New Drag Queen Scene in the RGV

Local News

RuPaul, one of the most prolific Drag Queens in pop culture, is quoted as saying “Don’t be afraid to use all the colors in the crayon box.”

And that is exactly what local Drag Queens in the Rio Grande Valley do. 

News Center 23’s Marlane Rodriguez takes you behind the scenes of the New Queen Scene. 

“I’m not trying to aim to look specifically like a woman I’m more trying to present this idea of what I think of woman is,” said Jose Uvalles, also known as Beatrix Lestrange, a well-known Drag Queen in the community. 

The drag queen culture has been around for ages, and it is making a comeback in the Rio Grande Valley. There are lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about the drag queen community. 

“Doing drag and being a drag queen is more for entertainment purposes and it is something that has a long history within the queer culture within the LGBT culture,” Uvalles said. 

Uvalles is local drag queen activist. He has been doing drag for almost four and a half years. 

“We can go back to the 1920’s in the pansy craze during prohibition there was a huge movement of men who performed in drag and it was socially acceptable in bigger cities. Now we have stuff like RuPauls Drag Race where drag is coming back into the mainstream again and it’s gaining popularity,” Uvalles said. 

News Center 23’s Marlane Rodriguez went to Studio 69, a club where people can be themselves, and watched as Beatrix, and other Drag Queens, including Leah Morgan and Luna LeStrange also known as Sebastian Cisneros, transformed into female characters, and performed. 

However, they don’t just perform for entertainment. One night, all Drag Queens donated their tips to the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Leah Morgan, also known as Julio Lozoya, is a local celebrity entertainer. 

“It’s two different persons, two different people, and for me to be able to do that it means a lot to me and it’s the most fun part of drag,” Leah Morgan said, adding Lady Gaga is among the celebrities impersonated. 

“Lady Gaga has opened so many doors for me, I’ve had so [much] work because of her, because we look alike,” Morgan said. 

The getting ready process takes hours from some Drag Queens, including Luna Lestrange, another local Drag Queen.

“Regardless if you look bad or really good people are still going to turn and acknowledge you,” Luna said. “I want visibility and for people to understand that its normal, why do you have to harass a person like that? [ A Drag Queen] is regular person walking next to you.”

There are more than 50 Drag Queens in the Rio Grande Valley. Some have been performing for years, others just started. There are no rules to Drag. You can be straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, asexual or intersexual male or female or outside of the gender binary.

For Part 2 click here:


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