Ikaro Kadoshi, São Paulo, Brazil
What word would you use to describe the gay scene in São Paulo?
Unique. The gay scene in Brazil is unique because we have the carnival influencing all the art, the people and the gay community. And we are Latino, so, hot by birth! Rhythm in veins, happiness in the blood and pride in the brain. In São Paulo, we have the biggest Pride parade in the world. If you go in a club here, you see everyone hanging out together in the same space.
If you got to kiki with any diva, who would it be?
?Beyoncé. She is the most complete artist that lives in my era. Who would not want a drink of her wisdom? Talk to her body and make her sing, “I love to love you baby.” I dreamt about it once -- really!
What’s a song from your youth that you enjoy performing?
Annie Lennox’s “Why.” It’s more than a song; for me it is poetry. I listened to that song when I was discovering my sexuality. When all bullying and violence against me and my LGBTQ friends suffer, it’s a song to remember that we are made of relationships.
Brazil is the country with the most LGBTQ murders. In 2016, 357 people were killed because of their not-straight sexuality. One of our people are killed nearly every day. And like the song says, “I don’t think you know what I feel / Tell me why."
Do you feel an obligation to introduce your fans to new queer musicians?
Of course. We are used to being forgotten. We are used to having no representation in several parts of society. It is our obligation to let the fans know that we have people who break this cycle, that are creating art, telling our history through songs, poetry, books, performances and painting. Especially music.
How do you think the success of Drag Race has affected local drag culture?
Drag Race in Brazil makes the people remember that we exist -- loud and clear. The drag community was in a dark place, going to be a line in the history books. We were confined to nightclubs only, even though we have one of the oldest queens in the world still doing performances, Miss Biá, with a career of 56 years.
But now, nine seasons have passed, and people agree that the only type of drag that matters is the types that are shown on Drag Race. The makeup, the wigs -- everything. For example, I haven’t worn wigs in 17 years, and now all the comments I hear are, “It is so beautiful that you do your drag inspired by [season 9 winner] Sasha Velour.” Before that, I was compared to The Princess [from season 4]. Drag Race shows the American culture of drag. We have to start to think: Are these people really fans of drag as an art form or just fans of the show? There's a big difference.