Angie Xtravaganza (1964-1993) was a founding member and mother to NYC’s legendary ballroom house, The House of Xtravaganza.
Angie, a trans-woman from Puerto Rico, was 18 when the House of Xtravanganza was formed by Hector Valle in a bold move to make an all-Latino house in the almost exclusively black Harlem ball scene. Her leadership is credited to the fast rise of The House of Xtravaganza in 1983. It was Angie who decided, after making their splash as an all-Latino house, that the House of Xtravangaza should be racially inclusive. In 1987 she planned the houses 5th Xtravangaza Ball at the popular Latin Quarter - making it one of the first balls to be held in a nightclub and not the traditional social halls of Harlem. The following year, pulitzer prize winning author Michael Cunningham would write “The Slap of Love” about Angie after interviewing her and other House of Xtravaganza members for a novel he was researching. Angie was also prominently featured in the 1990 film, Paris is Burning, which made stars of these underground fixtures who had already taken the Harlem scene by storm years earlier.
In 1993, Angie died at the age of 28 due to AIDS related kidney disease. Three weeks after her death, the NYTimes Style Section printed a large picture of her with the headline, “Paris has Burned.” Jesse Green wrote of Angie in the article: “And as mother of the House of Xtravaganza, Angie had taken many rejected, wayward, even homeless children under her wing; she had fed them, observed their birthdays, taught them all about ‘walking the balls.’ Competing in categories like High-Fashion Eveningwear and Alexis vs. Krystle, Angie was legendary, a Queen among queens, achieving in fantasy what the world had denied her in reality.”