QUEER VOICES

NYC Nightlife Comes Together In Love And Support Of One Of Their Own

7 nightlife stars reflect on the legacy and love of Domonique Echeverria.

In late October, one of the most beloved artists and personalities currently working in New York City queer nightlife suffered massive injuries after being struck by a subway car.

Domonique Echeverria survived the ordeal, but not without incurring life-alerting trauma to her body. Known to many as a mother figure among the chaos of New York City, friends, family and supporters quickly came together to raise money in order to offset the medical costs of her ongoing care.

In an incredible display of community that transcends the internal politics of the New York City nightlife community, friends and supporters from every corner of NYC will come together on Dec. 22 for an event called "ECHEVERRIA EXTRAVAGANZA" -- a benefit that will raise additional funds for the recovery of this beloved designer. Dozens of influencers, performers and DJs have agreed to work the event for free. The event will also feature a silent auction, "Domonique Boutique" and art for sale -- all proceeds of which will go to Echeverria.

As Echeverria said herself in her feature for The Huffington Post Series "After Dark" in late 2014, "Our little tribe is constantly growing. We have a revolving door and I'm so grateful for the energy that my friends put into our friendships because we're all far away from our families and when one of us is sick or sad or lonely, we turn to each other so we can keep growing and keep making art and keep spreading love."

In honor of the impact and legacy of Domonique, we talked to seven stars of New York City nightlife -- and close friends of Echeverria -- about what makes this fiery yet ethereal individual so special.

  • "Domonique is a beautiful woman with amazing creativity, energy and looks! She embraces people from all walks of life.<br><br
    Courtesy of Susanne Bartsch
    "Domonique is a beautiful woman with amazing creativity, energy and looks! She embraces people from all walks of life.

    She's also a designer and when there's an event, she has dressed half the room. Dominique is a den mother who mobilizes people and really gets a dance floor going. She is an indomitable spirit and her survival of this ordeal shows just how magical and special she is.

    The event is a holiday get together for people, friends of hers and the entertainment family to raise money through ticket sales. Every single person is working for free and Stage 48 is donating the space and 10% of the bar proceeds. There will be shows, performances and we have the 'Domonique Boutique' and art on sale -- every penny goes to Domomique. It will also be a chance for us to physically get together and send her a big psychic hug, and celebrate life, love and giving."
  • "Domonique is a true eccentric and an original. We grew up together in clubs in San Francisco and that is where we cultivated
    Courtesy of Frankie Sharp
    "Domonique is a true eccentric and an original. We grew up together in clubs in San Francisco and that is where we cultivated our love for all things art and culture and filtered that through the night. It was inevitable that we would end up in NYC doing the same on a larger scale. I met her when she was waaaaay underage and at one of my first clubs. We bonded over her Liza Minnelli tattoo. We both worship her. 

    Nightlife has been a place for many people to call a second home with their a chosen family. And in that, Domonique quite naturally took on the role as the new children’s Mother. And the rest of us, her sister. When it was the producers' and promotors' jobs to build the village and lay the valley that the community lived and played in, it was Domonique as The Muse or The Gardener as I see it -- to keep it going with love, boundless support and creativity. She is loved by everyone and she returns it to all in abundance. 

    Domonique is special in that she is the balance of everything. Superficial and Natural. Truth and Fantasy. Health and Debauchery. And she reminded us that so many of those things intertwined and were not enemies but lovers. She is a guiltless creature of excess love and warmth. I honor that way of living. And I am honored to be her friend."
  • "When you're little and read stories about fairy godmothers, you picture these beautiful fairies&nbsp;with long, flowing hair
    Marco Ovando
    "When you're little and read stories about fairy godmothers, you picture these beautiful fairies with long, flowing hair, draped in beautiful, gauzy draped dresses, flying through the night, waving their magic wands around to cast spells of protection and bring people joy. Then you grow up and you meet Domonique, who is by far the closest living embodiment to those fairy godmothers I have ever met! Domonique is so loved because that's what she's always putting out into the world: LOVE. 

    It sounds cliche, but it's true that when Domonique walks into a room, the room starts to light up. Her energy is so infectous, it's almost like you can literally feel the love as she passes you. And if you can't feel it, you can definitely hear it with her famously uncensored big mouth that has everyone laughing all night. New York can be a cynical town. It's hard to believe someone can be so pure of heart, but everyone knows when they meet Dom that she's the real deal. You can tell how much she really cares about people, in a way probably too much, which can be an intense burden to bear sometimes. But that's Dom. She has this maternal instinct that turned her into this nightlife mother hen, always surrounded by her colorful queer baby chicks. 

