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Brandy Alexander (Danny Leonard) papers

Identifier: MS0536


Consists of a kimono, a Kermit the Frog puppet and an issue of Southern Exposure.


  • Creation: unknown

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Brandy Alexander papers are the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

Danny Leonard, who performed in drag under the name Brandy Alexander, was one of the most popular drag performers in the South in the second half of the twentieth century. She began her career in the 1960s and performed until shortly before her death in 2016. Alexander was crowned the first Miss Gay North Carolina America in 1979 and won the first state title for Miss Gay North Carolina USA in 1986.

Alexander owned the Friends Lounge in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which had the distinction of being the only gay bar in the country that was off-limits to military personnel. The bar experienced frequent raids and any Marine from nearby Camp Lejeune that was caught there faced the risk of being dishonrably discharged.

Alexander also spent a great deal of effort raising money for people with HIV and AIDS. In the 1980s, she helped to raise $350,000 for those afflicted with this illness, which was more than the entire state of North Carolina had raised at the time.

She passed away from cancer on March 21, 2016 but left a lasting legacy in the LGBT community as a pioneer drag performer in the South and a humanitarian who fought hard to help members of her community not to have to experience all of the discrimination she had faced early in her career.


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Brandy Alexander (Danny Leonard) papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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