Gay History: Remembering ROLLERINA: NYC's Fairy Godmother and Fierce LGBT Activist

Gay History: Remembering ROLLERINA: NYC’s Fairy Godmother and Fierce AIDS/LGBT Activist

Rollerina / Roller Arena/ Rollerena Fairy Godmother of NYC came into being on the evening of Saturday, September 16, 1972 by a young man, a stock broker and Vietnam Vet no less from Kentucky put on a gown, a 1950s hat, and a shawl and roller skated up and down Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, New York City.

 The creator of Rollerina, did not consider himself a drag queen or trans; instead he became the character of a Fairy Godmother of New York City and brought smiles to millions for over 25 years.

Over time, Rollerina added to his outfit: rhinestone glasses, costume jewelry, a small horn, and a magic wand to bless mortals became regular accessories to her character. He skated mostly in the gay neighborhoods, the Easter Parade, Gay Pride marches and in popular disco’s like Studio 54 and was a fierce gay rights activist.

As Rollerina became more well-known within and beyond the LGBT community, people began to request her presence at various events. She had a post office box, business representatives, disco events, postcards, and was featured in many newspaper articles, TV shows and radio talk programs.

In the 1980’s, he devoted herself to ACT-UP and other AIDS organizations. Her presence made a demonstration into an Event.

I have not been able to find any recent information on Rollerina since 2014 when he appeared at a club benefit.

Do you have any memories of or know of what happened to Rollerina?

If so help continue his story by adding to it in the comments below.

Wand, eyeglasses, roller skates, & purse used by Rollerena

4 thoughts on “Gay History: Remembering ROLLERINA: NYC’s Fairy Godmother and Fierce AIDS/LGBT Activist

  1. I was one of the privileged to have VIP access to enter the velvet ropes of Studio54 during its heyday. I was twenty years old, still in college, empowered with the youth and beauty to be granted a comp ticket to be one of the desirable extras that were necessary to fill the dancefloor of a world renown club as I danced gracefully and with discretion while the paparazzi captured the celebrities undisturbed by the general public. Rollerina floated around in a cast-off wedding dress like Miss Havisham wore in Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations”, pointing her fairy wand at anyone she wanted the attention of. The reality of who was Rollerina was a mystery (unlike the other stars in the Studio54 galaxy). She was classless, in that she would skate through the Gay Pride parades to the crowd’s applause, as well as make spontaneous appearances on Christopher Street when it was the epicenter of the Gay World. We all loved her unsupervised, unchoreographed performances which were more memorable than sighting Potassa, Halston, Bianca Jagger or Calvin Klein in or outside Studio54. She was one in a million. http://www.christopherduquette.com

  2. I was one of the privileged to have VIP access to enter the velvet ropes of Studio54 during its heyday. I was twenty years old, still in college, empowered with the youth and beauty to be granted a comp ticket to be one of the desirable extras that were necessary to fill the dancefloor of a world renown club as I danced gracefully and with discretion while the paparazzi captured the celebrities undisturbed by the general public. Rollerina floated around in a cast-off wedding dress like Miss Havisham wore in Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations”, pointing her fairy wand at anyone she wanted the attention of. The reality of who was Rollerina was a mystery (unlike the other stars in the Studio54 galaxy). She was classless, in that she would skate through the Gay Pride parades to the crowd’s applause, as well as make spontaneous appearances on Christopher Street when it was the epicenter of the Gay World. We all loved her unsupervised, unchoreographed performances which were more memorable than sighting Potassa, Halston, Bianca Jagger or Calvin KIein in or outside Studio54. She was one in a million. http://www.christopherduquette.com

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