MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Henrietta Robinson, who was an icon among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, died on Friday of complications with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus.
Robinson’s friend Troy Kurtz said she recently underwent hernia surgery and was recovering at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach when her health started to deteriorate.
Robinson, 79, was born in Akron, Ohio and grew up in Milton, Massachusetts. When she shared her story, she would say was reborn in 1959 in Miami Beach.
At a time when being openly LGBTQ was taboo, Robinson found freedom in the SoBe nightlife. She frequented the former Cameo’s Bambi Night for drag queen fashion shows.
TWIST, a famous South Beach gay club, was her second home.
Robinson loved gowns. She owned crowns and she preferred fur, silk, and velvet. She also loved to cook and entertain. Italian food was her favorite. She used to tell stories about making Gianni Versace lasagna.
Robinson made such an impact in the community that former Mayor Mattie Herrera Bower gave her a commendation on behalf of the city of Miami Beach for her activism in 2011.