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WHY DRAG?

MAGNUS HASTINGS presents an EXCLUSIVE LOOK at

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FEATURING

NAOMI SMALLS

WITH BOB the DRAG QUEEN DETOX ELAINE LANCASTER DULCE DE LECHE PEARL WILDCHILD MANILA LUZON & RIDGE GALLAGHER


Le Tour de Drag When we created QUEEN Magazine it was with the intent to highlight drag as it is presented in all forms around the globe. We did this because there are artists thriving across the drag landscape that cannot be displayed solely on television or by what you see in your local drag community. Our mission was to bring you the brightest and the boldest that a wide variety of drag queens have to offer. By doing so, we quickly realized a larger dialogue was necessary and we were presented with some tough questions. How do we encourage our readers to support artists who don’t have the leverage of television celebrity? How do we stay afloat monetarily as a magazine if we dared to put a non RuPaul’s Drag Race girl on the cover? The answers are not so simple, but we will keep on sissying our walk - in baby steps - to get there. We hope to engage all avid drag fans out there in a conversation that moves the art of drag beyond one influential platform and effectively creates an awareness that we’re all in this together. So how can you help? Be a true supporter of the drag movement by supporting your local girls, drag friendly venues and, of course, your favorite drag magazine (whichever it may be) for more than just its cover girl. With this issue we kept our promise to venture abroad seeking out what amazing queens other cultures had to offer. So we packed our wigs, threw on our lipstick and hit it to Europe. First stop: Barcelona, Spain! When we left Los Angeles we had no idea who we might meet across the pond that could match the brilliance of our lovely Mynxii White. As it turns out, he came in the form of a 6’2” Italian born, multi-lingual enigma named Fausto Leoni. With his worldy knowledge and vast experience in fashion editing, styling and creative direction, he lead us on a quest to create something that really captured the breathtaking ambiance of Barcelona. Fausto quickly decided that we should shoot Didi Maquiaveli, a standout fashion queen with true star quality. After Barcelona we met a slew of gifted drag queens in Paris, Rome, Dublin, Belfast and lastly Berlin, just in time for the Battle of the Seasons Tour. The show was spectacular and the energy from the packed house was palpable. David and everyone at PEG Management know their stuff! Be sure to check out the fantastically colorful photo shoot of all the BOTS queens taken by the uber talented Mario Mendez during their last European stop in Barcelona. If you’ve been following our growth since the inception of QUEEN then you’ve probably noticed that we have worked closely with famed London born and Los Angeles based photographer Magnus Hastings. Magnus has played an integral part in the development of QUEEN and we thought it fitting to showcase the brilliant work he’s created for his new book, “WHY DRAG”, as well as his gorgeous shots accompanying an interview of RuPaul’s Drag Race season eight standout Derrick Barry. Speaking of Londoners, we have a gorgeous shoot featuring Jodie Harsh as you’ve never seen her before photographed by Dimitris Theocharis. So what’s next for QUEEN Magazine? We are proud to announce that we are launching a monthly drag daughter paper called PAINT! This will focus more on current events and, of course, more original content and photographs featuring your favorite queens at an alternative price point. Spoiler: you’ll get an intimate look inside an iconic queen’s closet each month! We’re already fast at work on our fourth issue and our subscribers are in for a real treat so be sure to stay tuned. Thank you again for your continued love and support. We appreciate all of you!

