Tributes pour in for beloved drag queen Nashom Wooden after death from coronavirus

A sales boy, a DJ, a drag legend: Mona Foot perfroms onstage during Wigstock 2018 at Pier 17. (Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

A beloved staple in downtown bars dotting New York City, often squeezing his muscle into Wonder Woman get-ups, drag queen and performer Nashom Wooden has died of coronavirus complications, friends claim.

Wooden, whose alter-ego Mona Foot drew swathes of cocktail-sipping New Yorkers every night, died of COVID-19, loved ones of the star said on social media Monday night.

Since 1989, the Brooklyn-born queen has been a recognisable sight in the city.

With “I’m Every Woman” blasting from the speaker system, Wooden would heave himself onto the stage in glamorous, tight-fitting dresses and always bring the house down.

Dressed habitually in the gold, shimmering Wonder Woman get-up of the 70s television show, fingernails manicured and smile wide, countless drag icons and club owners came together to mourn Wooden.

‘Her reputation will stand forever.’

“I lost my best friend today from the coronavirus, Nashom Wooden,” Project Runway designer Geoffrey Mac said through tears in a video posted on Instagram.

“I just want to make sure everyone out there stays healthy and takes care of each other because the virus is really real.

“I’m just so sorry.”

Club king Mario Diaz also paid tribute to the legend by recounting their time together in the queer nightlife scene on Facebook.

“A beautiful gorgeous creature, an amazing artist and a friend for 25+ years,” Diaz wrote.

“When I think of you I will always see that beautiful smile.

“When I think of you I will always remember the powerhouse that was Mona Foot!”

Fellow queen Thorgy Thor remembered Wooden proudly for his work in redefining what drag was: “Her reputation will stand forever,” she wrote in an Instagram post paired with a 1996 cover of gay lifestyle magazine HX.

Countless pay tribute to drag legend Nashom Wooden. 

Dozens of Drag Race alumni, New York activist groups and nightlife regulars came together, too, to pay tribute to Wooden whose work as a drag queen of colour broke barriers for queens to come.

Who was Nashom Wooden?

Wooden’s biography is one of serving drinks in a downtown dive bar, working with RuPaul and a lot of glittery gowns.

Serving as a stalwart of downtown drag culture, Wooden earned his paycheques working as a sales boy for Charivari and later working for Pat Field, the eponymous boutique of Sex & the City stylist Patricia Field.

A sales boy, a DJ, a drag legend: Mona Foot perfroms onstage during Wigstock 2018 at Pier 17. (Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

A sales boy, a DJ, a drag legend: Mona Foot perfroms onstage during Wigstock 2018 at Pier 17. (Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

Wooden first zipped his drag on at Boy Bar, the St Mark’s Place hub for queer nightlife.

He later did an off-Broadway show, My Pet Homo, with queen of drag RuPaul.

Speaking to PAPER, Wooden explained his iconic performance: “I really became intoxicated once I did Wonder Woman at Union Square Park.

I could see the power of it. No one saw that coming. To be not only a superhero, to be Black and a man. I didn’t realise at the time I was feminine. 

“The message was so powerful, performing ‘I’m Every Woman’ as Wonder Woman.”

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