Sweetie, (Daniel Booth) one of the true greats of New York City’s drag scene died yesterday. For the past three years she had been bravely fighting a battle with cancer that she finally lost. Her friends have been paying tribute. Here are a few remembrances from those who knew and loved her…
“With the passing of my beautiful Sweetie, I wanted to wait a day to write my little tribute because.. well.. it’s not easy for me to see my peers passing on. You feel vulnerable and a little apprehensive about the future and what is coming…
Sweetie fought cancer and she carried on and did her thing.. never letting it get the best of her and change her… we hadn’t seen each other for years because of work and distance.. I haven’t seen so many of my queen sisters and daughters.. always working and traveling.
I don’t remember exactly the day I met Sweetie, I do know it was at The Boy Bar and I know I was introduced to her by Matthew Kasten (Daddy) and I do know I loved her the moment I met her….she was fun,kind and down to earth and whewwwwww baby she was talented..never had to tell Sweetie one thing about how to perform.. not once, she was a pro from day one..always in a good mood always helpful and giving and always a sweet heart…she was one of the queens I could watch over and over and never get tired of it..every thing she did was spot on and perfection…a great example of how being kind and loving will always get you further then being a nasty shady cunt..sigh!!!
Thank you my Sweetie for all the years of joy and thank you for being a great role model and example to all of us…carry on bitch now you’re with the stars in the sky.” –Raven Oh
“Sweetie was an old-school drag legend whose dedication and craft helped pave the way for the current drag boom. She gave everything onstage, and lit up a room with her pride, focus, and delivery.
I am so glad she lived to appear at the Highline Ballroom event her dear friend Daniel Nardicio organized for her in January, one where her friends (including myself) showed up to shine for her and cheer her on. Everyone performed their guts out for this legend, and Sweetie capped it off with a glorious speech about forgiving herself, embracing life, and being filled with gratitude. She added immeasurably to the scene we live in.” –Michael Musto
“Sweetie and I met when she was brand-new, and I was the first promoter to hire her to perform. We remained friends ever since, and I always found her amazing. She never let her hefty size get in the way. In fact, she presented herself as a voluptuous diva. Her personality was sincere and uplifting, but she also had a riotously cynical and filthy sense of humor. Most of all, she was very loyal, and the outpouring of grief over her death is proof of what a huge impact she made on so many people’s lives.
She was one hell of a broad and I’m going to miss her.” –Linda Simpson
( L photo: Michael Wakefield, R photo: Aaron Cobbett)
“Sweetie’s name was so wonderfully ironic…. if only because underneath the wit and intelligence, the urbane sarcasm and big-city sharpness, there was indeed all that sweetness! Every time I ran into Sweetie at shows, charity events, or just walking around town, she would always give me a huge hug and greet me as if we’d just had lunch at “21”…like girls!…with hats on!
One of the many vivid things about Sweetie was the fact that she was actually pretty! Totally unafraid to give her comedy every ounce of her mind and energy, she was animated and committed to every thought and in every minute onstage! She never “phoned it in”! But when she was listening to someone perform or just conversing with you as a friend at a table during a break, her face would come to rest in its unmistakable beauty.
She was unafraid of being a “curvy-girl” and gave the women in her audience permission and the encouragement to be “curvy-girls” too….. Sweetie came before Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer…. but of course, “drag” performers are used to being “ahead of their time”… whatever.
My prayers and warmest wishes are with all of Sweetie’s friends and loved ones for peace and comfort, light and love. The grief and pain we feel for the loss of a loved one is in direct measure to the joy and love we felt. It’s the terrible/wonderful price we pay for feeling so much, and so deeply. Cherish every moment!… be present and mindful to every moment! The sparkle in a loved one’s eyes and smile and laughter…. it’s all borrowed. Everything is only borrowed…. Look at Sweetie’s beautiful face…and Daniel’s underneath it. Bless both of them on their journey.” –Sybil Bruncheon
Once downstairs from my office at Hollywood Diner, Sweetie and I were talking about plans for “the end” and I looked down and realized, after her living with this disease for two years by that point, what that meant. I started crying, and said to her:
“I don’t really know how I’m gonna go on without my best friend”
And she just replied:
“Don’t. I know I have the easy job. I just have to die.”
Thats when I decided to throw her birthday party which many of you came to, a lot performed at, and it MADE HER SO HAPPY.
I’m obviously bereft, but I feel lucky that we made it much longer than we had originally thought, and so thankful she found love in her life the last two years, and managed to bury the hatchett and make piece with people she needed to.
Last night, Sweetie texted me at 10:47pm:
“How’s my sweet D BOY? Everything cool?”
I answered I had started dating a fella, and she responded:
“So happy you have a new date mate. I’m broke but I’m really happy.”
It made me happy to hear she was happy.
Today I woke up to the news. We’ve all been there. There’s nothing I can’t say that hasn’t been said a thousand times.”–Daniel Nardicio
(“…but you CAN have a chance to speak, if you’d like this Sunday, April 2 at Pangea in NYC from 2-4PM, when Sweetie would have been there. We can invoke her spirit, raise a glass, and tell tales. Or just hug. I’ll be there if you want to come by. If not, I’ll hug myself!” –Daniel Nardicio)