Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Key West loses a royal resident

Key West lost a member of its own royal family Sunday with the death of longtime community activist, local television personality and female impersonator L.A. Meyers, aka La La Belle.

Meyers, 72, died at the home of his niece in Weston, Fla. after a long illness, said longtime friend Rick Dery.

Before his colorful and charismatic life in Key West, Meyers was also a "Stonewall Veteran" of New York City, having been in attendance on that game-changing night in June 1969, when a police raid at the popular gay bar known as the Stonewall Inn launched the nation's gay rights movement.

Meyers remained active in the Stonewall Veterans Association for decades following the riots and demonstrations that prompted cities throughout the country to hold their gay pride parades and events in June to commemorate the beginning of a fight that continues today.

"He was an astonishing individual, never to be duplicated," wrote Darren Parker on Sunday beneath a Facebook remembrance, whose blonde wig was as recognizable as LA Meyers' glasses.

Meyers was the only fundraiser who held the titles of both King and Queen of Fantasy Fest. In 1997, Meyers -- as La La Belle -- became the first man in Key West to be crowned Queen of Fantasy Fest. In 2000, Meyers was elected King alongside The Bitch Sisters, who shared the title of Queen.

La La Belle was also crowned Queen Mother in 1997.

In addition to near-constant performances as La La Belle and tireless fundraising, Meyers also hosted her own no-holds-barred television talk show "The Southernmost Queen."

Despite hot studio lights, La La Belle's hair and makeup were always in place before the cameras started.

"So many amazing memories I have of LA," Parker wrote Sunday on Meyers' friend Rick Dery's Facebook page. "We will all be listening to your stories during Happy Hour again one day...."

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