Dorian Corey

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Dorian Corey
Dorian Corey.jpg
Dorian Corey in Paris is Burning
Born Frederick Legg
c. 1937
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Died August 29, 1993 (aged 56)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Cause of death AIDS-related complications
Alma mater Parsons School of Design
Occupation Drag queen, fashion designer

Dorian Corey (circa 1937 – August 29, 1993), born Frederick Legg, was an American drag queen, performer and fashion designer. Corey appeared in Wigstock and was featured in Jennie Livingston's 1990 documentary about the ball culture of New York City, Paris Is Burning.

Beginning and early career[edit]

Corey was born Fredrick Legg in Buffalo, New York.[1][2] Corey was raised on a farm in Buffalo where she also began performing drag. In the 1950s, she worked as a window dresser in a Buffalo department store before moving to New York City to study art at Parsons The New School for Design.[3] In the 1960s, Corey toured as a snake dancer in the Pearl Box Revue, a cabaret drag act.[3][4] Corey was one of four performers who appeared on the 1972 Pearl Box Revue LP Call Me MISSter.[5][6]

Corey was also the founder of the voguing House of Corey. She held over fifty grand prizes from the voguing balls. She was also house mother to Angie Xtravaganza, who later became a mother of her own house (and was also in Paris Is Burning).[7]

Career in drag and design[edit]

Corey also ran and designed a clothing label called Corey Design.[8] At one point, Corey's act involved her wearing a 30-by-40-foot feather cape. Once she shed her costume down to her sequined body stocking, two attendants raised the cape up on poles to produce a feathered tent that covered half the audience.[4]

Death and aftermath[edit]

On August 29, 1993, Corey died of AIDS-related complications at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan at the age of 56.[8] After Corey's death, the mummified body of Robert Worley (aka Robert Wells) was found in Corey's belongings with a gunshot wound to the head.[9] Investigators determined the body had been dead for about 15 years. It is speculated that Worley was an abusive ex-boyfriend of Corey's, or that she killed him in self-defense during a potential burglary. [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Browning, Barbara (2013). Infectious Rhythm: Metaphors of Contagion and the Spread of African Culture. Routledge. p. 228. ISBN 1-136-05182-1. 
  2. ^ Smith, Tim (July 23, 2016). "Murder-mystery musical 'Dorian's Closet' begins to take shape". Baltimore Sun. baltimoresun.com. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Russell Kasindorf, Jeannie (May 2, 1994). "The Drag Queen Had a Mummy In Her Closet". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. 27 (18): 55. ISSN 0028-7369. 
  4. ^ a b Cunningham, Michael (May 1998). "The Slap of Love". Open City. 6. 
  5. ^ "Pearl Box Revue – Call Me MISSter". Discogs.org. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  6. ^ Doyle, JD (June 2017). "Pearl Box Revue". Queer Music Heritage. JD Doyle. Retrieved 2017-09-21. 
  7. ^ "A Gender Variance Who's Who: Dorian Corey (1937 – 1993) performer.". zagria.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  8. ^ a b "Dorian Corey Is Dead; A Drag Film Star, 56". New York Times. August 31, 1993. 
  9. ^ Conlon, Edward (1995). "The Drag Queen and the Mummy". Transition (65): 4–24. 
  10. ^ "A Gender Variance Who's Who: Dorian Corey (1937 – 1993) performer.". zagria.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 

External links[edit]