Main | Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Florida Nurse Fired Over Decades Old Nightclub Drag Act

A nurse in Florida has been fired and told he can no longer work in his profession because his employers discovered that he was busted for "promoting a lewd performance." That horrific act? Working as the drag queen emcee of a wet jockey shorts contest 34 years ago.

From South Florida Gay News:
For the past 15 years, Ray Fetcho has been an acclaimed and honored employee at Victoria Villa, an assisted living facility in Davie, recognized for his “compassionate service to the elderly.” On March 31, 1976, Fetcho, performing as ‘Tiny Tina’ at the Copa in Dania Beach, was charged and convicted of promoting ‘lewd and lascivious’ behavior by throwing small buckets of water on boys’ briefs while hosting the irreverent ‘Wet Jockey Shorts’ contest. Last month, that dated conviction from his past became a nightmare. Last week, Ray Fetcho was summarily fired from the job he has loved and cherished. A state licensing agency, the Agency for Health Care Administration, doing a routine screening inspection of nursing home employees, told him he would be ineligible to remain on the job at his facility “because of the lewd act conviction” from thirty plus years ago. During the 1970’s and 80’s, the Copa was the most renowned and preeminent gay bar in South Florida. It was an international destination for tourists and a ‘coming out’ venue for anyone local, gay, and seeking an all night dance club.
I attended Tiny Tina's wet jockey shorts contest at Fort Lauderdale's Copa many, many times over the years. As I recall, it was always on a Tuesday night and was pretty much THE thing to do if you got restless at home in the middle of the week. And it was always hilarious. Ray Fletcho has retained famed civil rights attorney Norm Kent to appeal this ridiculous case.

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