House of LaBeija

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The House of LaBeija is a prominent drag family founded by Crystal LaBeija and Lottie LaBeija in 1972.[1] Crystal and Lottie established the House of LaBeija in response to racial prejudice in the New York ballroom scene.[2] Their first event was called "Crystal & Lottie LaBeija presents the first annual House of Labeija Ball at Up the Downstairs Case on West 115th Street & 5th Avenue in Harlem, NY."[1] This is thought to be the birth of house culture as it is known today.[3] Houses serve as alternative families, primarily for gay, gender nonconforming and transgender youth and others who feel ostracized from conventional support systems.[4]

House mothers and fathers[edit]

Like other drag families, the House of LaBeija is structured like a family, with a house “mother” and “father” who oversee and direct the group.

House Mother Tenure Note
Crystal LaBeija 1972 - 1982 Founding House Mother
Pepper LaBeija 1982 - 2003 Performed against Avis Pendavis and Dorian Corey at "Legends Statements and Stars Part 1: Mother vs Mother"[5]
Kia LaBeija 2017 - present[6]
House Father Tenure Note
Tommie LaBeija 1986 - ?[5]
Freddie LaBeija Powell ? - present[7]

Notable members[edit]

Name Tenure Note
Junior LaBeija ? - ? Emceed "Paris Is Burning Ball" and "Avis Pendavis Presents: Autumn in the Fall," both in 1984[5]
Andre Ovanhess LaBeija Revlon Dec 1988 - 1992[5] Founded the House of Mizrahi with Heidi Allure in 1992
Gerald Dupree LaBeija Attended "Legends, Statements, and Stars Part 2: Club Red Zone in 1990[5]
Portia LaBeija McQueen "Peppa LaBeija, Portia LaBeija McQueen and John Moschino McQueen Ball" held in 2000[5]
Derek LaBeija Appeared on "The Star and Buc Wild Radio Show" in 2005 to promote "How Do I Look?" film/documentary[5]
Linda LaBeija ? - present Poet, performer, and activist[7]
Justin "Monster" LaBeija ? - present Kiki scene icon[7]

Past events[edit]

Event Name Date Note
Peppa LaBeija and the House of LaBeija Presents: "The Royal House of Sunshine Balls"[5] 1989
Tommie Presents: "The House of LaBeija Ball"[5] 1990
Tommie LaBeija Presents: "The Labeija Ball Honoring Peppa LaBeija[5] 1998


  1. ^ a b Lawrence, Tim (2011). Listen, and You Will Hear all the Houses that Walked There Before: A History of Drag Balls, Houses and the Culture of Voguing. London: Soul Jazz. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018.
  2. ^ Iovannone, Jeffry J. (Jun 29, 2018). "Crystal LaBeija: Legendary House Mother". Medium. Archived from the original on Jun 30, 2018. Retrieved Jan 12, 2019.
  3. ^ Street, Mikelle (August 19, 2016). "The Iconic Drag Queen Behind Frank Ocean's 'Endless'". VICE. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Jones Chanel, Isla (March 26, 2015). "A GIF Guide to Voguing (+ Short History)". Standard Culture. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j BURRUS, KEVIN OMNI (April 30, 2015). "Harlem Ballroom Historic Timeline". Archived from the original on December 27, 2018.
  6. ^ Graham, Annabel (January 18, 2018). "The Underside of Glamour: An Interview of Kia LaBeija". Autre Magazine. Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Silva, Horacio (December 12, 2018). "Kia LaBeija Is Remodeling One of Ballroom's Legendary Houses For the Future". W Magazine. Archived from the original on December 12, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2019.