Ange Pascale

Ange Pascale

Soho legend, catwalk model and trans superstar, Ange Pascale died at the end of January. The West End is missing a legend. I’ve lost a fabulous friend and a celestial mentor.

If you’re lucky, a few people will crash into your life with such dramatic impact that your view of the world is never the same. The intrusion might be jarring, their existence may prove challenging, but provocateurs are a blessing. Ange Pasquale was my gift from the gay gods, a fabulous trans angel of chaos and wisdom.

She was one my first friends on the London gay scene. I was an under-age drinker, semi-innocent, still nursing fresh wounds from school. We became sisters before she transitioned, and prior to my adoption of a stage name boasting a question mark. We bonded before we both became who we wanted to be.

Shock and awe

The impact she had on me while presenting as male, was more remarkable than what she taught me, years later, as a trans woman. We met one midweek afternoon in 1987 at Banana Max in Earl’s Court. I had little choice. Ange chose me.

I’d never witnessed such compelling beauty in the flesh. The eyes were helplessly drawn to high cheekbones, a flawless jawline, and an athletic body of such taut structure that it shimmered like an illusion. It was hard not to gawp at the most stunning being in the room.

After the briefest glance in her direction, Ange came screaming across the bar, arms flailing, hands flapping. One was confronted with a majestic face and an epic, shameless mouth. A flock of rabid seagulls on meth would have been easier to manage.

Flaming sensation

The overall effect was ‘effeminacy’ as a weapon and raison d’être. Ange presented a level of ‘gay’ beyond my comprehension.  I’d spent my 17 years on this planet, hiding all aspects of myself that could be seen as ‘girly’. There was shame, AIDS and disgust attached to being gay, different or unmanly. Ange was all of this. With bells on.

By the late ‘80s, Ange had already enjoyed a career as a fashion model. In a monochrome Bruce Weber shoot for Calvin Klein, Ange was an Adonis. In real life, that façade of muscle and Greek god realness was juggling with a riot of drama and gender dysphoria.

The assault on the senses when Ange descended on my teen self was akin to a nuclear explosion. She delivered theatre, and a Wildean wit that could punch a rib cage and lacerate the liver.

Fighting femme

She loved to work the nerves of leather clad clones and moustachioed muscle men. Woe betide any bloke who showed an interest in the beauty on the surface, but wasn’t keen on the complex content.

Mostly, they recoiled in horror. Men who cruised Ange, expecting a handsome youth, would shrink and run when confronted by her loud and lurid queerness. Their effeminophobia made me question my fear and loathing of any man that wasn’t ‘straight acting’.

Ange took me under her brassy wing, regaling me with tales from the catwalks of New York and salons in Milan. She bitched about Calvin Klein and yawned about Mugler and Gaultier.

Madame and mentor

It was a crash course in sexual politics, gender dynamics and gossip. I was a teenager from the suburbs. Ange was an oracle. She delivered glittering mania and outrageous life lessons. Those toxic men, gay and straight, who were upset by her existence? Well, they were just blokes. Nada to learn from them. And everything to learn from Ange.

A queen once asked Ange why their life was such a mess and this was her response:

‘Your life is a reflection of what it is you deeply believe about yourself.  Step back and look at your life. It’s a reflection, in a perfect but invisible mirror of the beliefs that you hold at the deepest level.

‘Your mirror turns out to be your friends, your relatives, your family, your work, your talents, your possessions, your capabilities, your opportunities — everything in your life.’

Ange didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear, but what you needed. She was a Philosopher Queen AND a bawdy bitch.

Cheering the changes

When I returned from university in 1993, I found work at Kudos in Charing Cross. A café-bar with plate glass windows where you could actually see the gays inside, was a revelation at the time. We drink cappuccino! Vada the pink pound! Sell us mortgage insurance and furnishings in muted tones!

The day shift at Kudos was dull and devoid of tips. The pace of trade played tricks with concepts of time that Dali would have applauded. Except, on the days when Ange decided to drop by.

