Rumi Missabu was born in Hollywood, took a bus to San Francisco, made a wrong turn, got lost and was too stubborn to ask for directions. The first place he lived in San Francisco was in a water tower with a lesbian poet.
He was an original member of the San Francisco hippie performance troupe, the Cockettes. The Cockettes were high-action, out front, out-of-the-closet entertainers, the satiric cutting edge of the first wave of the Gay Liberation. Rumi left the Cockettes after a year and a half, moved to New York and then returned to San Francisco. For 35 years, he never had a government ID, work record and a social security number. The closest form of identification he had was an expired San Francisco library card that said "Rumi." He was convinced the hippie days would never end. Everything had to be done on his own terms.
Cue the mystery and rumors. People thought he was in the gutter and then forgot he existed. His entire legacy was on the verge of being erased by his transient, underground life.
Episode One of the QueerCore Podcast is a crystal clear glimpse into the crazy, ex-Cockette’s kaleidoscope world. It is the perfect combination of glamour and magic and features the glitter and the gold. Get ready to get lost in Rumi’s wacky, outta this world life!
READ THE PODCAST INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT AT THE LGBTQ HISTORY PROJECT