In my opinion, Amanda Lepore is much under appreciated. I'm sure at some point you've heard of her, or at least of seen her photo on the interwebs or a magazine. I have long adored her, even as a young gayling, I remember seeing her, and I assumed she was just a drag queen. She is also one of the reasons I wanted to do drag. She made me realize just how much I loved woman's fashion and all the glamour. Anyone involved in fashion, the club scene, or music has probably seen or met Amanda. When I found out she was actually a transsexual, if blew my mind. I didn't even know it was possible. What I respect the most, is that she never once hid the fact she was a transsexual, but flaunted it in a time when there was not much known about the process or even talk of trans people. That's ballsy you ask me. Yet I feel she is over looked for being a trailblazer and a hero. And she had it tough. She grew up in New Jersey to a chemical engineer father, and a mother who was a housewife but suffered from severe schizophrenia, and who spent most of her time in mental institutions. Ever since she could remember she felt like a girl, and thought her parents were crazy dressing her like a boy. I her early teens she beginning making costumes for a transgender friend in exchange for female hormones. She parents ended up withdrawing her from school and getting her a private tutor, and then to a psychologist, who helped her obtain a prescription to begin female hormone therapy. When things soured with her parents, she eventually met and married a male bookshop owner, who again wasn't the best influence, but her father in law saw to it that she got a reassignment surgery at 19, and then left her husband to head to New York.
It's wasn't easy for her there at first either. She tried to establish herself as a nighttime figure, including being a member of New York City's Club kids, she supported herself by working in a nail salon, and a part time dominatrix, and later a cosmetics girl at the infamous, but now defuncted Patricia Fields. After meeting some time later photographer David LaChapelle, at the Bowery Bar one night, everything changed and she became a muse for him on several projects. You could say her career took off. Clubs noticed, and soon she was getting paid and still does, to just show up.
I think she is amazing. While her appearance may be very extreme and exaggerated to some, and her glamour over the top, and no one can work a pair of pasties on their ta's ta's like her, one must have respect for her. Not only did she brave and buck back against society with being trans, she supported herself and made a name for herself. I think she is actually a good business woman you ask me. Oh sure, she gets paid to show up just like Kim Kardashian to things, but the difference is Amanda has talent. Her modeling work is incredible, she can work a room and a runway like no one's business, and she has a entertaining cabaret act where she sings and does simple burlesque. She's been a muse not only for LaChapelle, but several times for Cazwell, and lately for Suki Waterhouse. I also have to respect her for keeping her roots. She started in the club scene with Ru and Gaga when they were all club kids. But unlike the prior two, Amanda, just like James St James, Richie Rich, Lady Bunny Kyle Farmery and Linda Simpson, she kept, and still in deep to the club scene, which I think is cool. She has had songs, cosmetics endorsements, and a photo book deal called Doll Parts. Hell, I wish I got paid just to show up at clubs!!!!
And on top of all that, she is a real sweet heart. I have met her three times, twice at Susanne Bartsche events and once right here in New Hope for her cabaret show. She is not stand off at all and will talk with anyone, and I must say she also has some of the most eye-popping day looks I've seen.
Amanda Lepore should not be discounted....she is a brave soul and to me, she is just pure magic. Here is her latest gig getting steamy with Suki Waterhouse, and also one of my favorite Amanda camp videos.
And is she not lucky to be all over the hot and hunky Steven Delher???