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Tanqueray, Humans of NY

Source: Twitter / @DJHEATDC

Tanqueray, the sassy burlesque dancer who captivated Humans of New York (HONY) fans with her fascinating story, is set to release her own book thanks to the platform’s creator Brandon Stanton.

Tanqueray, whose real name is Stephanie Johnson, graced the HONY Instagram page in 2019, sharing riveting stories about her life as a burlesque dancer in the 60s and 70s. The personal series chronicled her impeccable fashion style and shared emotional stories about her difficult relationship with her mother while growing up in Albany, New York.

Now, fans will get to learn more about the inimitable New Yorker’s life in her new self-titled book Tanqueray, which is scheduled to drop on July 12. The book will feature more personal stories and even photo’s from the star’s collection along with a few “brand new jaw-droppers,” according to Stanton.

“If you’re relatively sure you’re going to be reading Tanqueray on a beach this summer—and why wouldn’t you—you could help out me and Steph by preordering a copy,” the author told fans on social media. “Steph has been handing out her homemade business cards ‘like crazy,’ but we might need a little extra lift.”

In 2020, the HONY Instagram page shared a few more stories about Tanqueray that detailed her tough move to New York City as a pregnant teen. The social media star revealed that her mother called the police and had her arrested for burglary just before she was set to head to the big apple. After agreeing to give her unborn son up for adoption, Tanqueray set off to New York City once she was released on parole.

When she arrived, she got a job working at a clothing factory and spent days exploring the city, but it wasn’t long before she learned that go-go dancers could pull in $100 on a five-hour shift. Tanqueray knew she had would it took.

“I was a better dancer than all of them,” she said. “But I knew the clubs wouldn’t hire me. Because go-go dancers had to be perfect. They couldn’t have stretch marks. Couldn’t have tattoos. And they couldn’t be Black.”

Her first dancing gig was at a volunteer firehouse on Long Island.

“I was so nervous that I had to pee every five minutes. And I kept having to stop the performance while they drove away on calls,” Tanqueray recalled. “But I must have done something right, because they booked me again on the spot… I decided right then to make a career out of it.”

Back in September 2020, the fashionable dancer experienced a bad fall that impacted her ability to stand and walk. Stanton created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover her medical expenses and bills. Thanks to HONY fans, the campaign generated more than $2.5 million, which Stanton used to get Tanqueray a “24-hour home health aide.”

“She now has a physical therapist coming to the apartment multiple times a week.  And we’re working on handling the back rent and eviction notices,” he told fans at the time.


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