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Lana Luxx embraces platform as KC Pride Parade Grand Marshal, role model

Lana Luxx
Lana Luxx
Landon Patterson aka Lana Luxx Oak Park Homecoming queen 2015
Screenshot 2024-06-07 at 6.36.21 PM.png
Posted at 7:39 PM, Jun 07, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Nine years ago, Landon Patterson never would have predicted where she’d be today.

Better known to her fans across Kansas City as “Lana Luxx,” the drag queen alter ego she created seven years ago, Lana has become a powerful voice for the LGBTQ+ community, especially its trans members.

“Lana Luxx has been a persona I've developed over the years, but really Lana Luxx is an extension of Landon,” she said. “Lana was a nickname before it was a stage name.”

She’s a trailblazer who morphed into one of the most-celebrated drag entertainers in Kansas City, challenging the Missouri Legislature and helping create welcoming spaces for the trans community along the way.

Her celebrity status and advocacy led the Kansas City Pride Parade to tap her as Grand Marshal for the 2024 parade, which starts at 11 a.m. and goes from Westport to Frank A. Theis Park.

“You do the hard work because you care about the people you're doing it for, not really like the praise,” Lana said. “But then when you get the praise, or at least when someone recognizes you, it feels good.”

Landon Patterson aka Lana Luxx Oak Park Homecoming queen 2015
Nine years ago, Landon Patterson, who you may know better as celebrated drag performer "Lana Luxx," never would have predicted where she’d be today. She drew national attention as the first trans homecoming queen in Missouri history. Now, she'll serve as Grand Marshal of the Kansas City Pride Parade on Saturday, June 8, 2024.

An early spotlight

In 2015, Lana became the first trans homecoming queen in Missouri history at Oak Park High School, which made her something of a cult hero.

The servers at Hamburger Mary’s recognized and fawned over her when she went to one of the restaurant’s famed drag brunches.

She eventually applied to become a waitress at Hamburger Mary’s, but performing as a drag queen still hadn’t entered her mind.

“Just being around everyone, next thing I know I was asked if I wanted to do one,” Lana said. “After watching them for so long, I kind of was like, ‘I kind of want to do this or try it as a hobby.’”

Now, she’s a powerhouse and full-time performer — known for her athletic and flamboyant style and her renowned Taylor Swift illusion, complete with elaborate and iconic Eras Tour outfits.

“Lana is like a pop star — like a Lady Gaga, a Taylor Swift,” she said. “When I go on stage, I think of it as like a VMA's performance, an award-show performance. It's not really about becoming someone different. It's just about showing who I really am.”

Lana Luxx
Nine years ago, Landon Patterson, who you may know better as celebrated drag performer "Lana Luxx," never would have predicted where she’d be today. But on Saturday, June 8, 2024, she'll serve as Grand Marshal of the Kansas City Pride Parade.

Finding her voice

Lana, only 26, also has grown into a powerful voice and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. When the state weighed a ban on drag shows, she traveled to Jefferson City to voice her opposition.

Lana also has created several all-trans shows and events, creating safe spaces at multiple venues around town.

“You hear ‘Grand Marshal,’ but you really never know how someone gets that or achieves that or really what the credentials are,” Lana said.

She was at a laser-hair appointment when the call asking her to serve as Grand Marshal for the 2024 Pride Parade came from the Pride Festival committee.

“They're like, ‘Hi, we wanted to extend the offer for you to be Grand Marshal,’” Lana said. 'We see what you do in Kansas City — the spaces you create, and especially what you went and did in Jefferson City, and we just think you would be the perfect Grand Marshal.’ It was just very sweet and I kind of got emotional about it and I cried.”

Screenshot 2024-06-07 at 6.36.21 PM.png
Nine years ago, Landon Patterson, who you may know better as celebrated drag performer "Lana Luxx," never would have predicted where she’d be today. But on Saturday, June 8, 2024, she'll serve as Grand Marshal of the Kansas City Pride Parade (pictured from 2023).

Embracing being a role model

Lana doesn’t do the things she does for praise or attention, but her work has made her a role model and she’s embraced that.

“It is hard sometimes, feeling the pressure of being a role model because, with being a role model, comes expectations,” Lana said. “I feel sometimes there is a lot of pressure for me to say and do the right things and be this perfect person. It's not just like me being myself and showcasing my art. I have to think about the impact of what I'm saying or what I'm doing.”

When she was growing up, Lana didn’t have someone — a trans youth of Japanese descent and one of the city’s brightest entertainers — to emulate.

“It makes me happy to know people look up to me, especially queer youth and trans youth specifically, because I remember growing up, there weren't a lot of people to look up to that were trans people that were out or accepted or looked like me,” Lana said. “It makes me happy to be someone people can look up to or show their parents and be like, ‘See, they're living an authentic, happy life. This is a safe journey for me.’”

That’s why she so easily and readily shares her story and works to create places that welcome and accept trans and other LGBTQ+ people.

“It's been really cool,” Lana said. “My reach is going beyond just LGBTQ bars and ally bars. Places are wanting to participate and really create safe spaces within the city. That's truly what, to me, Pride and allyship is about.”

After the parade, Lana Luxx will perform several times at Pride, which continues through the weekend at Theis Park.