Willi Ninja (“Paris is Burning” and “How Do I Look”), a legendary ballroom figure, recently stepped forward as yet another one of our beloved family members living with HIV. Commonly referred to as the Grandfather of Vogue, he was featured in the 90’s documentary “Paris Is Burning,” which introduced the world to voguing. Yes, it was Willi and not Madonna.
I met Willi in Los Angeles two years ago when the House of Omni held its 25th anniversary celebration. I remember being smitten with Willi and excited for the opportunity to meet him in person.
My thoughts are with Willi, his family, friends, and the entire ballroom community during this sad time.