On May 17th the world and the ballroom and gay communities lost an angel when the legendary Octavia St. Laurent Mizrahi passed away. Many of you may remember Octavia from her star turn in the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning by Jennie Livingston. I'll never forget sneaking to watch Paris is Burning in my room after my parents retired for the evening and longing to leave the restrictive environment of the south for the east coast.
I had the pleasure of having dinner with Octavia and Luna in 1999 in Greenwich Village at the Riviera shortly after I arrived in New York City from Alabama. It was a surreal experience and one I will never forget. I love you Octavia. You will be missed. -Darian
Luna Legacy Remembers Octavia St. Laurent Mizrahi
I met Octavia St. Laurent in 1990. She was always the superstar Octavia wherever she went. I can’t remember a time when she was not the actress, the star, the icon. I would see her out in the summer nights near the pier and all of us were in awe of her grandness. We would all point with excitement as if we just saw Diana Ross. Although we met in 1990 and remained friendly over the years, we really didn’t start to hang out, talk, go to dinner, or have movie dates until 1999. She became a friend, a favorite aunt, a mother figure; we even recorded a song together...she was amazing!
The last time I saw her was at the House of Evisu Ball in late 2008, we were both so very happy to see each other. She held my hand so tight. She was nervous about how the new generations of ball children were going to react to her. I assured her that she is Octavia St. Laurent, “There is nothing like you here.” It’s true, we have lovely fem queens today but not many have the aura of a Hollywood star that Octavia gave to her fans. I was in awe of her beauty even while she was going through health issues. She was definitely a strong person. She sometimes would say that she was the chosen one and I believed her. I will miss my love Octavia very much but I know her beauty and her star will always shine and I will always have our memories together. She was our Heavenly Angel Octavia.
Luna Legacy is the founder and mother of the house of Legacy and a Community Health Specialist for Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York City. He's also an accomplished photographer and host of The Luna Show on My Ballroom Life.com.
R.I.P. Octavia St. Laurent Mizrahi- Can We Be Frank
PhDJ feat. Octavia Saint Laurent Mizrahi, "I am Somebody"