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JoeGoats t1_jdjpcuz wrote

Rest in Peace. We took my Country Boy Father to Darcelle's in Portland for his 50th birthday many years ago. It was a fun time. Her legend will live on.


jupfold t1_jdk9qwj wrote

If only more people went to see drag queens perform. Most midwest conservative men would laugh their asses off and come around. Drag queens are some of the funniest bitches out there.


nocolon t1_jdkaejc wrote

This cannot be overstated. They’re all so fucking funny and quick witted. An absolute joy to be around.


bajesus t1_jdl8lui wrote

I haven't seen a lot of drag, but what I have felt like a descendant of vaudeville and burlesque.


oldfrenchwhore t1_jdm3xd9 wrote

That’s an excellent description. I haven’t been to a show in years as the bars I went to that had them here shut down years ago. So fun.


aLittleQueer t1_jdmvzol wrote

It absolutely is. Accurate assessment. Today's drag sometimes has a feel of cartoonishness, too, which follows the same larger-than-life theme of the other forms.


Nezgul t1_jdnmuy7 wrote

Yes! What you're describing is called camp. Hilariously extreme, over the top, and most importantly, self-aware! The humor comes from queens being outrageous and poking fun at themselves through their performance, because we're all in on the joke of camp's absurdity. It's some of my favorite drag and provides a nice contrast to some of the high fashion/glam drag that a lot of queens are excelling at.


DadBodybuilder t1_jdorn2d wrote

There’s a bar in town here that does several drag performances. They seem fun, not for me, but they’re out there having a good time.


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ObiFloppin t1_jdkmump wrote

This person is literally just trying to be as shitty as they possibly can be in the comments. If I were a mod this would be the ban hammer


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ObiFloppin t1_jdksyln wrote

You're comments have consisted of calling someone an it and then shitting on women for no apparent reason. That doesn't deserve a rebuttal. It just makes you a bad person.


tscy t1_jdkn12n wrote

Yo I’m pretty sure this is sarcasm so I wanted to let you know that you did a bad job


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tscy t1_jdkoocx wrote

Weird troll, you aren’t even offensive your just kinda like, sad


Direlion t1_jdjwak7 wrote

Wow that's nuts. Darcelle's Female Impersonators was a beloved Portland Landmark. I lived in the Pearl District and Chinatown border during my college years so it was always part of life there.


oxford_serpentine t1_jdjtc24 wrote

Rest well. That's going to be one lit funeral and or memorial. Biggest party of the year


Negative_Gravitas t1_jdjvr18 wrote

Saw her back in the 80s. Really fun show. So long, actual Portland trailblazer. You were great.


cinderparty t1_jdjzqc5 wrote

He came out in 1969. That took serious bravery.


rectanguloid666 t1_jdk2axr wrote

Damn I can’t even imagine what it must have been like at that time. Definitely courageous.


Schiffy94 t1_jdl1xnm wrote

Elton, before being out as gay, declared himself bi in a 1976 interview.

He basically had no career for like a decade.


ankylosaurus_tail t1_jdn1hz6 wrote

So did Lou Reed and David Bowie, and it didn't hurt them much.


Schiffy94 t1_jdn1ruf wrote

In fairness no one can explain David Bowie. Not even David Bowie.


Grizlyfrontbum t1_jdncw51 wrote

Lori Maddox and Sable Starr can. He allegedly took the former’s virginity when she was 14.


Schiffy94 t1_jdnf7px wrote

That's something she said in one interview, yet in another she claims the two of them snuck into his hotel room uninvited and initiated the encounter.

I'm no victim blamer but she seems to have willingly self-identified as the offender in one instance. At the very least, that's weird.


Grizlyfrontbum t1_jdnfq87 wrote

Well, it could come off as victim blaming. Certain celebrities get a pass it seems. If she was 14 she was incapable of consent. How could she be the offender at 14? Honest question. The truth is, certain people seem to get a pass, depending on which side of certain arguments they fall on. Which is the really weird thing.


Schiffy94 t1_jdngkmb wrote

There's a gray area if her account of him being tired is accurate. If an adult and a minor both appear to "consent", then it's statutory rape on the part of the adult hands down.

But what if the adult in the situation doesn't consent? What if the minor initiates against the adult's will? If he was in fact tired, or even not alert enough to consent, we tread into a territory where the age of reason matters more than the age of consent.

Hypothetically, what if a minor were to roofie and adult and have sex with them? Who's the offender there?


