Season Two of the magnificent POSE television series features the ‘cadaver in the closet’ episode. In the series, based on the 80s New York Ballroom scene, one of the stars of Ballroom, Elektra, needs to dispose of a body.
While working as a BDSM mistress, one of her clients asks her to leave him alone for a while. He wants to do drugs while wearing a gas mask.
Unfortunately, he slips her mind and she arrives back later than intended. She finds him dead after choking on his own vomit.
As a trans woman and sex worker in 1980s New York, Elektra is reluctant to call the police. Instead, she conscripts some friends to help her stuff the body into a suitcase and move it back to her apartment.
They cover the body in lye. Criminals sometimes use lye (sodium or potassium hydroxide) to dispose of corpses. Combined with water and the application of heat, it speeds decomposition.
Elektra stores the suitcase in her closet and hangs numerous ‘little tree’ room deodorisers to disguise the odour.
The incident provides a gruesome side story in contradiction to the usual celebratory nature of the series.
Despite a reading of the plot coming off as a tad melodramatic, the powerful presence of Dominique Jackson as Elektra and the other talented cast members allow viewers to suspend disbelief and engage with the story-telling.
As they should. After all, it is based on a true-life incident.
Watch the Video.
Please note: Dorian Corey was a trans woman who performed in drag shows, hence the title.
Dorian Corey – the true story of the cadaver in the closet.
Trans woman, drag performer, and fashion designer Dorian Corey appeared at Wigstock and featured in the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning.
The founder of the House of Corey, she won over 50 grand prizes in the voguing balls.
After her death, friends cleaning out her apartment discovered the mummified body of Robert Worley, dead for over 15 years from a gunshot to his head.
Various theories have been put forward to explain his death, some of which seem credible, but in truth, after all this time, who knows?
Watch the video and see what you think.
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