How it all began

70_carmenXtravagnaza starts with me in the summer of 1982 in New York City at that time I lived in Harlem. It was quite a difficult time for a transgender person, so to the outside world I kept my gender a secret.

That summer I went to a ball as Carmen St Laurent, my first house. I had been competing in a few categories that other houses would contribute so other houses would compete each other.

As Carmen St Laurent I had a name in the ballroom community. At that time I was known to walk the balls for the perfect face and models effect and I would storm the other house girls in the ballroom, even the beauties in the house of Xtravaganza. At that time it was the only Latin house out and was known for the most beautiful transsexual girls of any houses. Mother Angie and Hector were the first parents.

That summer the house of Omni was throwing a ball in midtown Manhattan and mother Angie and Danny Xtravaganza were aware of my talent. The father of my house Robby St Laurent was aware that the Xtrava’s wanted me as one of their members. At the Omni ball I sat 7 girls down that were walking a category called “Face of the 80’s”. You would have to ‘bring it’ like a model from that time. I prepared myself for weeks and I ‘brought it’ like my favourite model at that time, it was Gia. Had face shot posters of myself and had 3 of my house members ready to help me with my great plan. I would always let the other girls walk ahead of me and then as the hostess of the ball would call out my name, I would let the 3 boys of my house at that time walk out with my huge face posters, and me behind them all glammed up. 10 was the highest score to win and I got the whole ballroom to stand up when I entered the catwalk, and got 10’s across the board and a grand prize trophy once again for my house St Laurent. But instead I went with my trophy to the reserve table where mother Angie Xtravaganza was sitting and asked her if I could be in her house. Robby was very upset bit I told him I wanted to be an Xtravagnaza and Danny Xtrava told me what to do after getting my trophy. Angie and the rest of the Xtrava’s that were there were ecstatic that I sat 7 girls from different houses including the house of Xtravaganza and then got my blessing from mother Angie to become Carmen Xtravaganza. This name was all over the city clubs.