Josh Stuart & Miles Davis Moody Publishers

QUEEN 07


QUEENMAGAZINE

Creative Direction Josh Stuart & Miles Davis Moody @queen.zine Editor Emma Madden @emmythenotsogreat Advertising queenmagintl@gmail.com Illustrator Abz Hakim @abzhakim Contributing Photographers Magnus Hastings @magnushastings Dimitris Theocharis @dimitristheocharis Gabriel Gastelum @gabrielgastelum Didac Alcoba @didacalcoba Mario Mendez @planetmario Indrek Galetin @indrekgaletin Steven C. De La Cruz @stevencdelacruz Contributing Writers Emma Madden @emmythenotsogreat Valarie Zapata @valz1013 Miles Moody @milesdavismoody Featured Queens Naomi Smalls @naomismalls Derrick Barry @derrickbarry Jodie Harsh @jodieharsh Laganja Estranja @laganjaestranja Didi Maquiaveli @didimaquiaveli Bob the Drag Queen @bobthedragqueen Detox @theonlydetox Ridge Gallagher @ridgegallaghermua Dulce De Leche @sweetestmilksf Manila Luzon @manilaluzon Wildchild @wildchild_world Elaine Lancaster @divaelaine Katya @katya_zamo Pandora Boxx @pandoraboxx Adore Delano @adoredelano Violet Chachki @violetchachki Courtney Act @courtneyact Jinkx Monsoon @thejinkx Sharon Needles @sharonneedlespgh Maxi More @fairyprincessmermaidbarbie Coco Peru @misscocoperu Pearl @pearliaison Queen Magazine, LLC is published quarterly in Los Angeles, California by Josh Stuart and Miles Davis Moody.

07 LE TOUR DE DRAG Publishers Josh Stuart and Miles Davis Moody get you up to speed on what’s been happening since Issue 02, including details on their dragulous trip to Europe meeting and photographing drag queens, their thoughts on supporting drag and an exciting special announcement! 10 DERRICK BARRY She was once a Las Vegas Britney impersonator but not yet a drag queen. After a successful run on Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race she’s doing much more than blocking her eyebrows. Check out what’s next for Derrick in this wonderful piece written by Emma Madden. 16 THE DIVINE ART OF PAUL HOLLAND What you’re looking at is not a photograph. A gifted hyper realistic artist living in Paris, Paul Holland opens up and answers all your questions about what inspires his creative genius, what his dream project is and what superpower he would have. 20 JODIE HARSH When she isn’t hanging out with Paris Hilton or filming a cameo for Absolutely Fabulous 2, she’s throwing parties, DJing and making music all over the world. And in a heel! While you’ve probably seen her in her trademark hair, you’ve never seen her looking this MAJOR. Photographed by Dimitris Theocharis. 30 LAGANJA ESTRANJA She death dropped her way to stardom on Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and has become a major player in the drag scene as a seminal part of the Haus of Edwards. Laganja Estranja is dancing her way to the top but is it easy being green? Feast your eyes on this botanic warrior photographed by Gabriel Gastelum. 32 A BARCELONA ROMANCE There’s a bit of drama going on in Spain. Follow our cameras as photographer Didac Alcoba captures a red hot love affair on the streets of Barcelona featuring Didi Maquiaveli and Alex Francisco. Will this amorous dalliance burn bright into the night or fizzle out before it even gets started? 44 MAGNUS HASTINGS’ “WHY DRAG?” He’s a celebrity photographer with a thing for drag queens! Magnus Hastings has been a magnetic force in the drag community for over 10 years and has a new book out with 224 pages of the biggest and most diverse queens across the globe, all answering the question, “Why drag?”. Get an exclusive preview here! 56 A RUPAUL’S BATTLE OF THE SEASONS FANTASY The RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons World Tour is underway and you wont want to miss these stunning shots of each star as they showcase their collective talents in Barcelona Spain. 66 THE ULTRA EGO London drag master Maxi More - your common garden drag queen - is photographed by lens extraordinaire Indrek Galetin in magnificent color that will certainly go to your head. 76 MY CONVERSATION WITH COCO PERU Valarie Zapata takes a good look under the wig of legendary storyteller Coco Peru in this fascinating in-depth interview of the acclaimed actress/writer/ producer/director. She’s the hostess with that something extra.

TABLEOFCONTENTS

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Publishers Josh Stuart & Miles Davis Moody @queen.zine


Derrick Barry Words by Emma Madden Photographs by Magnus Hastings Custom Pieces by Shokra

All custom pieces are by Shokra. For more information visit Shokra on Instagram at @shokrala.


