No one can deny the cultural revolution RuPaul’s Drag Race sparked by bringing the art of drag and queer representation into the mainstream, and becoming part of pop culture. The show has launched the careers of many queens, taking them from the club to the world stage, performing all over the globe. One country that received the show and the queens with open arms was Mexico, where the Ru girls regularly have arena shows and club gigs.
Despite Mexico being a conservative country where macho culture is deeply rooted, and living anywhere outside its strict gender norms can turn into a death sentence – which it still often does for trans women and men dressing as women – Drag Race inspired the local scene to start nurturing and revamping their own drag scene. A tight community ultimately emerged in the queer club scene, where people celebrated and elevated emerging queens with their own competition shows like La Carrera Drag de la CDMX, which is now somewhat of a rite of passage for Mexican queens, and a hotbed for the ones who are now booked and busy on the regular. La Más Draga, another competition show, was streamed on YouTube and brought the scene national attention.
Now a burgeoning scene in many Mexican cities like Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mexico City as the epicentre of it all, it’s common to see drag queens on magazine editorials, influencer campaigns, and have hosting gigs in posh bars. Though very young, the new wave of drag queens have made big strides and have even started to venture out into other mediums, like music. Why just lip-sync other people’s songs when you can perform your own? With Mexico City’s Pride parade right around the corner, let’s take a look at six Mexican drag queens shaking up the music world.
Margaret y Ya - "Onvres"
When it comes to prominent drag queens in the Mexican scene, no one is thriving quite like Margaret y Ya. Born as a satire of Mexico City’s typical fresa girl and the prejudices attached to the upper echelons of society, Margaret has captured the audience and fans with her pastel tinged hyper femininity and unique kawaii looks to exaggerate the spoiled brat look. The second most famous eyebrows in Mexico — second only to Frida Kahlo — started out her career by winning the third installment of La Carrera Drag de la CDMX, and being a runner up on the first season of La Más Draga. After concluding the latter, Margaret began releasing lose tracks perfect for the dancefloor. However, last year she steered towards a soft yet dark direction, singing about those damned “Onvres” that make her ache. Much like her drag, the music video is tumblr sad girl aesthetics galore, yet by the end, the uplifting takeaway is: “No lo olvides, vales mil, no estamos para sufrir.”
Paris Bang Bang - “Poseída”
An institution in Mexico’s drag scene, Paris Bang Bang is revered as a pioneer in the field. Before the drag queen renaissance, the scene in Mexico was largely focused on impersonators of singers and celebrities. As a direct response to the popularity of Drag Race, Paris founded her own drag competition show, La Carrera Drag de la CDMX. Starting out in a small club with fewer than 30 attendees, Paris began building what would one day give a platform to and launch many of the most prominent drag queens in Mexico. Channeling her drag inspiration, Britney Spears, Paris began releasing her own made-for-the-club bangers reminiscent of the pop stars that heavily influenced her. Like most of her work, “Poseída” is the soundtrack for a hot, sweaty, and boozy club in the wee hours of the morning. Other than being a showgirl and an icon, Paris recently served as a type of godmother to the contestants on La Más Draga 2, bestowing knowledge, support, and even tough love during judging and elimination.
América Fendi - “Bariloche”
Reminiscent of ‘90s queer icons LOCOMÍA, América Fendi’s “Bariloche” combines tropical sounds and electropop as an ode to a night of drinking and sex at the beach town in Argentina. América, a trans woman who does drag, is also a DJ and produces her own music and that of other drag queens and artists, like Paris Bang Bang’s “Poseída” and “Obsesión” by Zemoa. Like most girls on this list, she also participated in La Carrera Drag de la CDMX.
Gvajardo - “Patrona”
Every telenovela has a fabulous villain, and that’s the role Gvajardo was born to embody. Hailing from the city of Monterrey, la reina del norte is one of the most followed queens on social media, in part thanks to her iconically dramatic and fashion forward looks and her comically self-centered, bordering on vain, but lovable personality. Though she left halfway through, she participated on the YouTube drag competition show Versus Drag Queens, and is a judge in her hometown’s own Regias del Drag. Self-dubbed “la patrona,” she’s a popular hostess and DJ in the club circuit across the country, and has even delved into creating a dembow ode to herself. Made by NAAFI producer ZutZut, Gvajardo declares herself the baddest chick on “Patrona.” Though the lyrics are akin to familiar perreo messages about being better than the rest, Gvajardo’s champions body positivity and self-love above all else through her drag. She recently competed on La Más Draga 2, where she came out as a runner up.
Eva Blunt - “Eso Que Enamora”
Kicking off his indoctrination in the drag scene, Pablo Levy started out as a photographer and DJ, who would also play at La Carrera Drag de la CDMX. Drawn to circus acts and transformations that play with gender, Levy created Eva Blunt, an extravagant Amazon that allowed him to play with body proportions and cement her place as the dope queen. After being one of the runner-ups of the first season of La Más Draga, Eva released a pop reggaeton collaboration track with producer Neiko perfect for perreo at the club, “Eso Que Enamora.”
Valentina -"A Prueba de Todo”
Best known as a contestant on both RuPaul’s Drag Race season nineand All Stars4, Valentina gained popularity for the unapologetic Latinidad in her drag. As the first first-generation Mexican queen on the show, Valentina always portrayed various aspects of her culture in her drag, both on and off the show: from channeling icons like María Félix, to living all her telenovela fantasies, to even naming herself after the beloved hot sauce. But Valentina, born James Andrew Leyva, isn’t just a beauty queen, she’s also a singer. “A Prueba de Todo” is an anthemic testament to resilience in the face of heartbreak and hardships. It’s a traditional pop en español track à la Gloria Trevi and other early aughts icons like Paulina Rubio, made to sing at a karaoke bar while suffering from mal de amores.