Grizlyfrontbum t1_jdnhnud wrote

Well we can guess that he was never alert with all the drugs, however I actually agree with you. I’m more calling out the ridiculous ways people try to make it ok in some instances and not others. I think that a 14 year old knows enough between right and wrong. So do most courts in regard to murder sentences when deciding to charge as an adult. Either they’re capable of knowing right from wrong or they’re not. The severity of the crime shouldn’t be the deciding factor on whether they are an adult or not. In your hypothetical scenario, I have had this same thought as well. I think that the current state of our system would place the blame on the adult, even when incapacitated. Which is ridiculous.

Her Account

Edited to include what I read. Doesn’t seem he was incapable of consent. Obviously there are multiple stories.


Schiffy94 t1_jdniv1s wrote

Nothing more fun than a he-said/she-said.

Or a... she-said and then she later said.


tydestra t1_jdlyw1h wrote

Saw friends, family and lovers die of Aids. We gay people lost an entire generation worth of people who should be seniors now during the 80s.

I'm glad they lived to see all the progress we have made even if it's hard now to see how that progress is constantly challenged


COMCredit t1_jdmwojr wrote

I'm reminded of this photo of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, which shows the absolutely stunning impact and loss that AIDS had on the community. It's absolutely heartbreaking to remember that many of those men had moved to San Francisco and found a new family after being rejected from their original communities, only to see most of their friends suffer and die in a matter of years.


tydestra t1_jdnqwmn wrote

I was 8 in 1990 and my mom's best friend is a gay dude who is like a father to me. He survived, but every other week I was hearing about him going to another funeral. I remember hearing people joke about it, assholes like Rush Limbaugh who mockingly read gay obituaries on his show.


yeatsbaby t1_jdm4ndm wrote

It’s so heartbreaking. Whenever I see an elderly gay couple, I always reflect on the amount of tragedy and loss they witnessed and endured.


cinderparty t1_jdmxagu wrote

Fuck Ronald Reagan. AIDS just needed money thrown at it to have saved so so so many lives. Once the money was there effective drugs were found pretty damn quick.


MillyBDilly t1_jdnj2b8 wrote

Ronald and every evangelical pile of garbage. Another of thousands of examples of how terrible religion is for humanity.


pastesale t1_jdjx4li wrote

Absolute legend and a true pioneer in Portland. Its been a local right of passage to watch her perform and she’s done so much for the LGBTQ+ community and youth. May she rest in glamorous peace.


Daahk t1_jdldl00 wrote

Genuine question coming from someone that's ignorant, had she declared that she would like to be called she? Or is that a drag queen thing in general?


RPDRNick t1_jdlgz9g wrote

Think of drag queens like characters portrayed by actors. You'd refer to Bart Simpson as he/him, but Bart's voice Nancy Cartwright as she/her.


GlowUpper t1_jdnnzj2 wrote

It's also important to note that there are exceptions to this rule (Joe Black for example uses he/him even while performing). But as a general guideline, this is correct.


pseudonympersona t1_jdlebvj wrote

Although there are trans drag queens (and kings!) for sure, general convention is to use she/her pronouns when referring to a queen's drag persona.


savorie t1_jdlzw2h wrote

RuPaul seems to go by he/him all the time, when in drag or not. I’ve never heard feminine pronouns applied to him in any context. I assume RuPaul’s a unique exception because he doesn’t have a separate character name?


MillyBDilly t1_jdnj9s5 wrote

He is an exception. In fact they have stated you can use either.


Projectrage t1_jdoq2z5 wrote

Cole was he/him when in person and she when in character.

Darcelle often said Marilyn Monroe was the ultimate drag queen because she was creating a female persona.


woofiegrrl t1_jdlnsjb wrote

The article establishes this pretty well. Walter Cole was a gay man who used male pronouns; Darcelle was a character he played who used female pronouns.


whatafuckinusername t1_jdrcrbo wrote

So why is everyone using exclusively female pronouns when it wasn’t just the drag queen who died but the man who portrayed her as well?


KingGatrie t1_jdled0r wrote

Generally you use she/her pronouns for feminine drag personas and he/him for masc personas. You are referring to the character they are acting out so pronouns don’t necessarily align with the persons gender expression.


Little-Guava666 t1_jdlwire wrote

It says in the article that while in drag as Darcelle preferred to be called she/her and while out preferred he. His name is Walter Cole, a US army vet at that!


