Nashville renames street after drag queen in move city leaders say is a first in the US

Nashville is celebrating Pride Month with a new street name that honors a drag queen who was a longtime performer in the city.

Part of Carney Street is now named Bianca Paige Way after a dedication Saturday, CNN affiliate WSMV reported. The street recognizes Mark Middleton, who performed under the name Bianca Paige around Nashville for years.

Middleton died in 2010 from lymphoma, according to WSMV. After being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, he used his platform to raise awareness and tip money to raise funds for research. He eventually raised more than a million dollars.

The newly named street is just outside the downtown area, near a bar named Trax, where Middleton often performed as Bianca Paige. City leaders approved the name change in March.

In a tweet, Mayor John Cooper called Bianca Paige “a Nashville legend.” He said this is the first street in America named after a drag performer.

Bianca Paige Day had been a celebration during Pride month long before the street renaming.

“Mark’s legacy in town is so memorable, and everything he’s done for HIV and AIDS,” Nashville resident Ron Sanford told WSMV. “Eleven years later, we’re still celebrating him and honoring him.”