Hector Xtravaganza, a founding member of the House of Xtravaganza, one of the most recognizable houses in New York’s ball and vogueing scene died Sunday. He was 60.
Also known as the house Grandfather, the news of his death was announced on the official House of Xtravaganza Facebook page: “It is with profound sadness the House of Xtravaganza family announce the passing of our beloved Grandfather Hector. He was a friend to everyone he met, a source of inspiration for all who knew him, and a cornerstone of our House family. Arrangements for a celebration of Hector’s life will be shared in the coming days.”
Xtravaganza recently worked as a consultant on the acclaimed FX series Pose from Ryan Murphy and Steven Canals. Murphy recently posted a tribute to him on Instagram while Canals honored the ball scene pioneer on Twitter saying, “When I met Hector Xtravaganza I called him Abuelo. He embraced me & said, ‘I have a new grandson.’ I didn’t know my grandfathers so having him meant the world. His last text to me was ‘I’m proud of you.’ I’m proud of you too.”
Pose writer and producer Our Lady J also tweeted out condolences. “The world lost a bright light today,” she wrote. “Rest In Peace, Grandfather Hector Xtravaganza.”
Xtravganza was a dance and an activist and helped start the House of Xtravaganza in 1982, a time of growth in New York for the underground ball scene. Many of the houses at the time were comprised of Black members and the House of Xtravaganza blazed a trail by becoming the first all-Latino house. As seen in, the ball scene was a safe space for men and women of the LGBTQ community — particular those from Black and Latino communities. They would form and join “houses” as a way to create a sense of family and compete for bragging rights and trophies in balls that focused on dance, fashion, and modeling.
The House of Xtravaganza is a legendary house that continues to stay active and is one of the most honored names when it comes to the ball scene.