Sunday, August 31, 2014

CASSANDRA RIOS lesbian love

For Brazilian teen-agers who were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s it was really exciting to get hold of a book written by Cassandra Rios. Her stories told tales of lesbian young love, tranvestites, homosexuals on the loose and all those forbidden topics nobody talked about. Her books were passed from hand to hand in a surreptitiously way and one only talked about Cassandra's stories with his/her best friend. Sometimes not even a 'best friend' was enough to understand what it meant to be in love with someone of the same sex. 

I remember the first time I heard of Cassandra Rios. I must have been 16 years and met these girls who were in the Rita Pavone Fan Club, an Italian rock singer who was famous for being 'butch'. Most of these girls turned out to be lesbians and one in particular, called Claudete, who was a little older than the rest of us was the one who had Cassandra Rios's books... and she didn't mind lending them away. 

Sex was hard to come by in the 1950s... and reading about sex was even harder. I remember there was a book called 'Our sex life', written in 1939, by Austrian author Fritz Kahn that used to be avidly read by teens and young people. 

Cassandra Rios published her first book, 'A Volúpia do Pecado' (Voluptousness of Sin), in 1948, when she was only 16 years old. Her mother Damiana Rios put up the money for the book but Cassandra asked her never to read a single word she wrote. 

Cassandra whose real name was Odete Rios had a strong love for her mother and when Damiana was really ill at an ICU Cass made a promise if her mother got better she would become a celibate, which she did for a long time according to herself. 

Cassandra Rios being just charming.

published in 1948, 'A volupia do pecado' was Cassandra's 1st book.
'O gamo e a galeza' brought Cassandra Rio's photo in the back-cover.

Cassandra's 1950s sleeves were risquè. The alternative to Cassandra was Dr. Fritz Kahn's 'Our sex life'.

'Volúpia do pecado' (1948)
'Macária' (1952)
'Carne em delírio'
'A lua escondida' 
'O gamo e a gazela'
'A sarjeta' aka 'Irina' (1959)
'As vedetes'  
'Bruxo espanhol'

'Copacabana Posto 6'
'Muros altos' (1967)
'A madrasta'
'A noite tem mais luzes'
'Crime de honra'
'Uma mulher diferente'
'Um escorpião na balança'
'A serpente e a flor'

'O gigolô'
'O prazer de pecar'
'A borboleta branca'
'Tessa, a gata' (it became a movie in 1982)
'Nicoletta ninfeta'
'Breve história de Fabia'
'A paranoica' (turned into a movie by Nicole Puzzi)
'A tara'

'As traças'
'As mulheres de cabelos de metal'
'Entre o reino de Deus e o reino do Diabo' (1977 - never published)
'Eu sou uma lésbica' 
'MezzAmaro' (auto-biography 2000).

Cassandra Rios gave an in-depth interview for TPM magazine in July 2001. Unfortunately, maybe due to the interviewer's lack of sensibility Cassandra kept on the defensive most of the time and they have never gone too deep in any subject. Cassandra was notorious for evading the question: 'Are you a lesbian?' She never actually said she had ever been one. But she did say she was glad she had written all those stories especially when she saw São Paulo's 2001 Gay Pride Parade with more than 200,000 people marching down the streets. She felt proud in being homosexual even though she didn't actually say the L word.

Cassandra would die in 8 March 2002, a meaningful date for someone who fought so much for the rights of women, especially Lesbian women. 

Cassandra Rios dressed to kill...

Cassandra & a feline friend... 

No comments:

Post a Comment