL community. No offense intended but I do believe you should be fair most especially when I know some if not most of the claims against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not well documented at all. Your faith will do whatever is essential to gain favor so that your cause maybe able to go forth uninterrupted until you reach your goal.

    Posted by: Fred E. | Aug 4, 2012 4:42:45 PM

  20. Fred E, I'm interested in your juxtaposition of atheism (a philosophy) with homosexuality (a gender identity/behavior). Some of the gay men and women I have known are atheists, but many are not. Don't you see that this is a put-down? The standards of a highly-structured, centralized church cannot apply fairly to a totally unstructured group like "the gay community"-- or vice versa. Implying that homosexuality is a religion seems more like name-calling than like discussion. Gays and Mormons will NEVER be able to dialog unless we begin by respecting each other. And we really MUST dialog. We have so much in common:
    1. We are both groups of societal outcasts with long histories of brutal persecution.
    2. We have both had long struggles to obtain equal rights in a supposedly modern society.
    3. We have both been the victims of official discrimination, based on our choice of life partners. In my youth it was legal to murder Mormons in Missouri, and to attack homosexuals nearly everywhere. We are natural allies, and should be helping each other, instead of fighting each other. Let's talk.

    Posted by: Poindexter | Aug 5, 2012 2:37:32 AM

  21. The basic problem I see in most of these discussions is that the Ex Mormon or Ex Christian or whatever is usually adamnent about proving that his or her previous religious affiliation is false, not because of some imperical proof, but rather because someone wasn't living upto the "standard". Occasionally, there are the ones who claim epiphany to the truth thru conversion to something else or a disgruntaling because the church could not or would not change its' position on an issue or doctrine that was pivitol for the said Ex member. After all they must be wrong if they do not agree with me. Right? We all believe our opinions are right or else we would change them. But we need to be a bit more tolerant of those who disagree. I am a Mormon. I follow the teachings of the Church as much as I can. I feel that God is going to be much more forgiving of the LGBT community than the people are. However, that doesn't mean that I believe that I can or should try to tear down the church because its stance is different than mine. I don't know all the reasons that God gave certain commandments at one time then changed then for a different place, people, or time (there are many examples: see Old Testament). But, I trust in His(Jesus) will and have faith that in the end He will make it right.

    Posted by: Daniel | Aug 5, 2012 7:08:00 AM

  22. Hi
    I am writing to you I hopes I can find a wife, solve my own feelings and the aids crises.
    Let me make this plain my child does not have a t-cell that I understand is necessary to get aids. We found that after he and my ex wife was tested for aids after a rape by a man 10 years ago. She was tested and had tested and then had the child my child because of what happened I had at that time wondered if he was mine. But in a paternity test he turned out to be indeed my child. So my child is immune from aids. My wife rid her self from the disorder by having oral sex with no contact with me, thinking that would help and I believe it did. Because I am a large breasted male. With hypo-glandular issues.
    So I am going to undergo testing if I can get the money to be tested. I AM a poor man. But the doctor is trying to arrange to have it paid for my Medicare. My doctor wants the best doctor to look at all of it.

    So I am asking for you help any way you can.

    I want to help but I refuse to give semen or have children any other way my by natural means. I feel society does not need a bunch of illegitimate children and people who feel unwanted by there parents. And who come to know that they were just made that way, and that would do no good at all.
    I will not even give blood at this time because of the way I have been treated.
    I need a wife. And I have been married 11times and divorced 11 times legally.
    I think the answer is it Make polygamy and polygyny legal.
    That is the only way I can help I am single and emotional I can do no more than try to make polygyny legal and polygamy legal.

    I hope you find time to read this letter and do some thing.

    I am single and looking for a wife. Please let your conscious be your guide.

    Thanks jay

    Home Phone # 435-789-5182 email

    Posted by: jay swett | Aug 7, 2012 11:34:01 PM

  23. Life is full of surprises. I like his gown - very stylish.

    Posted by: Richard B | Nov 28, 2014 8:56:29 PM

Post a comment


« «The Chick-Fil-A Gay Kiss-Ins Have Started - Will They Help? - PHOTO« «