Thriftyverse t1_jdngj3e wrote

In the article, It is mentioned that they preferred female pronouns when in drag and male pronouns when not in drag.


hangryhyax t1_jdlbqs8 wrote

I’ve lived here for a decade and never got to see her, but I also learned about her late. Now I’m sad I missed out on such a legend.

Cheers to her and all she has done!


ozagnaria t1_jdl868i wrote

Cole’s passing won’t be the end of Darcelle XV Showplace, which is the oldest operating drag club west of the Mississippi. His son, Walter, who goes by the nickname J.R., has worked at the nightclub for more than 30 years, and has long been trained to take over the business.

Cole was preceded in death by Neuhardt, who passed away in October 2017 at 82.

Cole is survived by his wife, Jeannette, his son and daughter, Walter Jr. and Maridee, along with two granddaughters, a great-granddaughter and a great-grandson.

Details on a public memorial are pending.


Clearly his children were traumatized by their father being a drag queen. /s

And gay relationships never last long with Cole and Roxy Neuhardt (1969–2017) being partnered almost 50 years - that is clearly a short term relationship. (No idea why he and Jeanette never divorced - not anyone's business but theirs and Roxy's.) But she obviously hated him. /s

This was in the 60's - if she thought he wasn't a good dad - she could have ruined him and kept him from having any relationship with his kids ever - much less grandkids and great grandkids.

Everyone's family is different. Doesn't mean one type of family is less than someone else's.


ironically-spiders t1_jdk1jc5 wrote

That is fucking amazing, good on 'em. That said, genuine question, the article says they used female pronouns on stage but male pronouns off stage. In the case of talking to them like this, in a news context of an individual, which pronoun would be appropriate? I mean, Darcelle is a she, but they are still a person outside of drag, and the entire person, drag and all, passed away. The article uses he, but I want to make sure that is the appropriate one. I don't want to use the wrong pronouns.


candaceelise t1_jdk5ouw wrote

Darcelle the character is a she. Walter who performs as Darcelle is a he. So when Walter is in character as Darcelle it’s she vs him in his normal every day life is a he.


jayzeeinthehouse t1_jdnk0i6 wrote

She for stage name and he for everything else.

Most of the Oregon queens don't do drag full time, so the female part of them is an on stage persona and they have lives outside of that, that are totally separate from the scene.

I know the media makes it seem like that isn't generally the case, but that community is as diverse as anything else out there, and the people in it may or may not view themselves as trans.

It's also insanely expensive and time consuming from what my queen friends tell me, so most people can't afford to do full time drag.


ironically-spiders t1_jdnljxt wrote

Oh I bet! Its not the same, but I do cosplay and that drains my bank account dry. And I assume they also take classes for various things, be in singing or whatever talent they show (I saw one that did hoops -- that is HARD). > I know the media makes it seem like that isn't generally the case, but that community is as diverse as anything else out there, and the people in it may or may not view themselves as trans.

I confess that originally I thought they were all trans. Then I saw a documentary about drag and was educated. It's a lot like any performance career -- anyone can do it and have that stage persona. First examples that come to mind are Dolly Parton or any of the members of Kiss. I think all these folks who are against drag politically or involving kids should go see a good drag show. Dita Von Teese has a great one, but I know there are a lot on a smaller, local scale. [unrelated: i just googled her to make sure I spelled her name correctly; she is 50! Damn, she looks like she's 30]

So when talking about his death, since we're talking about the entire person, not just the drag persona, he is the appropriate pronoun?


ontopofyourmom t1_jdortjb wrote

Any pronouns were fine with Walter - but Darcelle was definitely a she!


lighthandstoo t1_jdk0dq7 wrote

Thanks for touching my heart, honey. Your dressing room in VR was a trip, larger than life!!


reddittisfreedom t1_jdkns5n wrote

I'm so glad I met her, right before the pandemic shut the city down. She was about to celebrate her 90th birthday and she was so full of life, but you just knew it would all be ending soon. Truly a great citizen of Portland, and an even more impactful leader of the drag scene.


BurstEDO t1_jdkqfcf wrote

Imagine loving your work so much that you not only work past retirement age but also literally up to the day you pass away.

What a whimsical and magical legacy to leave...


hangryhyax t1_jdlc6ts wrote

The comment below yours in my feed is “May she sparkle forever.” and holy hell, it’s so beautiful to see not just appreciation, but true admiration!


thalia97224 t1_jdkve27 wrote

Portland Oregon legend, icon and all around cool person.


NeonWarcry t1_jdl4r83 wrote

It’s rare our elders live to see this long in the community. Rest in peace.


