August 8, 1991. That was a landmark day for drag and television. The Joan Rivers Show devoted the entire episode to the subjects and director of the groundbreaking documentary Paris is Burning. The show features Dorian Corey, Pepper Labieja, Willi Ninja and Freddie Pendavis. Freddie Pendavis is still with us (we think) but all of the “big five” house mothers and many of the stars featured in the film are gone, but as Next magazine said at the time:
“…their influence and contributions to the LGBTQ community continue with the young men who exude ‘realness’ on the runway and ‘vogue’ like there’s no tomorrow.”
Can I get an amen up in here, RPDR fans? Amen. Part 5 has a mock house ball, which was a TV first and a must-see. Know your drag herstory, children! Watch.