Austin icon Leslie died early Thursday morning in his sleep at Christopher House hospice. He was sixty. The homeless icon, who seemed to embody Austin’s weirdness in one person, had been hospitalized in February with a brain injury.
A flamboyant crossdresser, Leslie could often be spotted strutting down 6th Street in high heels and a thong.
Debbie Russell, a spokesperson for Leslie, told KUT’s Wells Dunbar that Austin’s weirdness likely prolonged Leslie’s life. “A friend remarked that if it weren’t for Austin, he probably wouldn’t have lived this long,” says Russell. “I don’t know if he could have done ‘that Leslie thing’ many other places. So he’s grateful to us, and I think even more so, we should be grateful him, for all that he’s given us.”
The Austin City Council plans to mark the passing of the sometimes mayoral candidate by declaring today “Leslie Day,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. Two memorial services are planned, including a march down 6th Street on Thursday at 7 p.m.
(The Statesman has a slideshow of Leslie through the years.)