Fashion icon, performance artist and transgender public figure Amanda Lepore will be the Celebrity Grand Marshal for the 2014 Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade. The 28th annual Pride Parade is scheduled for 10:00 am, Sunday, November 9th. The parade will travel Palm Canyon Dr from the Uptown Design District to the Pride Festival entrance in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.
Lepore was born Armand Lepore, and grew up in the Essex County community of Cedar Grove, New Jersey. “Ever since I can first remember, I knew I was a girl. I couldn’t understand why my parents were dressing me up in boys clothing. I thought they were insane,” wrote Lepore. In her early teens she began making costumes for a transgender friend in exchange for hormones. Already isolated from her peers, her parents soon withdrew her from public school and hired a private tutor, then took her to a psychologist who helped her obtain a hormone prescription to properly transition.
At the age of 17, and through a legal loophole, Lepore both married a bookstore owner and was granted sex reassignment surgery. Lepore underwent the surgery at the age of 19 in Yonkers, New York. Lepore later left her husband and relocated to New York City in 1989. In the early 1990s, as she established her career as a nightlife figure, Lepore spent her days working in a nail salon, as a dominatrix, and later as a cosmetics salesgirl for Patricia Field. After meeting David LaChapelle one evening while hosting at Bowery Bar, she began collaborating with him and ultimately achieved international acclaim as his muse.
Amanda Lepore who is proud to say, “ I have the world's most expensive body,” has been at the cutting edge of culture since the club kid era, breaking and re-making the rules for music, marketing, and gender. Her album, I…Amanda Lepore, is the culmination of her long reign as the queen of Gotham’s button pushing carnival, cementing her status as the most prevalent risk taking creative artist and good-time gal after dark.
The world’s most famous transsexual and an effervescent fixture on the New York scene will perform live on the US Bank stage at the Arenas Rd. Block Party, Saturday, November 8. The Block Party is a free, 21+ event.