The late Rita Yancy is one of Hawaii’s many unsung LGBT community heroes from the years of the AIDS Pandemic. Rita was a stunningly beautiful male-to-female Transgender entertainer. One of her closest friends put it this way, “Ms. Rita was a class act.” Disco icon, Grace Jones met Rita in the original Hula’s and I was there when Ms. Jones remarked, “She’s a better Grace Jones than I am! I wish I had those tits!”

Rita and I were close friends for many years until she succumbed to AIDS on November 5, 1995. I miss Rita Yancy very much; one of my many friends lost to AIDS; someone I should have grown old with. Rita’s favorite saying was, “It’s a big mess da Gooche’ [my drag name], it’s a real big mess!” And it certainly is.

Ms. Rita Yancy
Ms. Rita Yancy