Paris Is Burning's Pepper Labeija dies in New York

By Editors

Originally published on May 22 2003 12:00 AM ET

Drag artist Pepper LaBeija died in New York City on May 14 following a lengthy battle with diabetes. One of the principal artists featured in Jennie Livingston's landmark 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, about New York's underground drag balls, LaBeija spent the last six years confined to a wheelchair but continued to attend various balls and functions held in her honor.