Hector Xtravaganza, a pioneering figure in New York City’s ball culture world, has died aged 60.

Xtravaganza, a founding member of the House of Xtravaganza, featured in the ground-breaking ball culture 1990 documentary Paris is Burning.



More recently, he had worked as a consultant for FX’s critically acclaimed drama Pose, which is set in the late 1980s and looks at the African-American and Latino ball culture in New York.

Born Hector Crespo, the ball icon later legally changed his surname to “Xtravaganza.”

He was father of the House of Xtravaganza from 1993 to 1997, and again from 1999 to 2003.

Xtravaganza went on to adopt the honorary title of “grandfather” of his house, which was the first Latino house in New York City’s ball scene.

House of Xtravaganza post heartfelt message for “grandfather” Hector

The House of Xxtravaganza confirmed the leading ball figure’s death on Facebook.

“It is with profound sadness the House of Xtravaganza family announce the passing of our beloved Grandfather Hector,” House of Xtravaganza posted on Facebook.

“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.”

Hector Xtravaganza
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 19: Hector xtravaganza attends NewFest 2017 Opening Night – Susanne Bartsch: On Top at SVA Theater on October 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for NewFest 2017)

No cause of death has been revealed.

Directed by Jennie Livingston, Paris is Burning  documented how the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities founded New York City’s ball culture in the mid to late 1980s.

Other prominent figures from the House of Xtravaganza to have passed away include Venus Xtravaganza (1988) and Angie Xtravaganza (1993).

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RuPaul and Laverne Cox pay tribute to Hector Xtravaganza

LGBT+ celebrities have led tributes to Xtravaganza on social media.

“Hector Xtravaganza Has Left For Paris,” RuPaul posted with a link to a Deadline article on the ball culture pioneer’s death.

Laverne Cox wrote: “RIP Hector Xtravaganza 🙏.”

Steven Canals, co-creator and an executive producer of Pose, described Xtravaganza as a “devoted friend & beloved member of the #PoseFX family.”

“He was a show consultant, but more than that a loyal Abuelo to all,” Canals added.

“Keep him, his family, & friends in your prayers.”

“He was a show consultant, but more than that, he was a loyal Abuelo to all.”

“RIP to Hector Xtravaganza. 🙏🏻💜Grandfather of the house and ballroom pioneer,” posted Carmen Carrera, a trans activist and former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Radio host Larry Flick posted: “[Xtravaganza] was a dear, dear person and a tireless activist in the fight against AIDS. His love and passion for life was a true inspiration.”




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