Here, from those who know him best (family, friends and his largely articulate self) is the dirt on Donnie Corker:
Fiction: He's retarded.
Fact: He's illiterate, but sensitive, street smart and often successfully manipulative. He has been categorized as cognitively disabled for purposes of receiving his deceased father's benefits.
Fiction: He's a big, fat, selfish schemer.
Fact: Sometimes. But he's helped feed a lot of children with his benefit shows. He genuinely likes "helping people out and making people happy." He wants you to have fun and laugh with him at his outrageousness.
Fiction: He's a gentle giant.
Fact: He's mellowed, but still has a temper and jokes he'll "wreck this city one more time." He thinks "Richmond people ought to get shook up. They think if you're different or you wear a dress, you're sick."
Fiction: He won the lottery a few years back.
Fact: He's been pretty lucky at bingo recently.
Fiction: He's not really a born-again Christian.
Fact: He joined a Baptist church in Colonial Heights two years ago, attends every Sunday and professes faith in God.
Fiction: He does drugs and molests children.
Fact: He's never done either. But he does like a little bourbon and Coke sometimes: "God's not going to punish me for that."
Fiction: You should call him a "her."
Fact: His name is Donnie. "Dirt Woman is only my stage name."
Fiction: He's a bisexual-transvestite-something-or-another.
Fact: He prefers the term "female impersonator" and nowadays only dresses up as a woman once or twice a year for his charity shows. He's gay and still flirts, but he's been sexually inactive since a bout with colon cancer three years ago.
He used to be a prostitute. He was attacked with an ax, beaten, stabbed and shot, but "I never got my feelings hurt. People call me a 'faggot' and I'd tell 'em, 'I'm a good one,' and keep on walking."
He has never had sex with a woman. He had a boyfriend for about five years a long time ago. He is lonely but he doesn't want a relationship unless he finds the right person: "I find the right one I will. When I get old, I'll find somebody. Some fool out here will pick me up."
Fiction: He's a bum.
Fact: He sells flowers. He's in a new video for the band GWAR. He's made pinup calendars and delivered "Dirt-grams." He did mud wrestling.
He washed dishes at a pancake house for a while, but his boss didn't like him. He peeled garlic at Mamma'Zu in Oregon Hill until moving to South Side with his mother and one of his sisters last year.
Fiction: He's dead.
Fact: He nearly died during surgery for the cancer: "It was scary at first. It doesn't bother me now." His health is pretty good these days and he's lost a little weight. "I don't think I'm going to ever die. I think God put me on this earth to entertain my friends and entertain people who don't like me."
Fiction: He is sad and pathetic.
Fact: "No, I'm not sad. I just have a lot of problems. Just lonely. I don't want to do the things I used to do." Still, he has no regrets: "I'd do it all over again. I'd do it
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