At this point, her name in itself is iconic. Amanda Lepore is a muse to photographers across the globe including David LaChapelle and Terry Richardson, is an all-around model and performance artist, and, perhaps most of all, is a unique personality.
Amanda Lepore is associated with nudity, cabaret, seduction, and the Club Kid scene of New York. Starring in her own cover for the February issue of Gay Times, alongside Sasha Velour, Lepore stuns in red leather in a jaw-dropping photo shoot by Vijat Mohindra.
“Nobody really did that before… it made people happy. It could have backfired really badly,” Lepore says of her now-famous tendency for appearing nude – something which she declares as a career highlight. To this day, in my acts, I always take off my clothes. I don’t go completely naked anymore but… pretty much.”
The interview also sees the transgender model share her thoughts on the current President of the United States. “I don’t really feel threatened by him, I just think of him as an asshole. I mean I just don’t even deal with him, like he doesn’t exist.”
As a girl true to our own heart, Lepore says she has reclaimed the word ‘queer’ and uses it to describe herself (us too, Henny!). “It’s definitely an old-school word first of all. It just really represents our individuality and differentness. It’s not necessarily just homosexuals but a lot of different things. I think it’s a good word.”
“I definitely am in that category but… I just feel like a woman. No matter what people identify me with or what category I am in, I still have that. I still think of myself like that so it doesn’t really get in the way. It’s a good group to be in, for sure. It’s definitely good times!”
“He had a really big impact because he really loved using me and he thought I was really beautiful”
Lepore rose to prominent fame as part of her work with photographer David LaChapelle. On one occasion, as part of his Artists and Prostitutes 1985–2005 exhibit in New York City, Lepore would ‘live’ in a voyeuristic life-sized set where people could look on and admire.
“He had a really big impact because he really loved using me and he thought I was really beautiful but lacked the confidence for that. I couldn’t think about being a model, it was like the furthest thing from my mind,” she says of the inspiration and confidence working with LaChapelle gave her.
“He would love me being naked so it was a freedom, kinda… it just gave me the confidence I think to be loved by the people from art, the fashion community, and good people. I’d always get nice press. It was an amazing thing and really changed my life.”