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Maxine Feldman
(1944 - August 17, 2007) U.S.A.

Maxine Feldman

Singer

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Maxine FeldmanMaxine Feldman was an out and proud butch lesbian performer in the pre-Stonewall era, when being openly gay usually meant a life of ostracism. In an April 2002 interview on the radio program Queer Music Heritage, which airs on Houston's KPFT 90.1, Feldman, who had come to Boston from her native New York City to attend Emerson College, recalled being thrown off the Boston coffeehouse circuit in 1963 "for being queer and bringing around the wrong people."

In the 1980s, Feldman ran the Oasis Coffeehouse on Boylston Street in Boston, which featured lesbian performers and provided a safe social space for lesbians. Thornton said Feldman retired from performing in the 1980s, when she developed lung disease. She lived in Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood for 18 years until around 1999, when she departed for Albuquerque, N.M., out of concern for her health. In her later years she was involved in rescuing and caring for greyhound racing dogs.

She recorded the first openly lesbian 45, "Angry Atthis," in 1972, which she wrote 3 years earlier. Maxine died of natural causes, said Helen Thornton, her partner of four years.

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