Aviance was raised in Richmond, Virginia, in a close-knit family of eight siblings. His father provided for them as a landscape contractor. From an early age, Aviance dedicated himself to the study of music and theatre, his first experience in drag was in the seventh grade. His early influences were "punk, Boy George, Devo, and Grace Jones". He moved to Washington D.C. where he worked as a hairdresser and did drag performances. He developed a bad crack habit but with help of the House of Aviance he was able to overcome it, after his initiation in the house he took the name Kevin Aviance. He later moved to New York City and made a name for himself as a dancer/performer at Sound Factory, a club mainly for queer Latinos and blacks. Major DJs and club promoters saw him performing and started hiring him, he became one of a handful of drag performers in NYC able to support themselves solely on performances. His career as a performance artist and club personality began in Washington, DC, continued in Miami, and eventually landed him in New York City. In 1989, the House of Aviance was founded in Washington by Mother Juan Aviance. In July 1999 Aviance performed as part of Billboard's sixth annual Dance Music Summit.
Aviance has appeared in several films, including Flawless starring Robert De Niro and the independent film Punks. Besides his feature-film work he has made guest appearances on such shows as The Tyra Banks Show, and America's Next Top Model, also hosted by Tyra Banks. His songs Din Da Da, Rhythm Is My Bitch, Alive, Give It Up and Strut, have all reached Number 1 of the Billboard dance chart. The only one of his singles not to peak at Number 1 to date is Dance For Love. Aviance's most successful dance radio hit to date is Give It Up released in 2004. His second album, Entity is a more consistent effort than his first.
On June 10, 2006 while exiting the Phoenix, a popular gay bar located in the East Village section of Manhattan, Aviance was robbed and beaten by a group of men who yelled anti-gay slurs at him. Four suspects were arrested under New York's hate-crime law, but reports say up to seven men were involved in the attack. Aviance was not dressed in his gender-bending performance clothes but as a boy, he had to have his jaw wired for a month. He also suffered a fractured knee and neck injuries as well as blows to the face. Despite suffering a broken jaw, he insisted on appearing in the city's gay pride parade later that month.
On March 21, 2007 all four assailants pled guilty, receiving prison sentences ranging from 6 to 15 years in plea agreements that included hate crimes embellishments. The four young men, who range in age from 17 to 21 years old, [would have] faced up to 25 years each for the attack, had they been found guilty in a trial. All had been charged with gang assault as a hate crime.
Recently, Aviance appeared on the song This is New York City (Bitch!) by the transgender rap group, La'Mady from the album Jonny McGovern Presents: This is NYC, Bitch! The East Village Mixtape. In 2007, Aviance's song Strut was featured as the theme song for the documentary series Indie Sex. In April 2008, Aviance staged a comeback to the club scene and entertainment world, and was reunited on stage with Junior Vasquez, who had previously worked together but had become estranged over a professional dispute. At Cielo, a club in New York known for its lighted walls, the tandem performance marked the return to the spotlight for Aviance, performing two of his new hit singles. He most recently recorded a cover of Britney Spears's Gimme More, produced by Jonny McGovern and Adam Joseph for inclusion on The East Village Mixtape 2: The Legends Ball.
Straight Talk with Gay Guys: What Girlfriends Can't Tell You and Straight Men Won't by Daylle Deanna Schwartz
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: HCI (February 1, 2007)
Amazon: Straight Talk with Gay Guys: What Girlfriends Can't Tell You and Straight Men Won't
Gay Men Can Be a Girl's Best Friend!
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