LadyTiger Superstar: Dame Elizabeth Taylor

While secluded in mourning and picking out my funeral clothes, here are a few words from my icon, Michael K:

The bright shiny amethyst in the world’s eye is moonwalking with Michael Jackson and the angels up in heaven today. The Today Show just announced that legend of legends Dame Elizabeth Taylor died early this morning of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. La Liz was 79 years old. As soon as I scent my tears with White Diamonds and get my eyebrows mourn-ready, I’ll add more. Meanwhile, here’s the statement her son released after her passing:

“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

I can’t write my own statements and need to refer to the statements of others only because I’m wiping away tears of triple sadness. Elizabeth Taylor was a legend among legends and lady of epic proportions. Her devotion to AIDS awareness and the contributions she made to its overall fight are more legendary than her screen attributions (and that says a lot). For there would be no glamour if it weren’t for Elizabeth Taylor, one of the greats that captured the greatness that Old Hollywood once was.  She died today at the age of 79 surrounded by friends and family.

Testifying before Congress in 1986, Elizabeth Taylor helped pass the Ryan White Care Act, a piece of legislation that provides healthcare to low-income, uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS.  The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF), started in 1991, furthers those efforts by providing care as well as preventive education about reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. ETAF has no overhead and Taylor personally oversees the costs for raising and administrating the foundation’s funds. That is why this evening you will hear the wailing of 10,000 drag queens (including myself) as we mourn a loss as great as the great Aunt that many of us considered Taylor to be. For me, she was how I molded my own lady hood – with brass and boldness unseen in today’s modern actresses. None (in my respectful opinion) have the tenacity or warmth that Taylor emanates.  She was dear friend, if only by pretend, but through her pretending and performance she was able to inspire and save countless lives by turning her gift into a gift for all.

Farewell Lady Blue Eyes!

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