Legendary Portia LaBeija Passes

Last week, we talked a bit about Ballroom culture—an underground scene dating back over a century that thrives with far too little recognition. Tonight there will be a “Celebration of Life Honoring the Legendary Portia LaBeija 1955-2014.” This event will be held at the Top of the Standard Hotel, High Line (442 W 13th Street) beginning at 10pm. Guests are told to “Serve Iconic Lady P. – High Fashion, Haute Couture, Glamour, Pumps of Pumps, Couture Clutch’s, Bangles, Bangles, Bangles, Legendary Lady Looks, Colors, Hair Did, Snap that Fan, Labels, Runway, Tens Across the Board, Give Life of Party……and the Band Played On….Say It Again….La Da Dee La Dee Da!!”

DJ Steve Travolta will provide the sounds. There will be multiple performances, including Amanda LePore, Jessica Foxx, Patti Cake, Morgan Royale, Karen Covergirl, Gina Germaine, Lady Jasmin and many more. MC’s include John Ed, America’s Chelsea Malone, Icon Jack Mizrahi, Icon Junior LaBeija, and surprise guests.

Over the years, I was lucky enough to meet and speak to Lady P. She once played an “impractical” trick on me. I was the target of her little prank, but handled it with more class than I expected from myself. She had turned me out and exposed me—and I was never the same. Thank God. I would see her often and in the strangest of places with all sorts. She seemed comfortable wherever, whenever. News of her passing saddened me until I saw the accolades from friends and her extended family, which dwelled on her rich life. Tonight I will go to The Standard and tell my tale of her and I and listen to many others. Here’s to a life well lived—The Legendary Portia LaBeija!

I still can’t figure out how to clone myself, so I miss some events. This past Saturday #IDES 3rd installment took place at the Joria Theatre (260 W 36 Street.) My friend Victor Corona curated it. It was a mixed bag of performers, headlined by the fabulous DJ Lady Starlight. The reason I’m telling you this is that the joint was so packed and everyone had so much fun there is sure to be a 4th installment. Look for it. I will be at BPM tonight for Patrick McMullans St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza. I might drink a little “Jamo” if they have any on hand.

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