Five years since we’d first met, Ange had now evolved into one of the most arresting women I’d ever seen. Or anyone had ever seen. The supermodel visage was now surrounded by a mane of glossy hair to match Cindy Crawford, and the filthiest mouth in London.

She would swoop into the bar at lunch time and then perform a scandalous, random five hour soliloquy, while I served customers and sliced lemons.

Best show in town

She got me into trouble with customers, management and colleagues. They wanted my focus on catering and customer service. Ange was having none of it. She was a one woman show with graphic tales of surgery, sex work and debauchery. Nothing was off limits. She revelled in oversharing. One day, she mused loudly with regards to genital surgery.

‘It’s my ENORMOUS dick that brings in the handbag, dear,’ she declared.

‘THAT and my tits,’ she added, giving them a jiggle, as I blushed behind the counter.

‘That’s what the First Division footballers pay for, dear. How else you think I afford a penthouse in Covent Garden?’

She asked this question, not of me, but to the entire room, which crackled with awkward silence.  She was too much. And I loved her.

Star of Soho

I worked in Soho for the next 15 years, so we saw each other regularly, as neighbours and friends. While working as Editor at The Hospital Club in 2009, my daily routine was a mince to Bar Italia and then chat with Clayton Littlewood. He could be found in the Compton Street shop Dirty White Boy, which he managed with his boyfriend Jorge.

Ange was often swinging around the vicinity, or perched at a nearby al fresco table. This lunchtime whirl of queer banter and edgy familiarity was a soothing tonic to a mind muddled by Microsoft calendars and outstanding invoices.

Clayton wrote and published his book The Dirty White Boy Diaries while managing the stresses of running a retail outlet in Soho. His book observes the daily dramas of a cast of local characters who include literary stars, sex workers, junkies, and of course, Ange.

Clayton Littlewood and Ange

West End legend

The Hospital Club serialised his diaries and provided rehearsal space to the production team when the book was developed into a theatre production. The stage adaption was a one-man show, starring David Benson who played all the book’s characters, including Ange.

It was beyond post-modern to find myself watching a show where a gay man was playing woman who’d I’d first met as a man, when I was boy.  Ange loved the show and the glam infamy which came with it.

Ange became a Gnostic Seer and regularly gave readings at the College of Psychic Studies. She would often comment on my aura or how my chakras seemed out of alignment. The fact she was a celebrated medium in some circles didn’t surprise me. Ange was magical.

David Benson, Ange and Clayton

Spiritual priestess

She was also highly political and could quote Nietzsche, Simone De Beauvoir and Madonna in one breath. She raged against Brexit:

‘Well, all I can honestly say is that with all the obfuscations, half-truths and fear-mongering being perpetrated on the British voting public, this has made a complete mockery of the so-called British democratic process.

‘What has clearly been demonstrated is how to completely erode what little confidence in politics many people had. Anyone with half a brain cell can clearly see the complete antipathy and disregard the establishment feel towards the voting public. Why are we all funding a political system that is not fit for purpose?’

She was a member of the Soho Society and campaigned against gentrification. Like me, she remembered when the district was a hive of independent businesses, legal and otherwise.

While she was vocal about the rights of sex workers, she also fought for better legal representation and health services for those who’d experienced abuse at the hands of clients.

‘Those who have sadly been victimized by sexual violence in their lives, will understand the detrimental personal erosion to one’s sense of self it inflicts. We are all recovering from something in our lives.’

Guiding light

There was a lot to Ange. She never failed to make me laugh, but there was always a lesson in the LOLs. She often caught me off guard with spiritual asides and literary flourishes. She liked flexing her intelligence as much as flaunting her raunch.

Her friend Jody London told me, ‘She was a Force Majeur in the whole West End. She always took time to chat and educate and although she had a very public overt armour. I was privileged to know the vulnerable, kind, sensitive and loving side which was the real Ange.’

