In memory of the late drag legend, Portland has announced the “momentous decision” to rename O’Bryant Square to Darcelle XV Plaza. The move helps celebrate the LGBTQ+ history and culture which has had a large influence on the community.
Darcelle XV is the stage name of Walter Cole. Not only was he a long-time drag performer, and cabaret owner, but he also championed for LGBTQ+ rights and equality until his death of natural causes in March.
The 92-year-old held the record as the world’s oldest working drag performer from the Guinness Book of World Records since 2016, and continued to work the stage until his passing.
Darcelle XV was known for hosting the longest-running drag show on the west coast of the US at the famous Darcelle XV Showplace. In 2020, the venue was added to the Oregon National Register of Historic Places for its contributions to LGBTQ+ rights, further cementing its place in the state’s history.
When announcing the name change, Mayor Ted Wheeler explained that the action “signifies the progress we have made as a city in embracing diversity and embracing LGBTQ+ history”.
“May this plaza serve as a reminder of our shared journey towards inclusivity and acceptance,” Wheeler said.
An official renaming proclamation is set to take place on 13 July.
Additionally, the late drag performer became the first Oregonian to be named on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honour at New York City’s famed Stonewall Inn.Have you heard the news?! The Morgan McMichaels X Drag Society Box is officially out! Run to Dragsociety.com to avoid missing out on this fab curation!