The Ones pop star and NYC drag icon Nashom Wooden dies of coronavirus, say friends: 'The virus is really real'
‘Project Runway’ winner Geoffrey Mac said, 'I lost my best friend today from the coronavirus'
Nashom Wooden, also popularly known as drag queen Mona Foot in New York City's queer nightlife scene, has reportedly died after contracting the novel coronavirus. Though the cause of death has not been officially confirmed, Wooden’s friend and ‘Project Runway’ winner Geoffrey Mac shared an emotional post on Instagram remembering the star.
“I lost my best friend today from the coronavirus, Nashom Wooden. And I just want to make sure that everybody out there stays healthy, and takes care of each other because the virus is really real. And I’m just so sorry,” Mac said in the video post with tears in his eyes.
Club king Mario Diaz has also shared a post in honor of Wooden. “This virus has taken our dear Nashom Wooden..aka Mona Foot. Part of our New York nightlife family. A beautiful gorgeous creature, an amazing artist and a friend for 25+ years. When I think of you I will always see that beautiful smile. When I think of you I will always remember the powerhouse that was Mona Foot!" Diaz said. “Our years together at The Cock. Things feel very real right now. Please stay home and stay safe. We love you Nashom... always and forever.”
Brooklyn-born Wooden became famous in the New York queer nightlife scene as Mona Foot starting in 1989. In a 2017 interview, he said that he learned makeup from RuPaul when they did a show together off-Broadway called ‘My Pet Homo’. In the interview, he mentioned that he did not like to be knowns as Mona. He told the outlet: “I was making so much money and losing myself in the character. No matter how much I introduced myself as Nashom, people called me Mona."
“They still do and I don't love it. Any member of the trans community — I know many of them by their birth names their parents gave them. If I called them by their male name, I'd be vilified. But I don't get the same respect. Just call me what I want to be called.”
Along with getting success as the drag star, Wooden also achieved popularity in the music business after his band The Ones’ club anthem ‘Flawless’ became the biggest dance hit of the year back in 2001. He also said that he never “wanted to be a woman or dress up like a girl. It's just what happened”. “I always wanted to be a pop star. My idols included Prince, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, David Bowie, Tina Turner, and George Michael,” Wooden had said.
His reported death has shaken everyone from the New York City scene as they shared messages of love following the news. Thorgy Thor, an NYC based Drag performance artist, musician, and fashion clown, wrote on Instagram: “NYC drag Legend Mona Foot RIP. Died from COVID-19. Her reputation will stand forever. I heard stories before I worked in NY, during and will continue to tell stories about this incredible person forever. Thank you Mona for everything you contributed to NY and the globe. NASHAM WOODEN.”
Another person with the user handle name, Peppermint, tweeted, “Coronavirus has hit our nightlife Family in the heart #MonaFoot...I learned a lot from you. Being a big tall muscular black woman myself, I would have felt out of place if I hadn't seen you be so commanding with such a Gorgeous smile. thinking of you. Rest in absolute power.”