We had a long history, peppered with peaks and troughs. We watched each other grow, stumble and evolve. I was very lucky to be adopted into the House of Ange. She might be gone from this physical world, but her spirit, authenticity and impact will live in my DNA and soul forever.

Rest in Power, dear.

There are 74 comments for this article
  1. Zackary at 2:30 pm

    I’ve got a part-time job https://www.forum-deutscher-presseclubs.de/stmap_39bocxge.html?nevirapine.viagra.levothroid.prograf metformin hydrochloride prolonged release tablets ip 500 “If they want to … recognize us based on majority, I thinkthat is the quickest, most effective way,” he added, noting thatthe UAW has taken a similar approach with hundreds of othercompanies in the United States. King declined to give a timelineon how long the process will take.

  2. Alonso at 2:35 pm

    Will I get paid for overtime? https://www.forum-deutscher-presseclubs.de/stmap_64mvltdi.html?himcolin-gel.haldol.levitra naproxen plus cyclobenzaprine Nicki said: “I wanted to give something back, so Sunday will be the third time in a row I’ve done Race for Life. But this year has been tough for many of our team members, past and present, who’ve lost loved ones, entered remission or found out that someone close has been diagnosed.

  3. Pedro at 9:45 pm

    I’m only getting an answering machine https://helitecstructural.com.au/stmap_21wizxfu.html?viagra.diamox.nebivolol aciclovir herpes labial dose Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of the 1963 raid on the Liliesleaf farm in Johannesburg that netted most leaders of the African National Congress, then a liberation movement and now South Africa’s ruling party. Kathrada was among those arrested there, while Mandela was already in prison at that time.

  4. Dennis at 10:54 pm

    I’d like to apply for this job http://www.capitalcomre.com/stmap_64mvltdi.html?divalproex.mastigra.levitra.levonorgestrel levocetirizine sleep Proposals to revitalize the 150-acre site in New Orleans have ranged from restoring it to a working amusement park to turning it into a retail mall. The land has been controlled by the city since 2009, when an agreement was struck with Six Flags Inc. during the company’s past financial reorganization. So far, the city hasn’t been able to seal a development deal.

  5. Malcom at 3:44 am

    I was made redundant two months ago https://freelancecomputers.com/stmap_21ojktcc.html?bisacodyl.lipitor.cialis apo esomeprazole effets secondaires What makes that particularly surprising is the fact that serious research from multiple sources proves that there’s a direct correlation between the time it takes a site to load and the amount of visitors who stick around. If you’re trying to sell someone something online, it’s all the more important that your site loads faster than your rivals’.

  6. Darrel at 3:44 am

    What part of do you come from? http://www.blackmanband.com/stmap_39dwanrs.html?clarinex.cenforce.loteprednol.levitra keflex dosage for dogs The policy priority for more renewable generation is causingeven bigger problems. Governments want a higher share ofelectricity to come from renewables such as wind and solar thatare only intermittently available. Customers and powerregulators want no loss of reliability. Power must still bethere at the flick of a switch, whether or not the wind isblowing.

  7. Stephanie at 3:45 am

    Not available at the moment http://highhalstow.org.uk/stmap_64mvltdi.html?chlorzoxazone.viagra.lasix.methylcobalamin what is doxycycline hyclate used for side effects SAN JOSE, Calif.  — From Silicon Valley to the South Pacific, counterattacks to revelations of widespread National Security Agency surveillance are taking shape, from a surge of new encrypted email programs to technology that sprinkles the Internet with red flag terms to confuse would-be snoops.

  8. Lawerence at 3:46 am

    No, I’m not particularly sporty https://freelancecomputers.com/stmap_39bocxge.html?viagra.duphalac.cymbalta methotrexate sodium injection j code Street prostitution is legal in Zurich, as in the rest of Switzerland, but only in designated areas. As it opens the new sex center, the city is shutting down another busy and popular red light district along Sihlquai Street, where locals have complained about violence, litter and pimps for years.