First off, the family resemblance to Britney is uncanny. Derrick’s sat in his home in Las Vegas after a sapping six-day work week, but I am still startled by the likeness. Even though this is his one day of the week where he doesn’t have to wear that silken blonde wig and the barracuda-like corset, he is inexplicably Britney. With his short hair and all, right now he’s maybe more of a 2007 Britney which I assure him is a compliment - but the image of Britney loosens as I begin to talk to Derrick Barry. Out of all the queens I’ve interviewed, Derrick is by far the most professional. He doesn’t interrupt, he is very courteous, and each of his sentences comes to a hush when he decides he has said all he has needed to. The person who often appeared to be oversensitive and tumultuous on RuPaul’s Drag Race is now very composed and sedate. For someone who can take on Vegas six nights a week with such command and confidence, I hadn’t expected Derrick to have found his experience on Drag Race so difficult. He tells me that he felt completely out of his comfort zone in an environment which he describes as ‘adolescent’. When packing his suitcase the night before Drag Race, Derrick tells me that he was breaking down, that he didn’t feel ready to go. He had no hesitancy in telling me so either. This is why Derrick is a ‘drag racer’ that we’ve not yet seen before. As I’ve seen, he definitely has the composure to remain professional at all times, but he is incredibly generous with his vulnerability also. There is no shame in trying something and having it not work, there is no shame in being homesick, and there is no shame in feeling like a victim. Yes, we love drag for these so-called glamazonians, these self-sufficient beings who can ‘love themselves’ in any situation above anything else. But drag is about the transition as well as the end-product. Most nights Derrick gets to perform as Britney Spears - one of the world’s greatest cultural icons, and Derrick’s personal muse. With all the love he has for Britney - who he discovered one morning whilst eating cereal before school - it’s not difficult for him to love himself as faux-Britney. However he admits to me that he didn’t have the same confidence on Drag Race as he does on stage in Vegas. Derrick likens performing as himself to being naked, and when he performs as Britney he feels as though he’s put on a cover-all superhero cape. Although it’s convenient to play someone else, to base your life on conclusions that you haven’t yet come to but as Derrick is learning - eventually it is necessary to become yourself. In Derrick’s case, he was truly birthed into the world when he first drew on those godawful brows in his final Drag Race episode. A year on from filming now, and not only are the brows well and truly on fleek but it is clear to see that Derrick Barry is finally mushrooming into himself. I listen to his latest single, BOOMBOOM as I write this and it’ll no doubt be the song that gets me out of the house over the summer. As well as the single, he’ll be acting in multiple projects, as well as submitting an audition tape for Saturday Night Live. Derrick is no doubt learning that he doesn’t just have to play Britney to take over the world.

QUEEN 13


All custom pieces are by Shokra. For more information visit Shokra on Instagram at @shokrala.


the divine artwork of

PAUL HOLLAND


Who are you and what do you do? I am a British illustrator based in Paris. How do you work? All of my work is initially hand drawn traditionally, in pencil (these are not photographs!). The drawings are then scanned onto my Mac where I compose, apply colors/textures etc. and finalize the image. What’s your background? I have been drawing since I was a young kid and graduated in illustration whilst studying in London. What’s integral to the success of your art? As a lot of my work involves portraiture, I obviously aim to achieve a good likeness and observation therefore is paramount. It also helps when the subject really captures my attention. I want my images to translate that power that I see in others. The FACE magazine was a real influence on my visual dialogue when growing up, [and] the editorials in those magazines still provide me with motivation. I have an almost complete collection from the 80s through to the 00s! How has your practice changed over time? I like to think that I’ve managed to strip back and produce a stronger, simpler yet 'chic’ image over time. Sometimes certain clients require a more commercial approach and this means that my work regresses but my practice is ever evolving, I hope. What art do you most with? I’m drawn to figurative general, those which the human condition. photography, portraiture, sensual and provocative.

identify work in capture Fashion anything

What work do you most enjoy doing? I specialize in fashion, beauty, portraiture and music. All of these culminate in a fun POP aesthetic! What’s your favorite piece of art? I would love to own a Robert Mapplethorpe. What jobs have you done other than being an artist? I have experience as a tattoo artist and have also worked in styling/windows/ visual merchandising. Why art? Art and the creative arena is a natural environment for me, it’s my form of expression I guess. What memorable responses have you had to your work? I hear this constantly with regards to my work, “Oh I thought it was a photo”. What food, drink, song inspires you? I love Deee-Lite, their sound & aesthetic was and still is very inspiring (you have to go beyond Groove is in the heart). QUEEN 18

