Michelle McCausland (Michael Shreves) died of COVID-19 on November 28, 2020 at the age of 61.
Performing was her life’s true passion, and Michelle was truly a St. Louis entertainment and LGBTQ+ institution. She never made it to Broadway like the fantasies of her youth, instead she created magic and shined bright in St. Louis. Michelle supported friends and strangers alike in their struggles, a trusted and respected pillar of empathy and strength. She loved her fans and community and they loved her back.
In 1986 Michelle successfully sued (via the ACLU) and overturned the St. Louis City’s 150 year old masquerade law (prohibiting drag and crossdressing), which got declared unconstitutional. Her “offense” had been getting arrested at a Washington Avenue bar for cross dressing in 1982. 30 years later in 2012, and after years of being runner-up, Michelle finally achieved her dream of earning the title “Miss Gay Missouri” for her version of the Broadway hit “Anything Goes” (complete with backup dancers and professional choreography).
Michelle McCausland/Michael Shreves is missed by her mother, relatives, huge family of friends, the St. Louis’s LGBTQ+ community, and by all her thousands of fans and supporters.
- Michelle McCauseland’s public Facebook profile
- Michael Shreves, groundbreaking St. Louis drag performer, dies at 61 – StlToday.com on November 30, 2020
- St. Louis drag queen icon and LGBTQ trailblazer dies of COVID-19 – KSDK – published November 30, 2020
As word got at the end of the Thanksgiving 2020 weekend, tributes more eloquent than this writing were posted to news outlets and social media.