From my early teenage years in San Juan, Puerto Rico I have been fascinated with drag queen performances in nightclubs. I started dj-ing when I was around fourteen years old. A few years after I started being smuggled into nightclubs while still underage in order to dj and some of those venues featured drag performers. I was immediately smitten by the theatricality of the event. A few years after I delved deep into acting training in college and I knew I wanted to have a go at getting to dress up in drag. My only issue back then was my sexuality- as a straight man I felt unqualified and unjustified in this pursuit. I come from a very conservative household. My father feared I might be gay for having chosen acting as a career path, threatening me one day with a stern fist close to my face. It took me twelve years to finally develop the courage to dress up and photograph myself as a straight man wearing makeup and a wig.
This series is one I hold very dear to my heart. The triumph of conquering my fears as a performer by shamelessly standing in front of the camera in drag gives me great pride. It pushed me to use myself as a subject to confront social stigmas, allowing me to solidify my commitment to communicate through art.
Format- 35mm (fujifilm neaopan ISO 1.600- push process)