What superpower would you have and why? Time travel. I would love to have experienced New York in the 70/80s: the Chelsea Hotel, Warhol’s factory, a Mapplethorpe exhibition, a Keith Haring subway piece. To witness a Tom of Finland drawing, to have seen Leigh Bowery perform live, a front row seat at a McQueen runway show, to have danced in the Hacienda and [exist] during Ibiza’s peak etc., and of course attending a RuPauls’ Drag Race finale! Name something you love, and why. Instagram, although it is a love/hate relationship! I think it’s a great tool/ platform and really works even on a professional level but there’s just so much out there [that] it becomes almost a full-time job! What is your dream project? I would really like to collaborate with photographers such as Inez Vinoodh and/or Tim Walker! A MAC Cosmetics campaign would also be fun! Creating visuals for Mama Ru would be a dream and I’m currently working on an illustration of her. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. I’m not sure it’s such a good thing when your work is comparable to another but I realize it’s always possible. It’s all about being different and trying to stand out - the struggle is REAL!!!! I’m currently loving everything Isamaya French is producing. I’m also a fan of Jean-Paul Gouda and I love Raf Simons x Peter de Potter’s archive. Favorite or most inspirational place? Berghain in Berlin but I could say clubs in general. I love the atmosphere in a good club and the kids that make an effort visually. That atmosphere, attitude and sound will always be inspiring to me. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist? You’re only as good as your most recent work & limit your time spent on Instagram, it sends you crazy! Do you have a muse and if so, who? Leigh Bowery often feeds into my thought process and I have to admit I am obsessed. Not necessarily always on a visual level but that 'no fear' mentality. I’m aware that Kim Jones (Artistic Director - Louis Vuitton) has accumulated a now vast collection of Leigh's original club wear which he made himself. I’d really like to see that. Professionally, what’s your goal? I hope to sustain a career doing what I enjoy most - drawing! I would also consider a creative director type role as well as perhaps working alongside kids through art. What can't you live without? My hands! Chocolate comes in at a very close second. All artwork shown is Paul’s. For more of Paul’s work visit: www.paulholland.co.uk • www.illustrationweb.com/paulholland • IG: @paulhollart

QUEEN 19


JODIE HARSH Photographs by Dimitris Theocharis Styling by Alexis Knox Makeup by Adam Burrell Hair by Shirori Takahashi Nails by Sarah Poulten

Fur Coat by Romain Brau


This page: Jewelled eye patch by Pabllo De La Cruz Dress by Natalia Kaut Opposite Page: Mask by Romain Brau


Both pages: Ring (index) by Tessa Metcalfe Ring (pinky) by Mawi Bracelet by Mawi Collar necklace by Mawi Fur coat and mesh top by Romain Brau


This page: Top by Romain Brau Jumpsuit with cape by Natalia Kaut Opposite page: Earrings by Kitson Body piece by Ada Zanditon Corset by Natalia Kaut Cuffs by Tamzin Lillywhite Fur by Romain Brau


This page: Fur coat by Romain Brau Opposite Page: Neckalces by Mawi Fur coat by Romain Brau


LAGANJA ESTRANJA

Photographs by Gabriel Gastelum Retouching by Ryan Lea Words by Miles Davis Moody

