Eileen Dover is not a person. He’s/She’s a culmination of my joy, rage, sadness, madness and creativity. I was born in 1976 but Dover was born in 1991. I was an out gay kid growing up in the mean streets of the famed Southie (South Boston) section of Boston.
When I was growing up in the 80s my neighborhood was ruled by the Irish mafia and filled with homophobia, racism and a loathing of anything or anyone different. Even the kids who fit in were bullied. I went to catholic school which was a persecution of sorts, prior to the unveiling of the scandals that the Catholic Church became notorious for. There was no internet, no safe spaces, no where to go if you were LGBTQ except for bars, clubs, and the streets with the young working boys and transgender prostitutes.
I was enamored of the queens. They were feminine and tough just like the women I so admired and looked up to, Bette Davis, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, and of course though not a women, one of the only people who looked outside how I felt inside, Boy George.
The street kids and queens taught me how to get into gay bars underage by dressing up, wearing wild make up and using a fake ID and Eileen Dover was born. The name came from a friend of a friend who’d died of AIDS and whose drag name was Eileen Dover. I didn’t want to be a woman I wanted to be an entertainer and I wanted to be an out gay man but bars were all we had so I went out every night and ended up getting a lot of attention from the trade that hung on the outskirts of the community.( Trade-a guy who identifies as straight but has sex with men for fun and especially adores drag queens. ) that was the definition back then.
After lots of looks and plenty of nights out, the clubs I frequented started paying me to show up, dress up, and act up! The rest is history!
I am a writer, a raconteur, a DJ, a performer, an Emcee, an actor and a visual artist. Im a master of working the doors at the most exclusive events! I’ve also been known to do make up for the right price! I’m currently working on a memoir about the loony life Ive been lucky to live! I’m available for bookings, Contact my management at (917) 475-6240
I was born in 1976 and named Michael. I have an Italian last name, not something accepted in Southie as it was militantly Irish neighborhood. I grew up in a loving and supportive home that just happened to be located in hell. My parents to this day are the most amazing people I know. From the age of one I was an anarchist, injuring myself while escaping my crib and refusing to sleep. By the age of 10 I’d already found the films of John Waters (and figured out how to steal them from the video store and watch them late at night while my folks were sleeping.) I learned about underground films on a tv show called The Movie Loft with host Dana Hersey. I came out at 13 and in 1989 South Boston, that was not done.
My parents did their best to understand me but I was not your typical gay boy. I was described as “in your face”. I ran away from home often and my parents spent many nights awake worrying about my whereabouts. I was grounded but once I came out of the closet nothing could keep me at home. I was always too ahead of the game. I was so stifled by the Catholic Church and by the bigotry in my neighborhood that I rebelled in every way. The only regret is that I rebelled against my folks who, to this day are my biggest supporters.
I got into the clubs and hob knobbed with the famous and the infamous. Drag got me in the door, a small price to pay? NO. Gay men deified me as a performer and shunned me on the dating scene. Everyone wanted to be near me but no one wanted to be with me, but the film was cast. I tried to compartmentalize but it’s hard to hide a thing like shaving ones eyebrows off or opening a gay magazine and being featured. Gay identified men didn’t often want a date and the straight identified ones just wanted to have some fun.
I decided that if fun was my lot in life, I was going to do it right! I had a touchy Feely High School Spanish teacher (I went to an all boys catholic school, he was more than touchy Feely but more on that later) who wrote fake permission slips for “school events” which were really trips to New York City. I found my home. I felt truly myself for the first time in my life when I was in The Big Apple!
See the Eileen Dover Timeline for more tee!