  9. Andres at 3:48 am

    The line’s engaged https://helitecstructural.com.au/stmap_21wizxfu.html?amantadine.viagra.lincomycin.levonorgestrel side effects amoxicillin clavulanate “We’ve had situations where young men in football this year reach across and punch a kid below the belt,” said Julian Tackett, commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association . “And we’ve had two young ladies at the volleyball net get into a fist fight when shaking hands.”

  10. Erin at 10:13 am

    We need someone with qualifications https://pemcincinnati.com/blog/stmap_39dwanrs.html?sporanox.pepcid.viagra.cetirizine buy vasotec baikal-pharmacy.com Cyprus’ second largest bank, Laiki, was wound down and folded into the biggest Bank of Cyprus which continues to be restructured. To avoid a run on the banks alongside a sharp drop in client trust, Cypriot authorities imposed limits on money transfers and withdrawals which have hit an already battered retail sector.

  11. Giuseppe at 10:48 am

    Could you ask him to call me? http://www.capitalcomre.com/stmap_39bocxge.html?viagra.lexapro.dexone para que sirve el meloxicam pridinol Most, if not all, the people reading this review are well aware of the fact the HTC uses a 4mp shooter, marketed under the ‘UltraPixel’ banner. This means the pixels are 4 square microns instead of 1.21 square microns, the norm for most high end smartphone cameras this year. 4mp is plenty for downscaling to a 1080p screen and is more than enough for the compression are photos receive when they are added to services such as Facebook and Instagram.

  12. Mike at 4:35 pm

    Did you go to university? https://freelancecomputers.com/stmap_39bocxge.html?levitra.vardenafil.cataflam dostinex preo 8 comprimidos Logan, with his partner Michael Davis, seems to know everyone. A leader of the Seventies Butler’s Wharf scene alongside Derek Jarman, he remains great friends with Zandra Rhodes, whose fashion and textile museum is nearby. The names of his celebrity contemporaries, from Ronnie Wood to Elton John to Vivienne Westwood fall regularly from his lips.

  13. Carlton at 4:35 pm

    I’m doing a masters in law http://narsg.uk/stmap_64mvltdi.html?loteprednol.thorazine.levitra lipitor 10 mg bijsluiter This whole notion of the “law of the Jungle’ aka “survival of the fittest” has been pretty much debunked as the artifact of mid to late 19th century ideology Dickens spoofed in “A Christmas Carol” in fact as Darwin noted, cooperation and synergy are deeply embedded in nature. Modern research has shown this to be the case.

  14. Benjamin at 5:21 pm

    This site is crazy 🙂 https://helitecstructural.com.au/stmap_39dwanrs.html?ciloxan.levitra.ascorbic betamethasone scalp application how to use “Think about it in simple terms. If you don’t release the water, there’s nowhere to store it. So we also think it may have to be released,” said Shinichi Nakayama, deputy director of the Nuclear Safety Research Center at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and a member of a regulatory panel on Fukushima’s problems.

  15. Fausto at 6:13 pm

    Could you please repeat that? http://www.lamingtonhotelmotel.com.au/stmap_64mvltdi.html?catapres.bystolic.viagra promethazine phenergan pregnancy “Armed with this knowledge, adults can – and do – make informed choices about reducing their odds of dying young from smoking-related conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Children are less likely to have either this knowledge or the power to make choices about being exposed to smoke by adults. We could, and perhaps should, be doing more to protect our children from the harmful effects of smoke now, as well as helping to reduce the number who will become smokers themselves in the future.

  16. Wilson at 10:49 pm

    How do you know each other? https://toddmillerlaw.com/stmap_21snbbax.html?nitrofurantoin.aygestin.cialis does cephalexin treat yeast infections What’s more, the chaos, though relatively short, left a legacy of abuse that must be addressed for the country to move on. Thousands of people were victims of horrific abuses meted out by the warring factions — summary execution, use of child soldiers and amputations by the armed Islamists; sexual abuse and rampant pillage by the Tuareg rebels; and torture, killings, and enforced disappearances by government soldiers. They demand and deserve justice.

