Valencia Prime, a 25-year-old plus-size Philadelphia drag queen, collapsed and died mid-performance at a gay bar from natural causes including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes according to a medical examiner.
(Video Credit: 6abc Philadelphia)
Tributes are flowing in after the “bright and rising” full-figured drag star crumpled to the stage and died during her “Prime Time” show at the Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar on September 12, according to the Daily Mail.
Paramedics and emergency services rushed to the bar as the transgender drag queen was hosting her show. A friend told the first responders that she was “unresponsive.” She was taken to Jefferson Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The drag queen billed herself as “Philadelphia’s Plus-Size Dancing Diva.”
A GoFundMe account that was set up for the family in order to cover funeral expenses has raised $13,875 so far. The goal was $8,000 but donations have blown way past that.
The bar posted a message on Instagram mourning the loss of Prime: “‘We mourn the loss of a very bright and rising star in the performance community and a person who was always full of life and positivity. We say goodbye to Valencia Prime, but we will not forget the light you brought to the stage.”
View this post on Instagram
An event will be held Monday evening in honor of Prime. Performances from drag queens Aloe Vera and Asia Monroe will take place.
“I’m trying. I’m trying to be strong and I’m trying to brave because you were the one the taught me how to be strong and brave. The pain I feel right now is something I wish on no one. You are and will forever be my light,” Aloe Vera stated. “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.”
Monroe told ABC Philadelphia: “I think that the Philadelphia scene will never be the same. She was a wonderful, loving, and caring person. If you didn’t know who Valencia Prime was you hadn’t seen Philadelphia drag. Paramedics were on scene and she was unresponsive.”
“Dearest friends and family, It is with a heavy heart that we let you all know that our sweetest Valencia Prime has passed away peacefully,” Monroe wrote, according to People. “We would love for the community to help her mother and the rest of her family give her the proper memorial we know she deserves.”
Prime’s mother, Christiana Marcus-McRae paid tribute to her transgender daughter, saying goodbye to her child on Facebook, stating, “Twenty-five years ago, I gave birth to my 2nd child, and today, I’m making funeral arrangements.”
Drag queen Brittany Lynn also wrote on Facebook, “Valencia Prime you will be sorely missed. You were always up for a gig or messaging me afterward saying ‘good job sir. Out & About will always be dedicated to you and all that you did for everyone. Keep twirling ma’am.”
Dr. Timaree Schmit, who is a sexuality educator and burlesque performer, remembered Prime on Twitter, “This community has suffered so much loss in the last few years. Valencia Prime was a talent and a delightful person. Rest in power, babe.”
This community has suffered so much loss in the last few years. Valencia Prime was a talent and a delightful person. Rest in power, babe. pic.twitter.com/oK9vFgpcP6
— dr timaree (@timaree_leigh) September 13, 2022
Democrat Rep. Brian Sims also mourned the loss via a statement: “We lost a shining light in our community much too soon. I was shocked and so sad to hear of Valencia Prime’s sudden passing. While we aren’t sure what we could have done to avoid this tragedy, for now we must all check-in with our loved ones. You never know what someone else is truly feeling deep inside or what they may be going through. Rest in Power, Valencia. You will be sorely missed.”
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