Kevin Aviance, of the House of Aviance, is a New York nightlife superstar. His first single, of what would be two albums, is based around the idea of “feeling cunty!” — which means, for those who don’t know, feeling incredibly snatched, beat, glamorous. Released in 1996, in the wake of Paris is Burning and Madonna’s 1990 appropriative smash Vogue, queer femme identities were hugely related to ideas of fashion, glamour and the aspirations that came with it.
Aviance is the ultimate purveyor of this type of black femme eleganza — donning fashions beyond your wildest imagination and proclaiming the feeling of cuntyness that comes with being so impossibly, unimaginably fashionable. It’s a political statement, and one which arose from the culture of Harlem’s balls: We are worthy of the best, we are worthy of what fine white women have had a stronghold on for decades, we exude style, class and glamour. And Kevin Aviance absolutely does.