Tongue pops and death drops! It all started with a sonic boom when she entered the season six work room of RuPaul’s Drag Race exclaiming “So y’all wanted a twist, eh?”. So began the sickening adventures of who we’ve all come to know and love as the cannabis queen herself, Laganja Estranja. Born Jay Jackson and originally hailing from Carrollton, Texas, Laganja’s story of triumph over adversity is truly inspirational. If you’ve been keeping track of this diva’s ascent to stardom, then you already know that it hasn’t been the easiest strut down the catwalk we call life. However as the saying goes, you can’t hold a good queen down. Many things can be said about Laganja’s stint on Drag Race but not many a queen with as tumultuous a reality television history as Laganga’s have embraced their legacy, taken it by the wig and got herself together in the way that she has. Her heartening appearance on season two of Jonny McGovern’s HEY QWEEN is awe inspiring. She addresses her alcohol abuse and recovery with a courageous introspection that defies her years. This young drag starlet has shown tremendous growth with the grace of a seasoned pro. Laganja will tell you she didn’t do it all on her own. She surrounded herself with her good Judies: The Haus of Edwards. Comprised of house mother Alyssa Edwards, sister Shangela Laquifa Wadley and newly minted Edwards sister Gia Gunn. Has Laganja let any of these prior shenanigans stop her chassé to the top? No ma’am! That’s SO two years ago! This business fish is well on her way to carving out brand Laganja for the masses. Not being one to sit on her laurels, Laganja is showing that if you work hard you can persevere beyond belief. With consistent road work such as the Team Too Much and Divas of Drag tours, Laganja continues to travel the world with her unique green queen brand. After furthering her shablam across your television screens on Skin Wars and The MTV VMA’s, Miss Team Too Much is branching out her repertoire to include a medicinal marijuana collaboration with hepburns.com, a fashion venture with Miss Mary Jane Co., Laganja’s custom kicks, tees and tanks through dragqueenmerch.com and a continued presence on YouTube with celeb besties like Jeffree Star. Keep your smokey eyes peeled for this choreographer, creator and diehard cannabis activist for many moons to come. Trust and believe, mawma! Be sure to check out www.laganjaestranja.com and keep up to date on the latest news, merchandise and tour dates!


BAR CEL ONA ROMANCE

Alex: Coat and shirt by Albec Bunsen, Trousers by Neuf Fevrier Didi: Cape by L’Nena Atelier, Trousers by Albec Bunsen

Photographs by Didac Alcoba Creative Direction & Styling by Fausto Leoni Stylist Assistant Rafah Seoud Makeup for Didi by Alex Alva Assistant Francisco Molina Makeup for Alex by Raffaele Romagnoli Models are Didi Maquiaveli and Alex Francisco


Alex: Jacket by Noelia Callejรณn, top by Albec Bunsen, trousers by Neuf Fevrier Didi: Dress by Noelia Callejรณn


Alex: Jacket by Noelia Callejรณn, top by Albec Bunsen, trousers by Neuf Fevrier Didi: Dress by Noelia Callejรณn


Top By Leo Peralta, Trousers by Albec Bunsen


Alex: Balzer by Neuf Fevrier, Shirt by Leo Peralta, Skirt by Albec Bunsen Didi: Total Look by L’Nena Atelier


WHY DRAG?

MAGNUS HASTINGS presents an EXCLUSIVE LOOK at

Words by Emma Madden • Photographs by Magnus Hastings

Bob the Drag Queen from "Why Drag?" by Magnus Hastings, published by Chronicle Books, 2016

