diumenge, d’octubre 28, 2018

Els Nois del Paresis Hall

Nova York, 1896. John Schuyler Moore, reporter del New York Times, rep de matinada la trucada del seu antic company d'estudis, l'alienista (psicòleg) Laszlo Kreizler, per a participar en la cacera d'un temible assassí. S'ha descobert el cadàver horriblement mutilat d'un noi, un noi amb robes de nena. Aquest jove era, evidentment, un prostitut del Paresis Hall, famós punt de trobada per als que aleshores eren descrits com "degenerats sexuals". Paresis Hall, estava al Bowery a la 5th Street, prop de Cooper Union, va ser inaugurat per James T. ('Biff') Ellison. Ellison (un mafiós afiliat als Gang de "Five Points" -Revisar Gangs of New York- i després a la Gopher Gang) i no va intentar dissimular que el seu establiment era un "fairy resort".

Nois de Paresis Hall, N.Y. (1893)

Els prostituts actuaven de la mateixa manera que les dones: recorre les taules seduint als homes i així obtindre una comissió sobre les begudes venudes. Actuaven de manera "efeminada", maquillant-se com a dones i cridant-se amb noms femenins ...

James T. ('Biff') Ellison c.1900

Segons declaracions de Joel S. Harris, investigador policial a l'època del Paresis (back2stonewall)

“I was with Mr. (John R. Wood, another investigator) last night at Paresis Hall, No 392 Bowery. I observed the actions of the persons congregated there. I saw and heard immoral actions and propositions by degenerates there. Captain Chapman came in about five minute to 1, as we stepped out. … We had been in the place about an hour or so; plenty of time for information to get from Paresis Hall to the stationhouse. Captain Chapman didn’t say anything to us, but I overheard him say to the proprietor … that he would not tand for any dancing on souvenir night, and he wanted it shut up. I have been in that place before, recently, three or four times, and I have on each occasion noticed the same conduct as I have just testified to. That is a well-known resort for male prostitutes; a place having a reputation far and wide, to the best of my knowledge. I have heard of it constantly. I have never had any trouble in going in. You go in off the street with perfect ease. These men that conduct themselves there — well, they act effeminately; most of them are painted and powdered; they are called Princess this and Lady So and So and the Duchess of Marlboro, and get up and sing as women, and dance; ape the female character; call each other sisters and take people out for immoral purposes. I have had these propositions made to me, and made repeatedly. There is not difficulty in getting into that place.“

George P. Hammond, Jr., també va testificar:

I know this place called Paresis Hall, and under your directions I have visited it a number fo times. I have been in the place since April 1st to the present time fully half a dozen times. I knew of it before, as an officer of the City Vigilance League. I am in the produce business. When this committee began its sessions I took a vacation on the produce business and came in to help you. The character of the place is such that what we call male degenerates frequent the place, and it is a nightly occurrence that they solicit men for immoral purposes. They have one woman who goes there they call a hermaphrodite. These male degenerates solicit men at the tables, and I believe they get a commission on all drinks that are purchased there; they get checks. I have observed five or six of these degenerates frequent that place, possibly more; the last we were there we saw a greater number than we did previously. Those five or six are always to be found there; almost invariably you will find them there .hey go from there across the street to a place called Little Bucks, opposite, and from there to Coney Island. I have never had any difficulty in getting in; not the least; I have been received with open arms. There are two ways of going in, one way up through the barroom, the other through a side entrance; any way at all that suits you can walk in … They have a piano there, and these fairies or male degenerates, as you call them, they sing some songs.
Nois del Paresis Hall, N.Y.

Les següents fotos són d'alguns dels joves que treballaven al Paresis Hall (també conegut com a Columbia Hall), un dels sis bordells d'homes que havia al Nova York de finals del segle XIX. Les fotografies són del 1890 al 1899 i, o be es van vendre o regalar als clients.

 Amos Jones 

 Arnold Doyle

 Billy Walsh

 Charley Ford

 Danny Moore 

 Francis 'The Horse' Kane

 George Horn

 Jimmy Smith

 Johny Gibson


 Nathaniel 'The Kid' Cullen


 Tim Kelly

 Tommy O'Rourke 

Willy 'the Bull' Pearson

Paresis Hall no només era un prostíbul, era un lloc on molts homes i joves de la classe obrera dels barris baixos es trobaven i on podrien celebrar reunions no supervisades, crear clubs socials informals i fins i tot patrocinar balls. Uns pocs homes del Paresis Hall van organitzar un club anomenat Cercle Hermafroditis, que llogava permanentment una habitació per sobre del bar. En aquella època, les lleis contra el transvestisme eren implacables, així com l'actitud social, anar-hi vestit de dona pels carrers era molt perillós. Paresis Hall els va donar un espai on podien reunir-se sense por, i emmagatzemar algunes de les seves coses personals en un lloc més privat.

Novament una novel·la, ara convertida en sèrie de televisió, treu a la llum part de la història de Nova York, història sense èpica, sense glòria, però molt important, és la història de la gent que ha forjat la ciutat, una ciutat amb uns orígens violents i foscos, i plens d'atractius.


1 comentari:

Enric H. March ha dit...

He vist la sèrie de televisió. Tot un descobriment!