House of Xtravaganza

I love theatre. I create theater. I love watching theatre. I also love television as well. I have not ever been, however, one of those theatrical sorts that hold Oscar viewing parties. Not my interest. Not even my interest even though I was a seat filler one year and lucky enough to go… but I digress.

I do like Oscar moments. Revel in them, in fact. My heart swells with joy and happiness, totally absent of envy, find Ruth Carter and her win for Black Panther.

Ruth. Slay.

Production designer for the same film. All of the happiness in the world for Hannah Beachler as well. Maybe I’ll win the honor of a peek of that bible sometime.

Both of these amazing artists one accolades that are well overdue. But I do want to point out a moment yes in the 2019 Oscars, whose inspiration and creativity has not been articulated, even though the wearer acts in a fictionalized representation of his world.

Billy Porter. Slay, the sequel. And all of you trolls worrying about masculinity and race, one way tickets are available.

I don’t want to take anything away from Mr. Porter. Looked amazing, created something that was flexible and duty appropriate… killed the runway. There’s a really lovely article from the Hollywood reporter on the impetus of this look…

“Siriano says when Porter came to him looking for a ball gown, the only dictate was that it be amazing during their fitting.
‘So in the room, we were kind of like, “OK, let’s play with this idea that it can masculine and feminine. This is our version of a tuxedo because he’s wearing a kind of tuxedo jacket over a gown” Siriano says. “It’s like, ‘What is menswear? What is women’s?’ People should be able to wear whatever they want.”

Boucher, Vincent. “Behind the Scenes: Getting Ready with Billy Porter for the 2019 Oscars.” The Hollywood Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Feb. 2019,

While this look was truly inspirational and came from two amazingly creative minds, I think there needs to be space made in this narrative for a third…

Hector Xtravaganza. Slay, the prequel.

Hector Xtravaganza and The House of Xtravaganza

From left, David DePino Xtravaganza, Mother Angie Xtravaganza, Danni Xtravaganza and Jose Disla Xtravaganza in 1988. Credit Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Leaving this world a few short months ago, he was house father from 1993 to 2003 and icon of the House of Xtravaganza, AIDS advocate, and advisor of the television series Pose. Say his name and make him a part of this conversation on the representation of gender.

From left, Coko Xtravaganza, Hector Xtravaganza, Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza, Gisele Xtravaganza, Jose Disla Xtravaganza and Karl Xtravaganza in 2018. Credit Stefan Ruiz, via Aperture Foundation
For more information about the House of Extravaganza, please visit this amazing article The Extravagant Life of Hector Xtravaganza … watch Paris Is Burning

… and take a peek at the network series Pose on FX.

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