QUEEN 45


Detox from "Why Drag?" by Magnus Hastings, published by Chronicle Books, 2016


Today, in almost any photograph of a drag queen that you come across you’ll find Magnus Hastings’ name in the bottom corner of it. In his latest and greatest offering to the world, he asks the most proficient queens around the globe: “Why Drag?”. The project has been many years in the making and is finally ready to be revealed on May 17th, when Magnus’ first book will be on sale. Originally from London, Magnus spent much of his early career photographing the most delightfully trashy celebrities that Britain had to offer. The kind of celebrities used to sell subpar gossip magazines; the most seemingly vapid celebrities whose sex tapes were too gross to go viral - those sorts. Whilst these essential D-list celebrities were being used by the media as empty props, Magnus gave them a bit more credit than that. He tells me about the time he had photographed Katie Price and Peter Andre (our British equivalent of luminaries like Ryan and Trista Sutter). Instead of asking them to vacantly pose, with both abs and cleavage slumping outwards - he gave them the direction to whip all clothes off and to pose on top of a cross in mock-crucifixion. What seems wildly inappropriate on paper is executed with the utmost effectiveness that only Magnus could muster. In the juvenile stage of his career he allowed the public to see these figures in ways that never could have been had Magnus Hastings not existed. The provocative and the jarring remain ever-present in Magnus’ work today, but he ascribes these qualities to people who are far more deserving of them - drag queens. Although there’s nothing that the queer community savours more than a D-list celebrity that was neglected from the heterosexual zeitgeist, Magnus’ work is at its prime when there is a drag queen in front of his camera. His apartment is abounding with photographs of drag queens that he has taken. I am a little distracted by the one of Milk with its striking bluewhite hospital colors, which is mounted up behind him - the size of a coffee table. He gives me a tour of each of his rooms, every one of them overclouded by photographs of drag queens. We leaf through his book “Why Drag?” together and he talks in paragraphs which often ramble and rove towards the end. He regularly becomes so animated and effused that he forgets his point and has to start again - which, as we look through his photographs, is how I’m beginning to understand the processes behind his work. As we pass photos of Sharon Needles in a straitjacket and Courtney Act receiving cunnilingus in a bathroom, I feel right at home. For us gaybies who spent our formative years being desensitised to violence and the ultimate oddness (how old were you when you had to endure Divine inserting a steak into “her own little oven”?) this stuff is hardly new. In fact, it’s exactly the kind of content that we signed up for. However, there is still some shock left in the squeamish straight people of the world. Magnus tells me that whilst his photographs of fishy queens seem to get a universal approval - his bearded queens - or really, any of his queens that show signs of transformation - are shunned away by the straight audience. In fact, a lot of the queens he photographs are keen to erase any signs of transformation. “So, are you going to photoshop that out?”, “can we airbrush that?” are questions Magnus gets asked and then rejects often. This is exactly what Magnus’ photography opposes. Unlike the average celebrity photographer, Magnus has a very warts-andall approach, which in drag terms means that he will very much let the front of that lace-front wig show.

Ridge Gallagher from "Why Drag?" by Magnus Hastings, published by Chronicle Books, 2016

“Why Drag?” by Magnus Hastings, published by Chronicle Books will be available in May. QUEEN 49


Dulce de Leche from "Why Drag?" by Magnus Hastings, published by Chronicle Books, 2016


Manila Luzon and Wildchild (Opposite) from "Why Drag?" by Magnus Hastings, published by Chronicle Books, 2016


Elaine Lancaster from "Why Drag?" by Magnus Hastings, published by Chronicle Books, 2016


RUPAUL BOTS

PHOTOGRAPHER MARIO MENDEZ SHARES HIS VISIONS OF THE GIRLS FROM THE RUPAUL BATTLE OF THE SEASONS T0UR’S STOP IN BARCELONA, SPAIN THIS SPRING

FEATURING...

KATYA ZAMO


BOXX

ADORE DELANO

PANDORA


VIOLET

CHACHKI


Y E N T R U O C T C A

JINKX

MONSOON


AND

SHARON

NEEDLES


The

Ultra Ego Photographs by Indrek Galetin Featuring Maxi More assisted by Hazel Tyler


