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Underground History: Remembering Oregon's Legendary Drag Queen

Oregon Historical Society
Darcelle with friend.

As Oregon mourns the recent passing of Portland’s iconic drag queen Darcelle XV, also known as Walter W. Cole, the Exchange remembers Darcelle with a rebroadcast of a 2019 Underground History . Don Horn is the founder of Triangle Productions in Portland; his company produced a show about Darcelle XV, recognized at that time by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest drag queen in the world.  Horn created the show, “That’s No Lady, That’s Darcelle.” He spoke with hosts Geoffrey Riley and Chelsea Rose about his research, the production, and the legend and legacy of Darcelle.

The Oregon Historical Society also created a display of Darcelle costumes from more than 50 years of performing.  Don Horn joins Geoffrey Riley and Chelsea Rose of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA).


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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.