Then came the news of Layleen’s death, in a four-sentence report by the New York Post, Cruz explains. Sign up for “THE CITY Scoop,” our daily newsletter where we send you stories like this first thing in the morning. Layleen introduced her to sushi and showed her how to get estrogen and what surgeons to check out when she began her transition. José Gutiérrez XtravaganzaCurrent Father of the House, Family Since 1986. “Rejection is my power,” explains Hector, who was young and poor, out and proud, black and Puerto Rican. They helped me develop the confidence to start my transition and become who I am today. These days, there’s more acceptance and laws to protect us, but when we first started, we didn’t have anything. “Ultimately our organizing demand is to free all the people currently incarcerated, and we see moving money to people’s books as a way of helping people survive state violence,” says Guyot. Although it now has over 100 members all over the world, with chapters in Paris, Mexico, and even Russia, the strength of its familial support is stronger than ever. Carl Lentz’s alleged girlfriend is speaking out. Our girl is gone.”. Madonna’s hit “Vogue” also came out in 1990 and introduced voguing to millions around the planet. COVID Took My Grandfather. And she helped other young transgender women on their way. The Birth of an Extraordinary Modern Progressive Movement, Pharrell Finally Drops His Skincare Routine. I had left my parents’ home a few years before to live life on my own. Please consider joining us as a member today. Melania Brown notes that Christina, Layleen’s other “daughter,” has taken Layleen’s death particularly hard. “No jail, no investigation, no reform, no protective custody, no apology from the city is going to make jails or prisons safe for black trans women,” says Dicken. Alana is a member as well, though Christina is … It’s Time to Tell Your Family You Aren’t Coming Home for the Holidays. Did she suffer? It was the house that everyone wanted to be in. With COVID-19 cases higher than ever in the United States, we can’t afford the risk. The ballroom subculture was developed by people who found themselves excluded from the straight, white American Dream. Civilian Complaint Review Board seeks public comment on proposed push to probe cops accused of sexually offensive or abusive behavior, after police-union pushback derailed efforts. © 2020 Condé Nast. After learning of Layleen’s death, the group decided to support trans women in city jails specifically with a new fund in her name. As they try to heal themselves in the wake of her sudden death, some of Layleen’s family wear her ashes in pendants on necklaces—Brown’s two daughters, Layleen’s two best friends, and her mother wear charms in the shape of a turtle, like the ones she would bring home. But Brown is also working to live a life that honors Layleen. Melania Brown (center) and Layleen’s supporters at the official New York City Pride parade. Did she cry out for us?”, “She was my secret bank,” says Brown (right) of Layleen (left). We just love and nurture them. “The death of Layleen Polanco was a tragedy, and her family, friends and all New Yorkers deserve answers,” says Peter Thorne, the DOC’s Deputy Commissioner for Public Information. In 2019, after 50 years of excellence, Kia LaBeija is the mother of the house. “She was turned away from every door she tried to walk in,” says Brown. “She saw so much potential in me,’” said Ramos, 28. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our tips page for other ways to share. She died back at the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island two weeks later while in a Restrictive Housing Unit, which is a form of punitive segregation. Consistent with the tradition of New York's gay ball scene, in 1982 Angie took the House name as her surname. We don’t pick them. Angie was a founding member and the Mother of the House of Xtravaganza. Polanco, 27, was a daughter of the house but also house mother to Alana Ramos, whom she met in Greenwich Village when the two were both teenagers. Chula/Exclusiva XtravaganzaFamily Since 1997. The task force came as a part of a package of legislation around the experience of TGNCNB people in New York City jails that was being discussed more than a month before Layleen’s death. Now They’re Hoping Indoor Dining’s Return Will Finally Boost Business, ‘My Community Saved My Life’: Bystander Paralyzed in Brooklyn Shooting Speaks Out, Immigrant Corona Residents Lean on Relief Organizations — and Each Other, The Complaint Files NYPD Unions Don’t Want You to See, Here Are Their Names: Remembering the New Yorkers Lost to COVID-19, Sign up for the It’s a current family portrait of the legendary House of Xtravaganza, founded in 1982 as part of the city’s then-underground ballroom scene. People would always tell me, “Watch Paris is Burning,” but I never did, so I’d be like, “I didn’t know that city burned.” I was a hot mess before I came into the house and they made me feel like I finally belonged somewhere. She remembers the death of Lorena Escalera Xtravaganza, who was suffocated then set ablaze in 2012. THE CITY sat down with members of the Xtravaganza family in house mother … You have to walk your fair share of balls, get your name out there in the scene, and put in the work to be appointed a position. Murphy also did it right: Hector and José are consultants on the project, and both (along with other members of the house and the larger ballroom community) appear on the show. Over the years, I have won the grand prize at the Pepper LaBeija Ball, grand prize at the House of Revlon Ball, and grand prize at the House of Latex Ball. I am extremely proud of my kids, grandkids, brothers, and sisters that are a major part of it. That grounded me. She hadn’t eaten; she couldn’t stop crying. The House of Xtravaganza is in mourning. newsletter, These Restaurants Applied to Open During the Pandemic. Layleen Cubilette-Polanco Xtravaganza and her siblings would still cuddle up together in their mother’s bed when they were all home in Yonkers. “I remember I would walk into Danni’s apartment and see nine or ten sleeping bags on the floor, someone cooking, and someone else running off to work,” Jose Xtravaganza, onetime Madonna choreographer and current father of the house, says of those early years. “I knew my family would be with me till the end. Our house values loyalty and extravagance! The Cut spoke to a few members of the house about being a part of this legendary family. “They were so full of artistic expression and fire. I’ve developed close bonds with members and the advice I have received has impacted my life forever. Alexia Garcia XtravaganzaFamily Since 2007. As Layleen grew older, those animals became people, like Christina and Alana. A month later, in New York, Brown, those who loved Layleen, and some who did not know her at all are trying to ensure her life—and death—are remembered. I’ve worked with Baz Luhrmann, Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman, and now Ryan Murphy.
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