David E. Hamilton, aka Cati Collins, died Saturday, Jan. 16, at 4 a.m., following a brief battle with cancer.
Hamilton was born Aug. 14, 1954, in Linden, Texas, and after completing his studies at Texas A&M University, moved to Dallas. He worked in the oil industry until his retirement in 2014.

While Hamilton lived in Dallas, “Cati Collins” was born from his love of the theater and a desire to help the Dallas gay community. Cati was a regular cast member at La Folles on Mockingbird Lane, Powers Company on Fitzhugh Avenue and the Blue Parrot on Cedar Springs Road.

During this time, Hamilton joined the United Court of the Lone Star Empire, and in 1986 he was elected Empress XII. He later was elected Empress XVII of Dallas. Hamilton perfected his “Cati” persona and his fundraising talents and in 1999 was crowned Miss Gay Dallas.

He later competed in Miss Gay Texas America, finishing in the top 10. After his retirement, Hamilton volunteered his time at the AIDS Resource Center. He loved the Dallas community and his love and laughter — as David and as Cati — will always be remembered. Rest in peace, David/Cati.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 22, 2016.