When Puerto Rican, transgender teenager Angie ran away from her violent home life, she never imagined that at just 18-years-old she would become the House Mother of the newly founded House of Xtravaganza, the only all-Latinx house of the time. Angie thrived in her new surroundings, finding family in her new house and brief fame in the 1990 documentary, Paris is Burning. The film, a testament to the impact of 1980’s Latinx and African-American ballroom culture, focused on the trials, tribulations and triumphs endured by the underground subculture that took its’ name from the European fashion scene. Angie continued to be a trailblazer in her own right, taking in homeless queer youth and introducing them to a level of authenticity that was unheard of at the time. Angie and the House of Xtravaganza continue to influence culture, fashion and performing arts spaces to this day, having inspired “The Slap of Love”, a story penned by Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Cunningham, Madonna’s “Vogue” and FX Network’s ongoing musical drama, Pose.
On March 31, 1993, Angie Xtravaganza succumbed to AIDS-related liver disease. She was 28-years-old.
Weeks after her death, The New York Times published a quote from her son, Hector Xtravaganza, saying “a mother is one who raises a child, not one who borns it” (1993). Though there are accessible interviews and insights from those close to her, little is known about Angie Xtravaganza’s life previous to her House Mother days. Despite this, it is still clear that Angie was absolutely……extravagant.
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