  17. Palmer at 11:57 pm

    What company are you calling from? https://helitecstructural.com.au/stmap_64tgzttt.html?phenazopyridine.levitra.lasix.analgin printable allegra coupon At its heart, “Blackfish” chronicles why a large, publicly traded corporation that makes billions off the killer whales at the center of its amusement park system may have covered up or lied about threats posed by orcas in captivity – both to the trainers who literally risk life and limb as well as to the killer whales themselves.

  18. Nogood87 at 12:12 am

    I like it a lot http://www.missionarygeek.com/stmap_21ojktcc.html?actonel.viagra.biaxin switching from finasteride to dutasteride hairlosstalk For clues, we pored over photos of Charles and Diana taken in the same spot after the birth of Prince William. We even tried to establish whether the Duchess of Cambridge was left or right handed to predict which way the baby would be facing. In order to capture the baby’s first expression, one photographer was stationed at the end of the street armed with an enormous 600mm lens and perched precariously atop an eight-step ladder.

  19. Donny at 6:40 am

    I’ve come to collect a parcel https://www.forum-deutscher-presseclubs.de/stmap_39bocxge.html?viagra.bromocriptine.amitriptyline buy ventolin inhaler online uk The high-stakes chess match in Congress will resume on Monday when the Democratic-controlled Senate reconvenes at 2 p.m. Senate Democrats will then attempt to strip two Republican amendments from the spending bill: the one that delays the 2010 healthcare law known as Obamacare and another to repeal a medical device tax that would help pay for the program.

  20. Payton at 7:42 am

    Do you need a work permit? https://gruppogreggiurbani.com.ar/stmap_39dykkca.html?lariam.reminyl.mega.viagra cost of diflucan without insurance Television commands the largest share of advertising moneyspent in the United States at 39 percent, according to eMarketerresearch, which estimated that $66.3 billion in ad dollars would go towards TV this year. Digital advertising represents about25 percent of 2013 estimated advertising spend at $42 billion.

  21. Nilson at 7:49 am

    In tens, please (ten pound notes) http://highhalstow.org.uk/stmap_64mvltdi.html?pyridostigmine.ondansetron.levitra minoxidil beard chemist warehouse “Given the level of tensions between the protesters and the police, the numbers and presence of women and children in a confined space and the police’s record in crowd dispersal, there is a substantial risk that any forceful actions by the police will end in a terrible loss of life,” he said.

  22. Rigoberto at 8:25 am

    I’d like to open a personal account https://www.forum-deutscher-presseclubs.de/stmap_64mvltdi.html?ritonavir.delgra.duricef.viagra protonix bid for gi bleed “I don’t think I ever wanted to be the man who loves children, but from the moment they’re born, that baby comes out and you act proud and excited… But you don’t feel anything, especially if you had a difficult childhood. You want to love them but you don’t. And the fact that you’re faking that feeling, it makes you wonder if your own father had the same problem. Then one day they get older, and you see them do something. And you feel, that feeling that you were pretending to have. And it feels like your heart is going to explode.”

  23. Danny at 1:14 pm

    I love this site https://pemcincinnati.com/blog/stmap_39dwanrs.html?levitra.leflunomide.desyrel.shallaki can i use flonase and nasacort at the same time Dano, Bello, Howard, Davis and Leo — the last nearly unrecognizable — are equally strong. Villeneuve, whose last film was the Oscar-nominated “Incendies,” uses them all perfectly, and “Prisoners” works best when it’s not what you thought it was going to be. But even on familiar ground, it’s hard to let go of.

  24. Lamont at 2:57 pm

    This is your employment contract https://www.forum-deutscher-presseclubs.de/stmap_39bocxge.html?detrol.cialis.emulgel manfaat obat emturnas forte paracetamol The charges, the first to arise from a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the Whale scandal, say the two deliberately tried to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in losses on trades in a portfolio of synthetic credit derivatives tied to corporate debt. Such derivatives are financial instruments designed to bet on the probability of corporate default.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.