Amanda Lepore’s childhood was far from the glitz and glamour that surrounds her today. Growing up, Amanda was bullied for being different from all her peers because although she was born a boy, her internal identity was female.
In her teens, Amanda started taking hormone therapy and underwent gender reassignment surgery that was paid for by her boyfriend’s father. She fled New Jersey and became a fixture on the New York City club scene in the early ’90s with the likes of Kabuki Starshine, Richie Rich, and Michael Alig (whose rise and fall was made into the feature film Party Monster). After meeting photographer David LaChapelle, Amanda Lepore became his muse, appearing in his cheeky, colorful photographs including the Amanda as Marilyn and Amanda as Andy Warhol’s Liz Taylor in his After Pop series.