If you are a fan of "Paris Is Burning" then I have some sad news. Paris Dupree has died.
Here's the scoop:
In New York’s drag ball world, Paris Dupree was considered a legend among legends. As the founding mother of the House of Dupree, she was an inimitable force, an iconic figure who mobilized young, urban gays to express themselves in ways that mainstreamAmerica could not quite understand. That is until the release of Jennie Livingston 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, which was named after one of Dupree’s grand balls. Details of Dupree’s death remain unconfirmed, but friends and fans began Tweeting “R.I.P. Paris Dupree” on August 15. She was living in New York City at the time of her passing.This is a sad day for the community.
“The ballroom runway ‘Grand Prize Competition’ in heaven got a bit thicker this week with the passing of Mother Paris Dupree,” says famed performer Karl Xtravaganza. “Her death signals the end of an era.” Dupree made her mark as one of the “big five” House mothers in New York’s ballroom scene. She founded the House of Dupree in the 1970’s alongside her fellow mothers Angie Xtravaganza, Dorian Corey, Avis Pendavis and Pepper LaBeijia. Originally established in Harlem, the drag balls were over-the-top and exuberant—a Wonderland of escapism where you can be anything you want, and anything goes. Dupree’s annual Paris Is Burning ball inspired Jennie Livingston’s documentary, which included footage from ballroom events and intimate interviews with drag mothers and their “children.” Dupree appears in one scene where she rips the wig off her head and yells “Butch, Queen!” to the judges. It’s a true lesson in fierceness that only a ballroom icon could teach.
Hat Tip to Rod 2.0