Miss King

Posted by Censor Librorum on Mar 29, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

Born in 1936 in Washington, D.C., into an old Virginia family, Florence King comes by her eccentricity honestly. Her mother, Louise, began smoking at the age of eight, and dropped out of high school to become a telephone operator and indulge her passion for softball. Her father, an English expatriate, was the trombone player in a jazz band and a quiet, bookish man. Living with them was her maternal grandmother, the ultimate in Southern Ladyhood, who tried to mold Florence into femininity.

In college, King slept with both men and woman, including a male professor. She joined a sorority and was thrown out when she confessed her lesbianism. While attending graduate school at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, she fell in love with a young woman who was later killed in a car accident. Soon after she began her career in writing, beginning with for true romance magazines and Cosmopolitan. She later moved on to a series of books that merrily skewered their subjects. Miss King was also rumoured to have written porn under a man’s name.

Refusing to be pigeonholed, King describes herself as a “conservative lesbian feminist.” Her grandmother did manage to teach her some manners, however, for she says, “No matter which sex I went to bed with, I never smoked on the street.”

King’s last decades were spent at the National Review, where her majestic “Misanthrope’s Corner” merrily peppered everyone, including fellow conservatives. “Any hope that America would finally grow up vanished with the rise of fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalism, with its born-again regression, its pink-and-gold concept of heaven, its literal-mindness, its rambunctious good cheer…its anti-intellectualism…its puerile hymns…and its faith healing…are made to order for King King America.”

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