GibbysUSSA t1_jdmq9u9 wrote

That's what I was thinking. The life expectancy for drag queens seems so painfully short.


CaitlinNYC t1_jdn3frv wrote

As an utterly exhausted new mom I once emerged from a downtown NYC subway station into rain, baby strapped to my chest. A drag queen crossed a street to give me her umbrella. This glamorous queen had full makeup, perfect hair and a chic skirted suit. “But..!” “For the baby!” “But.. I.. Oh thank you!.. You are just fabulous!”

She deadpanned as she looked deeply into my eyes, “I know.”


dtucci t1_jdl5g62 wrote

Walter was one of the most generous, caring, funny fuckers ever.


brutalistsnowflake t1_jdk92fh wrote

May she rest in peace.


Dirtybrd t1_jdlcz67 wrote

That's a long life doing the thing you love. We should all be so lucky. Rest in power.


gaymesfranco t1_jdlxazm wrote

She’ll stay in my heart, performing Rhinestone Cowboy in silver assless chaps


dougfir1975 t1_jdl9n7l wrote

Rest in Boas and Glitz, you were a Portland treasure.


jayzeeinthehouse t1_jdni65h wrote

Between her death, and the Roxy closing, it has been an awful year for the Portland LGBT community, and I think we should all celebrate the heroes and trailblazers the city has lost because they did so much good for everyone that had no where else to turn back in the day.


PaleontologistClear4 t1_jdmuwqf wrote

RIP you big beautiful drag queen, the one time I went, she embarrassed me so bad and it kind of ruined the show for me, but looking back on it now it was funny.


Schiffy94 t1_jdl1s62 wrote

>and was regaling audiences until the very end

Ah fuck I just hope that wasn't literally.


warface363 t1_jdlex4t wrote

Dang, doing a dead drop at 92? Respect.


Background_Dream_920 t1_jdmo3wh wrote

Darcelles is a Portland institution. I’ve never met anyone that didn’t have a blast there. RIP. Sad day.


Boneal171 t1_jdnauo8 wrote

RIP Darcelle, what a legacy


HazardousKoala t1_jdlfy6r wrote

I got to see her a year or two ago! It was so fun!


fakeknees t1_jdll113 wrote

Long live this Portland, drag legend!


judyzzzzzzz t1_jdmzkjs wrote

I moved from Portland four years ago. I have so many memories of Darcelle's. Everytime I go back, things have changed. And now this.


AggressivePayment0 t1_jdntytv wrote

Most of the time I pay respects to people lost I admired by doing something that we did together, going somewhere were frequented, a more private introverted approach to grief, I don't like publicly grieving. This time though, I'm going to drive the few hours to attend the group public memorial, support the community full on. The loss to the drag community is profound, and they need our support and love more than ever. What an icon of joy and love, celebrating and comfort she was to so many, aside from being a stellar performer.


timpdx t1_jdnuxak wrote

Oh, wow! 90s Portland memories.


darlin133 t1_jdl7u0q wrote

Rest in beauty you divine flower.


Rogue42bdf t1_jdlhqq0 wrote

I worked an overnight security patrol in Portland. Every now and then driving past some clubs I would see some statuesque Amazons standing out on the sidewalk. Then I’d realize where I was and remember what was probably under those dresses. Good times.
R.I.P. to a Portland legend.


DaisukiYo t1_jdlmkng wrote

Chad Michaels is now the oldest working drag queen.


bg370 t1_jdkcfdl wrote

I never saw her but I saw Linda Simpson and Murray Hill a bunch of times in NYC in the 2000s at bingo. They were great together


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TehJohnny t1_jdkj9bk wrote



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ObiFloppin t1_jdk821t wrote

For calling everyone else ❄️, y'all get real bothered by some of the most simple things.


[deleted] t1_jdk8b31 wrote



ObiFloppin t1_jdk8nhl wrote

I'll let you in on a little secret; You don't have to get it, the AP doesn't form it's news coverage around your special sensibilities.


fight_your_friends t1_jdk8g9c wrote

If you're that interested you could just go find them yourself. If you're not interested in this, maybe you could try ignoring it.


[deleted] t1_jdk2rzf wrote



ObiFloppin t1_jdk3dfg wrote

There's plenty of comments here from people who care. Your personal level of interest doesn't determine if something is news or not. The world does not revolve around you and your tastes.


yhwhx t1_jdk5i2g wrote

You should maybe ask for the AP's manager.