In the contemporary film that highlights modern, ballroom culture, Octavia openly shares her battle with drugs, escorting and fighting the demons of her life. Some of the houses embodied principals usually associated with the Black American celebration known as Kwanzaa (maintaining unity in the family, solving problems together, collective work and responsibility, doing as much as possible to leave the community more beautiful and beneficial, etc.).

As many people in the world yearn for the same feeling and opportunity, Octavia so happen to be one who joined a house to fill the family void and walked ballroom categories for the adoration and sense of acceptance.

Yesterday, for the first time since 2008, I listened to Octavia’s interview with Tom Blumenthal. She died on May 17, 2009 in Queens, New York City. At the time, ISIS KING, known as ISIS TSUNAMI in the ballroom community, was making her mark on the 2008 season of America’s Next Top Model. But the reality is Monica was an inspirtation to thousands of kids. Unfortunately, Octavia's death probably won't make mainstream news. She allowed her life to represent the existence of human nature; the ability to be recognized beyond race, class, gender or sexuality. As a result, legendary Mother, Crystal Labeija, started the House Of Labeija in 1977, opening the door for young, gifted, Black performers to inhabit their drag and trans personas, and have a chance to sparkle in the spotlight. The film is a multi-leveled exploration of a subculture in African American and Latino cultures that proves to be an underappreciated and arguably underground world that many Americans were unfamiliar with. “Paris Is Burning” was a landmark 1990 American documentary film directed by Livingston. Gays have rights, lesbians have rights, men have rights, women have rights, even animals have rights. White glamour was imitating gay Harlem, imitating white glamour.

Though she came to be known to most through Paris is Burning as Octavia St. Laurent. Critics of the film were legion, chiding Livingston’s lack of knowledge, and therefore treatment of, the ball community. Birthday: May 1, 1970 Date of Death: May 17, 2009 Age at Death: 39 ( Log Out /  Such a loss regardless. They are the ones who received the trophies, cash and accolades for their on stage performances. I’m no damn woman, don’t wanna be no woman. The pooled resources and strength in numbers created a supportive family of like-minded gay men, and for many, this was an attractive alternative to life alone, or on the streets. Thanks for the shout out.Octavia will definitely be missed. [4], St. Laurent was diagnosed as HIV+, and would later serve as an educator to spread awareness about the disease. Octavia walked balls to feel celebrated. But since money does, I hope that the way I look puts money in my pocket. BRANDED: Xem VanAdams & David Bridgeforth, My Boyfriend Is The Bait: Poppa & Redd Balenciaga – Beneath The Surface, ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star, Laverne Cox Bounces To Beyonce Before Delivering A Moving Speech About Transgender Struggles, Amiyah Scott’s 8-Part Interview With Ceasar Will Of BRTB TV + Debut Of “TRIANGLE” Web Series, You Will Not Add My Light Skin To Your Collection Of Pink Faces, All Eyez On Me — The Amateur Biopic of Tupac Shakur, FULL 30-MINUTE VIDEO – “Love, Dating & Relationships Between Men”: the iphone group chat live (Washington, DC), VIDEOS: Xem VanAdams Guests On Two Episodes Of ADTV With Derrick L. Briggs, The iPhone Group Chat Live: Washington DC, The “Jocelyn” Runway Performance That Brings The Entire Crowd To Their Feet. She moved in with her mother while receiving treatment and started a one-woman show at Spirits gay bar in Syracuse, NY, which she described as a quiet place for respite. Michael Steele & Gay Marriage Financial Drain, New York Racial Divide on Same-Sex Marriage, Another LGBT Victory - This Time in Florida, Former Army Sec. I don’t pay attention to human beings, it’s God I think about.”, Octavia St. Laurent lost her battle with cancer, exacerbated by AIDS, on May 17, 2009. Octavia said that growing up, her parents were a… '"[4], Octavia experienced police harassment and was arrested on several occasions for wearing gender-nonconforming clothing in public. [9] Her final interview can be found here. The Heavenly Angel Octavia St. Laurentpoem, "Paradise"by Octavia St. Laurent, featured in the documentary How Do I Lookvideo by Wolfgang Busch “When you are true to yourself, people look at you in a different way. St. Laurent, using the name Heavenly Angel Octavia St. Laurent Manolo Blahnik, committed to appear in Wolfgang Busch’s 2003 documentary, “How Do I Look.” In it, she openly shares her battle with drugs, her struggle with AIDS, the perils of sex work, and fighting the demons of her life. She passed away six months later on May 17, 2009. St. Laurent was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 16, 1964. During my time away from the video camera or blogging, Octavia was someone who helped me identify with what my purpose had become. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. St. Laurent appeared often to be at odds with the career she wanted and seemed destined for. Octavia began her reign when she was born on March 16, 1964.

In her youth, Octavia identified as a trans woman, but had a very different view on her gender and when asked if she was a man, she would proudly claim "ABSOLUTELY" which quickly shut up her hecklers, and often stunned many in the trans community. Octavia died after a long battle with cancer on May 17, 2009.

They were accustomed to that since I was a child.

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