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DAVIS (LADY VICTORIA
LUST) & DON GILL:
FOR THE AIDS COMMUNITY
Davis started doing drag in the 1970s, but retired when disco hit its
peak. Then in the mid 1980s AIDS came along and he felt the need to
raise funds to help those in our community affected. By 1987 those efforts
were formalized into the Lady Victoria Lust PWA Holiday Fund, under
the auspices of the Colt 45s. This meshed with his day job, working
for the City of Houston Health Department doing HIV counseling.
Specifically (quoting from an early flyer) the purpose of the Lady Victoria
Lust PWA Holiday Fund was to provide something special during various
Holiday seasons, to bring a little comfort, enjoyment and dignity into
the lives of people who are living with and fighting HIV infection and
AIDS. This was generally in the form of a card and a little pocket money
to spend as they wished.
Marvin's work as a comic drag queen raised well over $25,000 for the
community and garnered him many honors over the years, including a mayoral
proclamation by Kathryn Whitmire proclaiming December 8, 1991 as "Lady
Victoria Lust Day" in Houston. He received service awards from
the Colt 45s, Houston Pride, Texas Riders, Sundance Cattle Company,
and the Royal Sovereign and Imperial Court, among many others. He was
also a Pride Parade Co-Chair in 1990 and 1992, and they named him an
Honorary Grand Marshal in 1991.
Not only was Marvin active in the Houston gay community, but before
moving here he co-founded the first gay rights organization in Arkansas,
the Arkansas Gay Alliance. He died of a pulmonary aneurysm on November
Don Gill worked closely with Marvin Davis on fundraising during the
last two years of his life. They met in 1994 and realizing their common
desires to help others Don was made co-chair of the charity, opening
the door for him to take over. Over the years more and more events have
been added, such as the PWA Holiday Charities Christmas Show, the Christmas
in July Show, contests for the boy of Montrose and girl of Montrose,
Night in Black Leather and others. Originally from Leesville, Louisiana,
he moved to Houston in 1970, and opened his first business in Montrose,
Hair Plus by Don. His business is now called Studio 911 Salon.
Like Marvin Davis, his community work over the years has earned him
many titles such as Daddy of Montrose and Mr Venture-N, both in 1993,
Mr Prime Choice in 1994, and in 1995 Male Grand Marshal of the Pride
Parade. He was able to build the PWA Holiday Charities from a charity
that raised about $8000 a year in 1996 to over $50,000 yearly by 2004.
Current totals are around $80,000. In more years than not Don has been
chosen by readers of OutSmart as Favorite Male Fundraiser, and his wall
of plaques somehow conflict with his natural humility.
Holiday Charities Don
Gill Tribute Page Marvin