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29

FRIDAY

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Billy Tipton could keep a secret better than any best friend. Tipton was a pianist, a singer, an entertainer, and a woman. But only two of Tipton’s five common-law wives ever knew it. (That had something to do with her proficiency with a strap-on.) Born Dorothy Tipton in Kansas City, Tipton lived as a man for 55 years, and not until her death in 1989 was her secret revealed. Even then people didn’t believe it; when Tipton’s longtime bass player Kenny Richards was asked if he had believed she was a he, Richards replied, “Still do.” Tipton could be as raunchy as any guy and often peppered her stage patter with crude jokes that alluded to her secret identity. Join Diane Wood Middlebrook, who wrote the bestselling and much lauded Anne Sexton: A Biography, as she talks about her new biography, Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton, at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Christopher Porter)