The city of Portland in Oregon has announced it will rename a downtown square after Darcelle XV, the legendary drag performer who died this year.
Walter C Cole, better known as the iconic drag queen Darcelle XV who performed for decades, died of natural causes in March this year. She was 92 years old.
Darcelle was crowned the world’s oldest working drag performer in 2016 by the Guinness Book of World Records and had regaled audiences until the very end of her life.
On Friday morning (7 July), Portland’s officials announced that the city’s O’Bryant Square in Downtown Portland will soon be named Darcelle XV Plaza in commemoration of the late entertainer.
“By renaming O’Bryant Square to Darcelle XV Plaza, we are embracing and celebrating the indelible contributions of Darcelle XV to our city’s LGBTQ+ community,” city commissioner Dan Ryan said in a statement.
He added that the renaming showed Portland’s dedication to becoming a more inclusive and diverse place for all residents.
According to mayor Ted Wheeler, the name also reflects the progress the city has made in embracing its LGBT+ population.
“May this plaza serve as a reminder of our shared journey towards inclusivity and acceptance,” he said.
All community members have been invited to attend a renaming proclamation at 2pm on 13 July that will be held at Portland City Hall’s council chambers.
As a performer, Darcelle was known for hosting the longest-running drag show on the US West Coast.
Off stage, she championed LGBT+ rights and charitable work in the Portland community.
Many Twitter users reacted positively to the news of O’Bryant Square’s renaming.
“Thank you Portland! Freedom means you’re able to be you,” wrote one person.
“I spent many a drunken and high day/night in Paranoid Park, but I’m glad it’s getting a revamp and being named for a legend. Well deserved!” said another.
“This is wonderful news, hopefully the plaza can be rebuilt to best reflect Darcelle,” said another tweet.
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