Five fascinating facts about transgender ‘Club Kid’ icon Amanda Lepore

Model, singer, and performance artist Amanda Lepore, 56, is a true trans icon, best known for being one of the Club Kids – a group of young New York City dance club personalities in the 90s.

Lepore became a New Yorker after leaving her first husband and deciding it would be easier to attend her transition-related appointments in the city if she lived there.

She was a dominatrix and later became a dancer and a host for the promoter Michael Alig in the 1990s, joining the legendary Club Kids, who were famous in NYC for their flamboyant behaviour and outrageous costumes.

After meeting photographer David LaChappelle while she hosted at the Bowery Bar, she began collaborating with him as a subject and model. Lepore later appeared in French Playboy, Ponytail, DAMn, and Tush magazines.

Lepore has also appeared in music videos for Elton John, Thalia, The Dandy Warhols, Girl in a Coma, Grace Jones, and many more. She has also released five EPs and two studio albums.

Here are some other fascinating facts about Amanda Lepore.

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Amanda Lepore realised she was trans at a young age

At 10 she saw a program on television about gender reassignment surgery and announced to her parents that she wanted a sex change.

Aged just 15, Lepore befriended a transgender dancer named Bambi, and began sewing costumes – namely “sparkly G-strings and bikini tops” for Bambi in exchange for female hormones. Lepore’s supportive mother mother bought her Revlon lipstick and a padded bra.

She got married aged just 17

Lepore married a bookstore owner at the age of 17. He was ten years older than her. When they were dating, Lepore told the man about wanting to transition and found support from his family.

She needed her mother’s consent for gender affirmation surgery but her mother would not grant the permission until Lepore turned 21. However, by getting married, Lepore was considered an emancipated minor and able to undergo gender affirming surgery at the age of 19.

Lepore moved in with her husband and his family, but her husband wouldn’t allow her to work or leave the house; she says he was “ashamed of her being trans.

Lepore later left her husband, who she said in her autobiography had become “controlling and jealous” and moved to Manhattan, New York City in 1989. When she arrived in New York, she found a job as a dominatrix at an S&M club called The Key.

Amanda Lepore was erased from Travis Scott’s album cover

Also in 2018, rapper Travis Scott faced accusations of transphobia after Lepore appeared to have been edited out of his new album cover.

When the musician released the cover art for his album “Astroworld,” shot by David LaChapelle, it featured Scott’s head in a theme park surrounded by models.

Trans icon Lepore had featured in a previous version of the cover shared by LaChapelle, but she was nowhere to be seen in the version posted by the rapper.

When she became aware she had been removed from the album art, she questioned the move via her Instagram account.

LaChapelle responded to one of the claims of transphobia on Instagram, writing: “Everybody wants to explain everything with some phobia or whatever.

“This is a case of something else she can’t seem to control lol. Ain’t nothing to do with hating.”

She didn’t deny rumours that she had an affair with Kanye West

Rumours about an affair between rapper Kanye West and Lepore have been circling for many years, stemming from the revelation that Lepore had been with a famous rapper before he got married.

She wrote in her memoir Doll Parts that the rapper in question went on to marry someone that “had a similar body type” to her.

People speculated that Kim Kardashian, West’s ex-wife, had similar curves to Lepore and suggested that Lepore and West had a relationship prior to his marriage.

But, one source close to West previously said that it was “not within the realm of possibility” for the two to be linked romantically.

She got naked at a fashion show

Model Amanda Lepore poses backstage before the Kaimin fashion show at the Glass Houses on February 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)

During New York Fashion Week in 2018, the trans model walked for Kaimin in a completely see-through outfit.

Both her chest and pubic area were on show as she wore a sheer fishnet bodysuit down the catwalk for the South Korean-born designer Kaimin, who has previously dressed stars like Lady Gaga and Bjork.

The move sparked complaints that South Korean-born designer Kaimin had “gone too far” with the outfit.

The outfit showed off her unique figure. Lepore famously had her bottom ribs broken in Mexico so she could achieve a smaller waist for a more hourglass figure. At 5 feet 2 inches, her measurements are 38-22-38. 

You can follow Amanda Lepore on Instagram here.

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