The messages commenced pinging about Instagram all-around noon on Monday.
Nashom Wood, an omnipresence on New York’s gay bar and club scene, was dead at 50 following a brief illness that he experienced suspected but not verified was Covid-19.
It arrived as a shock, first simply because Mr. Wooden seemed barely diverse than he had at 35, but also mainly because amongst men and women in nightlife, there was about him a survivalist excellent rivaled only by Susanne Bartsch, the drag queen empress whose get-togethers he at times appeared at, and Girl Bunny, his drag queen comrade and former roommate.
In excess of the decades, Mr. Wooden performed in heels as Mona Foot appeared with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert DeNiro in the 1999 motion picture “Flawless” co-wrote and executed a track that grew to become a major 10 strike all all-around Europe bartended at the Cock, a longtime gay dive in Manhattan’s East Village community and confirmed up at plenty of movie premieres and fashion demonstrates, usually in his equipped Maison Margiela leather-based jacket, darkish jeans and Rick Owens boots.
Mr. Wood grew up in Brooklyn but arrived of age at Boy Bar, the not-rather-bar not-really-nightclub exactly where quite a few an early ’90s drag queen was hatched.
The original strategy (it can be not exactly obvious whose) was to transform him into what Woman Bunny explained as a “a sassy mammy character,” with Aretha Franklin wigs and floral print ’50s dresses.
But Mona experienced glamour operating through her veins, down earlier her bulging calves. So off went that seem and on arrived the glittery, Barbarella- and Surprise Girl-encouraged duds.
At evening, Mr. Picket hosted Mona Foot’s “Star Research,” a weekly competitiveness at Barracuda that preceded RuPaul’s “Drag Race” by far more than 15 decades and probably served as just one of its inspirations.
All through the working day, Mr. Wood ran the men’s department at the Patricia Area boutique, functioning alongside Candis Cayne, a further of the scene’s best-recognized personalities.
In heels onstage, he was a terrifying presence. “He could seriously cut a bitch,” Ms. Cayne said. Out of heels, he was a mensch.
By the conclude of the ’90s, Mr. Picket experienced been cast as one of a gaggle of drag queens in “Flawless,” exactly where he serves as just one of Mr. Hoffman’s sidekicks and performs Cher’s “Half Breed” in a drag club.
He and his sisters of the fabric, JoJo Americo and Paul Alexander (performing as the trio The Kinds), recorded a song with the movie’s title. It went to No. 4 on the Billboard Club Engage in chart, No. 7 in the United Kingdom and No. 2 in Belgium.
George Michael added a handful of lyrics and rerecorded it a few decades later on as “Flawless (Go to the Town).” It became his previous big strike.
From there, The Ones recorded a several albums and done at festivals all-around the planet. But Mr. Wood was fewer recognised for having a profession than for staying a presence.
“He was at each and every health and fitness center, he was at each and every club, he was similarly wonderful in and out of drag,” reported Christopher Peregrin, the international director of partnerships at Magnum, a primary images agency. “Sometimes, these queens clean their faces, get off the make up and the attractiveness disappears. But he was as persuasive out of drag as he was in it.”
“A Tom of Finland-hunting god,” Ms. Cayne claimed
Three weeks in the past, Mr. Wood was in peak actual physical condition, performing out with close friends in Chelsea. A 7 days and a 50 percent in the past, he was holed up at house in the East Village with what appeared to be a odd flu.
Some times it was worse, other individuals improved.
In textual content messages to David Dalrymple, a costume designer who created quite a few of Mona’s outfits, Mr. Wood expressed confusion about what was going on. “He instructed me he wasn’t obtaining problems respiration, but I’m guessing he just did not want to get worried me,” Mr. Dalrymple claimed, incorporating that no just one in their circle of buddies read that he sought testing or care.
On Thursday, he advised Mr. Dalrymple he was about to begin looking at “Westworld.”
“He appeared to consider he was increasing,” Mr. Dalrymple reported.
But Saturday rolled all over and he fell out of touch. Pals basically couldn’t achieve him.
On Monday early morning, Mr. Dalrymple grew to become worried sufficient to go about to his apartment. Employing a spare vital, he opened the doorway and located his collaborator inside of, useless.
This was all but unimaginable to people that understood him.
Mr. Wooden had H.I.V. for many decades, mates stated, but he was on medication and was “undetectable,” the expression utilized for people today whose viral load drops to nearly zero.
“He ate nicely, he slept properly, he was at the fitness center six occasions a 7 days,” mentioned Josh Jordan, a style photographer who’d just run into him in February. “There weren’t mental ailment or habit challenges. There was very little sketchy in his existence. Which is why it’s so mad. It’s an dreadful wake-up call.”