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Donnie Corker, better known as Dirtwoman, (born December 7, 1951) is a transvestite living in Richmond, Virginia known for involvement in Richmond politics, arts, music, and food banks. Corker additionally sold "Dirt-grams" during the holidays where he would personally deliver messages and greetings. Also well known as the human floral arrangement of the annual Hamaganza holiday rock n roll charity benefit show that for 20 years (1994) has paired Dirtwoman with a revolving cast of Richmond politicians, luminaries and journalists.
Corker grew up in the Oregon Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. He was formerly a streetwalker and became locally known for his participation in Richmond food bank fund raisers such as Ham-a-Ganza. Style Weekly noted that Corker was also known for minor controversies such as supposedly gate crashing the inauguration of then Mayor Douglas Wilder as well as "going to the bathroom in the back of a police car", from which incident his name stems. Corker claimed that he had a press pass that he'd obtained from a WANT station manager, but was still escorted off of the property and arrested.
In May 2008, Corker announced his intentions to run for the office of mayor in Richmond. In an interview with Richmond.com, Corker described his reasons for running as "I think we need a change here in Richmond" and stated that he would like to improve city schools and reduce spending. However, Corker was eventually unable to collect the necessary amount of signatures to be included on the ballot and was taken out of the race.
Felony conviction and voting rights
Corker has had a previous felony conviction due to a sexual encounter in a public park, from which he lost the right to vote. Shortly after Tim Kaine took office, Corker petitioned Kaine for clemency and the restoration of his right to vote, which was granted after the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth found that he had no repeat offenses or DUI convictions in the time since his felony conviction.
Elliot in the Morning
Dirtwoman and his family (mother and sister) have been frequent callers on the Elliot in the Morning show for several years. He has appeared as a special guest at station events. He often talks about his love life, political views, and his numerous health issues. The show aired a tribute to his mother, Mae Corker, when she died in 2005.
- "DIRTWOMAN \ IN STAID RICHMOND, THERE'S SURPRISING POPULARITY FOR A CROSS-DRESSING "INSTITUTION"". Virginian-Pilot. December 6, 1993. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Forget the Ham, Dirtwoman Sells Holiday "Dirt-Grams"". Style Weekly. January 1, 1980. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Dirt Woman fact and fiction". Style Weekly. January 1, 1980. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Meet The Candidates". Richmond.com. May 13, 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "As Donnie Corker's friends produce a documentary of his strange and sordid life, Richmond's legendary drag queen looks back on three decades of infamy.". Style Weekly. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Marschak, Beth. Lorch, Alex. Lesbian and Gay Richmond (Images of America: Virginia). Arcadia Publishing, 2008, p 81.
- "Mayoral Politicking is a Drag". Governing. October 16, 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Enough Mudslinging, Dirtwoman for Mayor". Style Weekly. October 10, 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "'Dirtwoman' plans to run for mayor of Richmond". Richmond Times Dispatch. April 30, 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Mayor Dirtwoman? Nah". Style Weekly. April 30, 2008.