To the cops in Richardson, who arrested him in May for marijuana possession and misdemeanor theft, her name is Larry Tremell Bernard. To the rest of the world, it's Armani Nicole Davenport, a transgender woman who has ridden the southern drag pageant circuit for more than a decade, recently notching a win at this year's Miss Gay Dallas Metroplex USofA pageant.
Davenport's curves, though, aren't completely natural. New Orleans police say that she, like others on the drag circuit, is a practitioner of "pumping" -- injecting industrial-grade silicone into breasts, buttocks, and other areas that could stand to be more robust. They've been searching for her since the middle of last week for allegedly administering the injections illegally to two women, one of whom wound up in a coma. She is currently wanted for negligent injury.
Such black-market silicone injections are common. So are complications, up to and including death; both the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press have done trend stories in the past year or so on the dangers of the procedure.
The silicone is typically purchased from hardware stores, where it's sold as sealant. The AP reports it's often mixed with wax, oil, or peanut butter. The LA Times says the wounds are sometimes sealed with super glue.
Not that the prospect of a painful death is enough to dissuade drag performers. The website Transsexual Road Map lists the dangers of silicone injections, then provides a list of detailed tips, "if you decide to do it anyway."
In related news, here's a video of Davenport performing at a pageant in Louisiana.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.