A beloved former drag queen and performer has died after apparently contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Brooklyn native Nashom Wooden, who used to perform in New York's queer nightlife scene as Mona Foot, died Monday, according to posts by several friends online including Geoffrey Mac, a designer on Project Runway.
"I lost my best friend today from the coronavirus — Nashom Wooden," Mac said in an Instagram video on Monday. "I just want to make sure everyone out there stays healthy and takes care of each other because the virus is really real. I’m just so sorry.”
The New York City medical examiner's office could not confirm the cause of Wooden's death since an autopsy was not performed.
Wooden took on the stage name Mona Foot starting in 1989 because "at the time, that show Who's the Boss? was on, and Katherine Helmond's character Mona was too much for me. I loved her," he said in a 2017 interview with Paper magazine. Another performer added "Foot" to his name when introducing him once.
He was a staple at Boy Bar on St. Marks Place: "Back then, I was billed as daughter of [drag star] Glamamore because my lip-sync was so tight. I was only doing Aretha Franklin back then. Of the Boy Bar Beauties, Princess Diandra was ruling, and she was mostly doing Diana Ross, and I thought, "I want to be like her. Focus on one character and nail it," Wooden told Paper.
Wooden said he honed his makeup skills with RuPaul: " I learned makeup from RuPaul. We did a show off-Broadway called My Pet Homo and she taught me a few things. It ran a few weeks, somewhere on Seventh Street. It was a ridiculous play about two alien women who capture a homosexual human on their planet, and they worship Sylvester. It was sometime in the early '90s — most of those files are deleted or corrupted."
"No one saw that coming. To be not only a superhero, to be black and a man. I didn't realize at the time I was feminine. The message was so powerful, performing 'I'm Every Woman' as Wonder Woman," Wooden told Paper.
"Along with being known for his Mona Foot character, Wooden also achieved some success in the music business as one-third of The Ones, an early 2000s dance trio that saw once of their singles, "Flawless," peak at No. 4 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart," Billboard said.