COCO PERU: Connecting with Courage: My Conversation with Coco Peru Words by Valarie Zapata • Photograph by Steven C. De La Cruz It’s not every day that one finds out they’ll be interviewing their drag idol. On the eve of said interview with Coco Peru, I calmed down by rewatching cult classics Trick, Girls Will be Girls, and every single video on Miss Coco Peru’s Youtube channel. So one can only imagine the level of fangirling happening internally as we sat down for a conversation at Coco’s kitchen table over a cup of tea. If one looks online you’re bound to find interviews calling Coco Peru a “viral drag queen sensation.” Even though one may scoff at the seemingly reductive label, it makes sense given the way so many of Coco’s current fans “discover” the drag icon. This form of publicity is a far cry from when Coco began her drag career 25 years ago in New York City. Coco suggests when she started, “It was about the art, about connecting with other people, about making change, those were really my goals as corny as it may sound.” But getting that message out was a considerable task. She says, “I was so creative trying to get people to see my show. I created a phony company that was representing me.” She also wrote letters on her behalf and spray-painted her name on sidewalks at night trying to generate buzz. Thanks to the buzz and subsequent success, scores of fans across the globe have been empowered and entertained by Coco’s unique brand of autobiographical storytelling, especially a cadre of adolescent youth. At last year’s 2015 inaugural RuPaul’s DragCon, during a touching moment in Coco’s packed panel, “Coco Peru: A Legend in Progress,” a young boy, mother in tow, openly shared his admiration and appreciation for what Coco Peru has meant to his life. No doubt the boy found Coco through her YouTube videos. While Coco suggests that she wishes young fans “could see my shows because they’re just seeing my silly videos,” she understands that people, especially gay youth, find the “silly” videos inspirational. “That’s amazing to me. And I think it’s because, having the New York accent and having an opinion about everything is funny, but what I think is resonating for people is that I’m a man in women’s clothes in stores and neighborhoods where I don’t belong necessarily and yet I don’t care,” explains Coco. I’m just walking around like I own the place and I think that is the same reason why RuPaul’s Drag Race is popular, it’s because they are seeing people just being themselves, self-expressed, and not really caring what other people think of them. And isn’t that what we all crave.” What’s undoubtedly powerful in Coco’s YouTube videos, is whether she is navigating the sordid streets in “Let’s Play Grand Theft Auto V with Coco Peru” or the familiar aisles of her local Walgreens or Target, there’s a certain comfortable ordinariness in Coco’s presence in these everyday spaces. There’s a validation of “otherness” through her approachability, humor, and running commentary on mundanities such as the availability of Tension Tamer tea or the price of panettone. “There’s something about owning 100% of who you are and not caring about what anybody thinks, putting it out there, the courage that that takes. I think the human brains are wired to respect that,” says Coco about her Peruvian namesake, Coco, but when it really comes down to it, this is what one envisions when they think of Coco Peru. What’s next on the horizon for Coco Peru has been an ongoing labor of love, one that will potentially take her storytelling to a much wider audience. On the heels of its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, Coco is filming the television pilot episode of Conversations with Coco, a takeoff from the interview show she puts on at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. In it, Coco has shared conversations with fellow icons such as Bea Arthur, Jane Fonda, and Liza Minnelli. Bringing the pilot to fruition has not been easy, especially with the nerve-wracking and humbling crowdfunding. “When these new people approached me I thought, why bother, I have a great life without bringing all that on to me. But then there’s that other part of me that was who are you to stop something that could…change your life and change other people’s lives, celebrate icons, and raise money for the center. So I thought, ok, I’ll go along for the ride.” The pilot episode features an interview with the legendary Lily Tomlin. As a television program, Conversations with Coco will provide a grander platform from which Coco can continue inspiring others to have courage and not fear thinking outside the box. “I’ve challenged myself in so many ways with so many things that have scared me. I’m still scared to walk out on stage at every performance, but the sort of liberating thing that happens is once you’re out there and you’re in full drag there is no turning back. There is either failure or success, and you do everything you can to succeed.” She goes on, “And I think that’s where people should live, on that edge. I’m either going to fail or succeed so I’m going to do my best to succeed. Often people live in the safety zone. They’re not gonna fail, but they’re not necessarily living the life that they want.” And it’s through this missive of pushing on and believing in oneself, against all odds, that Coco’s legend continues to reign supreme. QUEEN 76


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WHY DRAG?

MAGNUS HASTINGS presents an EXCLUSIVE LOOK at

SPRING 2016

FEATURING PEARL WITH DETOX ELAINE LANCASTER DULCE DE LECHE NAOMI SMALLS WILDCHILD MANILA LUZON BOB the DRAG QUEEN & RIDGE GALLAGHER

Profile for Queen Magazine

Queen Magazine Issue 03: Spring 2016  

Featuring Naomi Smalls on the cover for Magnus Hastings' book "Why Drag?".

Queen Magazine Issue 03: Spring 2016  

Featuring Naomi Smalls on the cover for Magnus Hastings' book "Why Drag?".

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