There was a time when I couldn’t end the day without saying, “Excuse my beauty,” in real-life or on this blog. That iconic phrase first slipped out of the exquisitely liner-drawn lips of Stephanie Yellowhair during a 2000 (I think) episode of Cops shot in Albuquerque, NM. The last time I wrote about Stephanie was in 2012. And sadly, I’m writing about Stephanie (aka Ms. Sugar) today, because according to several Instagram posts, she died late last week. I couldn’t find her cause of death. She was only 41.
The makers of Cops really should’ve given at least 50% of their profits to Stephanie Yellowhair, because she brought life, glamour and poetry to their little show. The clips of her legendary appearance on Cops have gotten approximately 99 million hits on YouTube, and 98,999,999 of those hits probably came from me. Stephanie gave Cops the much-needed touch of sass and glamour it needed after one transphobic cop, who kept referring to the indigenous transgender rose as “cross dresser,” was called to Circle K. Stephanie and her friends were accused of selling ass for booze (that’s more than I sell ass for, which is NOTHING), bothering customers and destroying public property (read: stealing some stupid ass balloons).
While that shady cop interrogated her, she hit him back with words that were both priceless and flawless. Stephanie had me at, “ARA-ZO-NUH!“, and she really had me subscribing to her religion when she cooed out the line she should’ve trademarked: “Excuse my beau-tee.” That became her catchphrase and it earned a special place in the gay universe. RuPaul has used that phrase many a time, and Peppermint from Drag Race has a song called Excuse My Beauty.
If Albuquerque knew what was right, they would’ve dropped all charges against Stephanie Yellowhair for bringing entertainment and a pair of perfectly-crafted brows to their city.
Rest in peace, Stephanie Yellowhair. You are now in heaven where your beauty is always excused and the sun only tans your legs, not face.