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Lady Red Couture
Photography Harry James Hanson

Drag figurehead and Hey Qween host Lady Red Couture has died

Tributes from the drag community have been pouring in

Lady Red Couture, a staple of the Los Angeles trans and drag communities has passed away. Best known for co-hosting the YouTube talk show Hey Qween! with Johnny McGovern, Lady Red had been suffering with a chronic condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome.

Announcing the news over the weekend, McGovern wrote, “It doesn't feel real but the beautiful light that was Lady Red is gone. I love you baby. I will miss you every day.

Beloved by so many in the drag and entertainment communities, tributes for Lady Red have been pouring in. Drag Race alum including Shangela, Detox, Katya, Delta Work, Kameron Michaels, Manila Luzon, and Adore Delano all paid their respects. Jackie Beat wrote, “This is just heartbreaking. Such a funny, sweet soul. Why is it always the sweet ones? It’s almost as if they have evolved & are done here... REST IN POWER, LADY.”

Lady Red, or Mother Couture as she was often known, described herself as the “largest live-singing drag queen in captivity.” As well as her performance career, she also helped to mentor and mother many younger queens, making them dresses, beating their faces and offering advice. “I always tell them: Don’t live in muck and mire, because it’s unnecessary. The devil is on his job, so why shouldn’t we be?” she said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar last month.

In one of Lady Red's last video messages on Instagram, she called on everyone to stand together against discrimination and hate. “Out of everything that I am, I am you. I am a part of this system of Americana. I am the grandson of a person who came out of slavery,” she said.

“I am a Black, American trans woman who is making a difference in this world and all I'm asking is that you love me like I love you. I shouldn't be afraid to go to the store after a certain time because I'm Black. I shouldn't be afraid and neither should you.”

“My call is to everyone because the only way you can make black is to combine all the colours of the rainbow.”

Rest in peace Lady Red.