Queer culture in Baltimore, as well as the rest of the country, would be nothing without Divine. John Waters’ muse was responsible for a generation’s refusal to conform to societal norms.
So it’s about time the drag icon get the recognition she deserves from her hometown. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore has given her support for a proposed monument in honor of the original Edna Turnblad.
“The mayor thinks that the idea sounds divine and looks forward to seeing more details on the proposal,” said Rawlings-Blake’s spokesman, Howard Libit.
Local artists plan to erect the piece on the same street corner where the finale of Waters’ Pink Flamingos was filmed. Storeowner Michal Makarovich proposed the eight-foot monument, which is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $100,000. It is described as follows:
“The proposed marble and concrete monument, roughly eight feet tall and three feet wide, would consist of an arch perched atop two classically Baltimore marble steps. A photo of Divine in full drag-queen makeup would stare out from the space under the arch, with a small bronze representation of the doggie doo he scooped up and ate at the end of Pink Flamingos resting on the top step. Waters’ reminiscence on the days he and his cast and crew were shooting the infamous scene — ‘It was a magic day in our happy young lives’ — would be inscribed under Divine’s photo.”
If the Kickstarter goal is met, Makarovich hopes the monument will be ready to unveil before Baltimore’s annual arts festival, Artscape, in mid-July.