Gay identity and stereotypes
I agree with Robertson that a gay identity is created in "Priscilla" by contrasting the three main characters with stereotypical portrayals of women, immigrants, and natives. The woman in the hotel bar is dirty looking and very butch and it is implied that she works hard for a living in contrast to Bernadette who looks very cultured and clean and the epitome of upper-class womanhood. The contrast is shown really well in the shot of the woman's hand on Bernadette's with the dirty, short nails on the woman's dirty looking hands and Bernadette's long manicured fingernails on her perfectly clean and soft hands. But then Bernadette's reply to the woman shows the teeth hidden behind the pretty lips and sets out some of the flexibility in the gay image being portrayed, gays can be perfect women if they so choose but they can also be tough.
The immigrant woman's act with the ping-pong balls and her overly-sexual behavior contrasts with the act that the queens put on involving lots of clothing and more idealized womanhood. Their response to the immigrant woman's trick with the ping-pong balls also suggests that they are capable of acknowledging not only when they have met their match but also when their femininity is surpassed. The seeming naivety and acceptance of their act as just a show seems to point out the experience that the men have had with the world and how negative it is. The natives cheer more loudly than any of the other crowds and one joins in and in the end another adds a digerido to the music. It is a sharp contrast to the ridicule they get in some of the towns and seems to symbolize the blind acceptance of nature and the harsh reality of city life.