Hector Xtravazanga, the cofounder and grandfather of the House of Xtravaganza and an HIV advocate, has died, according to a December 30 post on the house’s Facebook page. He was 60.
An iconic presence in the New York house and ball scene, Xtravaganza was a 2018 POZ 100 honoree. The year’s list celebrated people living with HIV who are 50 and older and making a difference in the fight against HIV.
His POZ 100 profile noted that Xtravaganza “spent much of his life educating LGBT people of color about HIV and AIDS through the house and ball scene in New York City. He has mentored and counseled generations of queer young people in the art of voguing and how to negotiate safer sex. Hector has participated in GMHC’s House of Latex Ball since its inception in 1990; the event raises HIV awareness and is the largest of its kind. He also regularly volunteers for GMHC and other community-based organizations.”
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I am deeply saddened to read the news about the death of the magnificent @grandfatherhectorxtravaganza. He was immensely supportive of @gmhc’s work with the House and Ball community, including the annual Latex Ball. He was @lunalens’ gay father as well. They were recently featured in the @nychealthy campaign, “Listo!” for Latinx gay and bisexual men. I loved him very much. He would refer to me as his “work” wife and I would refer to him as my “work” husband. ????
Xtravaganza consulted on Ryan Murphy’s 2018 hit series Pose, about New York’s ball scene in the 1980s.
According to Vulture.com, Xtravaganza helped found the House of Xtravaganza in 1982. He later legally adopted the house’s name as his own surname.
RIP Hector Xtravaganza ???? pic.twitter.com/o5xUux4JBi— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) December 30, 2018
The House of Xtravaganza’s Facebook page announcing his passing read: “It is with profound sadness the House of Xtravaganza family announce the passing of our beloved Grandfather Hector. He was a friend to everyone he met, a source of inspiration for all who knew him, and a cornerstone of our House family. Arrangements for a celebration of Hector’s life will be shared in the coming days.”
The cause of death has not been released to the public.
The world lost a bright light today. Rest In Peace, Grandfather Hector Xtravaganza. pic.twitter.com/V0IQ1ItBCT— Our Lady J (@ourladyj) December 31, 2018
Since word of his death spread, memorials and condolences have popped up on social media, such as the ones included here (of special note is the video of Xtravaganza in the tweet above).
For a complete list of the 2018 POZ 100, click here.