Dr. Richard Docter announced at dinner last night, here at the Liberty Conference, that Virginia Prince had died at the age of 96. She was in good health and mentally acute until about a month ago when her health began a steep decline. Docter was her biographer as a well as a friend.
I met the grand dame here, in this Philly Airport Hilton hotel, about five years ago, and I am a little surprised by how moved I have been to hear of her passing. She was an imperfect person, as we all are, but rocked where it counted: having the cojones to be an out-transvestite in the 1950s. Her bravery is something we’d be fools, as a community, not to acknowledge.
Imperfect, problematic, heroic. You often don’t get one without the others. We have lost an important pioneer.