In sad news, the world lost a true icon in the drag community as Darcelle XV passed away at the age of 92. Known for being the world’s oldest working drag queen, Darcelle XV, whose out-of-drag name was Walter Cole, was a trailblazer and a legend in the drag world.
As an entertainer, Darcelle XV had a decades-long career and was still performing regularly at her own venue, Darcelle XV Showplace in Portland, Oregon. She held the Guinness World Record for being the oldest working drag queen at age 85 in 2016. Her passing is a significant loss to the drag community and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, as she was a prominent figure in the fight for acceptance and equality.
In addition to her work as a drag performer, Darcelle XV was also a leader and a source of inspiration for the LGBTQ+ community. Her venue was added to the state’s National Register of Historic Places in 2020, and state representative Earl Blumenauer recognized the important role Darcelle XV played in educating and influencing society with drag performance. Blumenauer emphasized in a statement that Darcelle XV and her club were instrumental in impacting a cultural shift in the acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights.
As the world mourns the loss of a true icon, we honor the legacy Darcelle XV leaves behind. Her contributions to the drag community and society at large will not be forgotten, and her name and legacy will continue to inspire future generations of drag performers and LGBTQ+ advocates.
Rest in peace, Darcelle XV. You will be dearly missed, but your legacy will live on through the countless lives you touched and influenced over the years.
Title suggestion: Remembering the Legacy of Darcelle XV, the World’s Oldest Working Drag Queen