Lepore, Amanda (with Thomas Flannery). “Doll Parts”, Regan Arts, 2017.
Living Her Life
Amanda Lepore is a legend. She is regarded as a working piece of art and for thirty years has been the queen of New York City nightlife. She is one of the most famous transsexuals of all time but we see that the road to where she is today was rocky and filled with bumps alone the way. She tells us that when she was young and transgender, she was used to being hated and all she really wanted to do was to exist. She freely admits that all she ever wanted to do was to be able to control herself and she “focused on not letting other people’s opinions have any effect on me whatsoever, and that’s how I’ve lived my life ever since.” In Hebrew, we say “Kol HaKavod” or all the honor to her and she has certainly succeeded.
Amanda Lepore opened the door for so many others and, in effect, she was one of the main people who is responsible for he trans revolution that we are now experiencing. But we also know it was very difficult and that is what she shares with us here.
I have never seen or met Amanda Lepore and to be honest, I always thought of her as some kind of freak but then I lived in Arkansas where everyone who is not like backwoods Arkansans is a freak. Reading this gives me a totally different look at her and I feel terribly guilty that I prejudged Lepore even after hearing others speak so highly of her.
I love having had the chance to sit down and have an intimate chat with Lepore here (even knowing that others were having the same chat did not bother me). I think that once we get to know someone, it is that much easier to like and respect him or her. We owe Lepore a great deal since she was there when others shied away from the spotlight. She certainly made it easier for others to follow her but she is a true original and I doubt we will see another like her. I am sure it is not easy to be famous for being a transsexual and Lepore tells us what it was like “back in the day”.
I love that Lepore has “a sense of divine certainty, humor, and charm” and her fan base is large and filled with celebrities. She is devoted to glamour and she shows it. Her best quality, it seems to me, is that she is so fascinating. She has managed to
establish herself as the most original and glamorous image in the transgender world; “a self-creation that governs her own splendid reality.” She is fearless flashy and outspoken.
Amanda Lepore has been at the cutting edge and is the cutting edge of culture. She began with the era of Club Kids and she has broken rules and remade her own.