Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Saturday Night Social: Remembering Lady Red Couture

Illustration for article titled Saturday Night Social: Remembering Lady Red Couture
Photo: Christopher Polk (Getty Images)

A mother, a mentor, and a friend to many, Lady Red Couture has died.

Lady Red was a pillar of Los Angeles’ trans and drag communities, hosting and producing shows like last year’s “Black Girl Magic.” She liked to describe herself as “a trans woman that lives as the largest drag queen in captivity” and the “largest live-singing drag queen in captivity.” Beyond the city she called home, she was perhaps best known for co-hosting YouTube talk show Hey Qween! with Johnny McGovern.

Advertisement

McGovern confirmed Lady Red’s death in an Instagram post on Saturday.

“I can’t believe I am writing this message, but the unthinkable has happened,” he writes. “We are in shock. We are devastated.”

Advertisement

Lady Red had been in intensive care since last Sunday due to complications related to cycling vomiting syndrome, a chronic health condition. All week, McGovern had been crowdfunding on social media to cover her hospital bills and support her during recovery. Now, he says, those funds will go towards helping her family with funeral arrangements.

“She meant so much to so many people,” McGovern’s post continues. “All I can do is cry and mourn the giant loss of my sister, creative partner, and best friend.”

Also known as Mother Couture, Lady Red took an active interest in mentoring younger queens, making them dresses, doing their makeup, and teaching them how to be in the world.

“I always tell them: Don’t live in muck and mire, because it’s unnecessary,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in June. “The devil is on his job, so why shouldn’t we be?”

Advertisement

Many well-known drag queens and trans women have begun mourning Lady Red’s passing on social media.

“Last week, I filmed a new Hey Qween! interview and Lady Red was out sick, so we talked to her like she was there,” tweeted Isis King, the actress and model who appeared on two cycles of America’s Next Top Model. “She was going to film her parts later on. Now, she’s gone.”

Advertisement

“Rest in peace, Lady Red,” King added, sharing a picture of the first time they met three years ago. “She will be truly missed by many.”

“If you knew her, you loved her,” tweeted Shangela of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame. “That was the joy that she carried within her beautiful soul. I’ll always remember your laugh, sister. And your hugs. Rest now, Lady Red.”

Advertisement

A singer with incredible range, Lady Red released her last album, #Stuntqueen, in 2018. Here she is performing her Adele parody off of that album, “Hello Grindr,” at Micky’s West Hollywood in 2016.

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

I’m feeling a little aimless. Without a goal or mission in life.

Not even just career-wise but something that would get me out of bed in the morning to say: yes! I get to spend time on this. Some passion.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? What is your yes?

Is there a subject, a passion, a hobby, a portion of your work (perhaps all of your work) that is a bae? A sine que non.

That keeps you going, gives you fire, pleasure and meaning.

I would love to hear your responses. Seeking some inspiration. Some stimulant for my own imagination or creativity that seems to be MIA, lately.

Thank you all! ♡♡♡