    You asked me for a quote of what I think makes Domonique so special to her community, but I think this quote I read once by Domonique herself can answer it better: 'I'm so grateful for the energy that my friends put into our friendship cause we're all so far away from our families and when one of us is sick or sad or lonely, we turn to each other so we can keep growing and keep making art and keep spreading love.'

    Spoken like a true fairy godmother."
  • "When I first meet Domonique, I immediately felt a&nbsp;kindred sprit. She cares about the person -- not their creativity, no
    Courtesy of Kenny Kenny
    "When I first meet Domonique, I immediately felt a kindred sprit. She cares about the person -- not their creativity, not their status or what they could give her. It's like she looked inside my soul and said, 'Hello, I know you.'
     
    Dom adores the creative, nonconformist energy of the gay fringe. She honors it, she encourages it, nurtures it. She loves it and it loves her -- being one and the same. Costumes and the transformation that comes with them can be used on one's journey to inner transformation of the soul and sprit. I believe Dom is on this journey -- I was drawn to that and the acceptance that came with it, along with the understanding that we were exploring something deeper within.

    I believe the gay counterculture is drawn to her for the same reasons. She is our shaman mama giving acceptance and love.

    I believe that with the light there is also the other side. Being creative and exploring an alternative life comes with deep challenges many of us have felt. We can be more affected and sensitive to darkness than most. This challenging time for Domonique, again, makes us think more deeply about these things -- so the journey continues. Dom continues.

    I believe Dom, with the support of those she supported, will take her challenges and go on to do even more powerful and amazing things."
  • "I think that Dominique is so loving and really takes care of everyone &ndash; she is so motherly and is super caring. She ma
    Andrew Toth via Getty Images
    "I think that Dominique is so loving and really takes care of everyone – she is so motherly and is super caring. She makes everyone so comfortable and puts so much love into everything – that’s what I want people to know.”
  • "Dominique is one of the most special people on the planet. I've never met someone who could set a room on fire with energy a
    Ryan Burke
    "Dominique is one of the most special people on the planet. I've never met someone who could set a room on fire with energy and costumes. It is hard to describe Dominique without using the word bewitching -- she's a wild girl with a tame heart. She is our Mother of nightlife and told us all bedtime stories every night in a costume. One of my favorite things about Dominique is that you can always find her anywhere because you can hear her laughing and making sure everybody is happy.

    I'll always hear Dominique."
  • "Domonique changed my life. I moved to New York from LA in order to pursue photography and leave the nightlife world behind.
    "Domonique changed my life. I moved to New York from LA in order to pursue photography and leave the nightlife world behind. My friends here were still involved in nightlife, however, so I ended up continuing to go out and dress up… but I kept it minimal. I met Domonique one night at Greenhouse and we instantly clicked. I spoke to her about positive energy among artists and nightlife people and how we should all support each other like one big family. This is what she is all about -- community and family among friends and artists who work together and inspire each other to be creative and make the world more beautiful. She and I soon moved in together and I began hosting as well. My looks become much bigger. My aesthetic evolved and became something much more refined and put together -- head to toe. She not only gave me the confidence and motivation to become a bigger better version of myself but she also helped style me and collaborate with me on several projects. What I’m able to accomplish now on my own would have been impossible before we became friends.

    While not everyone has had such a close, personal relationship with Dom, everyone has felt her presence. When she enters a room it is always quite evident and it brings such life to any event. Her aesthetic -- a sorta witchy goddess -- is always chic and well decorated. She is human sculpture. There is so much to look at -- so many details and flourishes. And then there is her personality, which is even bigger than her look. She is at once captivating, revolting, hilarious, endearing and always magical like a fairy godmother. She will be there dancing, moving around the room, talking to everyone and getting them on their feet. She makes you laugh and feel amazing. To say she’s the life of the party is an understatement. 

    She’s a real original. And not many artists are these days. It breaks my heart to see her leave us in New York but I’m thankful she will be able to continue creating and inspiring people. She is one of the most special people I have ever met and I love her."

Want more information about "ECHEVERRIA EXTRAVAGANZA" or how you can help this artist's recovery? Head here.

Our thoughts are with you, Domonique.

CONVERSATIONS