Stefany Anne Golberg mourns the death of the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas:
Liberace was the highest-paid performer of his day. This made him, in one sense, bigger than Elvis, bigger than the Beatles (and ergo bigger than Jesus). For every person who was ashamed of him, thousands more fell to his charms. Liberace’s art was the show, and he gave us everything he had.
The costumes, the glitz, the fancy cars, the rhinestone-encrusted pianos they were instruments in Liberace’s orchestra. “I’m a one-man Disneyland,” Liberace once said proudly. Liberace didn’t just put on a concert; he was ringmaster in a theater of fairytales. And with each show, he captured why it is we like fairytales so much: At the center of the stories are ordinary people, trying to believe in something a little extraordinary, a little bigger than themselves.
And everyone who loved him and worshiped him at the time were absolutely sure he was straight.
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