So it turns out hosting a wet jockeys contest doesn't make you bad at your job. Ray Fetcho, the South Florida nurse and erstwhile drag queen who was fired from his job earlier this month, has been given his scrubs back.
Fetcho, who we blogged about before, used to moonlight as a crimson-coiffed drag queen named Tiny Tina in the '70s and '80s. One night in 1976, he was arrested and convicted for lewd behavior after hosting a wet jockeys contest at Dania Beach's Copa Club.
The Divine-esque Fetcho paid a small fine, and worked as a nurse without trouble for the next several decades at South Florida retirement homes, a showbiz refugee who only sporadically donned his old red wig.
But last month, the Agency for Health Care Administration, which polices and licenses registered nurses, randomly discovered the conviction and ordered his employer to fire him or risk losing its own license.
No matter that more dangerous nurses with recent convictions were still licensed by the state, Fetcho, 61, found himself unemployed. "I had been thinking of going part-time in May," he told Riptide then. "But now I can't. I'm your typical gay person who lives check to check. I don't have any savings."
LGBTQ crowd was up in arms about the dismissal. "It's infuriating that he's been suspended for throwing water on boys' jockeys," Norm Kent, an attorney and the publisher of South Florida Gay News, said then.
Their lobbying was successful, because, last week the Florida Department of Health overturned AHCA's decision and told Retcho he could return to work. South Florida Gay News has their statement: "It has been determined you have demonstrated clear and convincing evidence you will not present a danger if employed within the health-care field."
Fetcho plans to return to work at a Coconut Creek retirement home in April, he told SFGN. But never one to miss an opportunity to dress up, South Florida gays are having a benefit in his honor at Ft. Lauderdale's gay Carabba's, The Manor Restaurant & Lounge on April 13.
In an event surely decades in the making, Fetcho will return Tiny Tina for just one night to host a wet jockeys contest.