The Paris Is Burning movie came out as I was early into my own transition. One of the people I was captivated by and resolved to meet one day was Octavia St. Laurent.
The closest I've come to making that happen was when the funeral for Amanda Milan happened in 2000 and at the last minute I couldn't get the time off to go.
I wish I had. She gave a moving and fiery eulogy for Amanda that day on which she said, "Gays have rights, lesbians have rights, men have rights, women have rights, even animals have rights. "How many of us have to die before the community recognizes that we are not expendable?"
Sadly, that's not going to happen.
I just received the word that Octavia St. Laurent passed away May 17. Still trying to get the who, what, when, where, why and how details, and will pass them on to you as I find out.
In the interim, check out this video from Paris Is Burning.
Rest In Peace sis.