Well yes, La Poune was a lesbian!

Rose Ouellette, aka La Poune, was a lesbian! Many people learned about it on Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, through a press release about the show The giantess, who will soon pay tribute to him.

In this musical theater currently in production, the love story that Rose Ouellette experienced for 40 years in the greatest secrecy with Gertrude Bellerive will be brought to light.

First thought: what a nice splash! For months, we’ve been hearing about this show which will take place next July, in Joliette, before going on tour. And now in a video, we discover that this hidden love story will be one of the dimensions of this original creation.

Watch the video in question

Second thought: who allowed the designers to include this aspect of Rose Ouellette’s private life? We simply say that Kathleen Verdon, granddaughter of Rose Ouellette, “shared” a photo taken from her personal collection where we see the two lovers at the National Theater, temple of La Poune.

Is Kathleen Verdon, whom some knew during her career in municipal politics – she was part of Jean Doré’s executive committee – revealing a big secret? No way.

The artistic “circle” has been aware of this since the dawn of time. More recently, certain journalists and historians have surreptitiously mentioned the matter. In 2019, my colleague Hugo Dumas, speaking about the show In the footsteps of…wrote that Kathleen Verdon had confided to Yves P. Pelletier, host of the episode devoted to La Poune, that her famous grandmother had lived as a couple with Gertrude Bellerive.

At the microphone ofToday the story, broadcast on ICI Première, in 2021, Pierre Lavoie referred to this romantic relationship. At the same time, Robert Aird, historian and specialist in humor in Quebec, invited by the Lionel-Groulx Foundation, specified that Gertrude Bellerive was the spouse of Rose Ouellette.

The thing even appears at the bottom of the fantasist’s Wikipedia page.

Third thought: Would Rose Ouellette be happy to know that this “secret” is now revealed? Until her death in 1996, the queen of Quebec vaudeville skillfully dodged questions about the role this woman played in her life. However, they were inseparable. This is how Gertrude became Rose’s “secretary”.

However, everyone in his family knew it. Kathleen Verdon firmly believes that her grandmother, if she had been with us today, would speak more openly about her homosexuality. With the courage that characterized her, I also believe that Rose Ouellette would break this silence.

Gertrude Bellerive died in 1971. Her funeral took place at the Saint-Télesphore church in LaSalle. In the October 2 issue, on page 7, an article mentions this. It is written that “La Poune could not resist the ordeal of the funeral service for very long”.

After a few minutes, she left the church “hurriedly” to take refuge in a limousine in the company of two friends. That says a lot about his pain. In this article, Gertrude is referred to as Rose’s “great friend and secretary”.

How many people secretly loved those who were introduced as a “secretary”, a “cousin”, a “friend”, a “business partner” or a “housewife”?

Rose and Gertrude lived as a couple from the 1930s. Let’s say that at that time, in puritanical Quebec soaked in holy water, it was very difficult to display one’s true nature. Several generations of gays and lesbians have lived in a double-locked closet.

Things were not rosier in the 1950s and 1960s. Some people who have lived in secrecy look at our times with a certain amazement and take advantage of this openness. We saw it with the coming out late by Michel Louvain and Serge Laprade.

In fact, I have a thought for Gertrude Bellerive. Rose had her audience “who loved her and whom she loved” as she often said. She could live in the light. But Gertrude had to make do with the shadows on every level.

From now on, she will no longer be the “secretary” of the boss of National. More than 40 years after her death, she received the titles that belong to her, those of spouse, lover or blonde of Rose Ouellette.

The announcement contained in this press release surprised many people. What is surprising in the end?

I’ll tell you what surprises me most about the concept of this show. It’s knowing that Gabrielle Fontaine, alias Passe-Carreau, will swap her flirtatious nursery rhymes for the colorful banter of La Poune.

How will the one who sings “brush, brush, brush, I brush my teeth, those at the back, those at the front” tell the famous dog joke? : “I was holding my dog ​​tightly in my arms and there was a guy who wanted to act smart and said to me: “I would like that to be in the dog’s place.” I replied: “You’d be in a bad shape my guy, I’m going to get my tail cut off!” »

If only for that, I want to see this show!

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reference: www.lapresse.ca

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