Philadelphia’s Gayborhood is mourning the sudden death of one of its drag performers.
25-year-old Valencia Prime was performing at Philly’s Tabu Lounge and Sports bar on Monday, September 12, when she collapsed on stage, according to Jeffrey Sotland.
“Today we mourn the loss of a very bright and rising star in the performance community and a person who was always full of love and positivity,” the venue said in an online statement. “We say goodbye to Valencia Prime but we will not forget the light you brought to the stage.”
Many drag performers and friends have written tributes on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to honor Valencia’s memory.
“Last night Philadelphia suddenly lost a woman who touched the lives of almost every person in our drag scene,” wrote Philly-based drag queen and musician Little Piece.
“This community has suffered so much loss in the last few years,” wrote sex educator and burlesque performer Timaree Leigh. “Valencia Prime was a talent and a delightful person. Rest in power, babe.”
Meanwhile, drag artist Aloe Vera wrote on Facebook, “You are and will forever be my light. I wish I knew how to keep going without you. I wish I knew how to be inspiring too others that are hurting right now… but a piece of my soul has been taken from me and I’m struggling to pick myself up off the ground without you. I love you with everything in my heart Valencia. Rest in power.”
A GoFundMe page has been created by Nikita Alicea to help pay for Valencia Prime’s funeral expenses. While the fundraising campaign set a goal of $8,000, fans of Prime and supporters of Philadelphia’s drag community have donated $10,468 to the GoFundMe. Meanwhile, Tabu recently reached out to Valencia Prime’s family to gain their blessing for a show in the queen’s honor.
May she rest in peace.