In Marseille, drag queens set the scene on fire

In front of this bar near Canbière, these people hurry back because of the preparation of their appearance drag queen tall and sleek. It was a real race against time before the show. In a movement, artists leave their everyday clothes to wear their character (wigs, high heels, false eyelashes, make-up and clothes with rhinestones) and give way to strange creatures attracted by the nine that will animate the scene. .. “It’s fun for meconfessed Mysti Karatcha, who came to perform that night. I do it sometimes for fun“For Sulyh Bourlesque, who finished adjusting his long wig, it is also a way to make the public think about certain topics such as fatphobia, patriarchy or oppression.”I suffered a lot of harassment because of my weight when I was younger so I try to raise awareness about these issues through my shows.“, he cried.

If the act of drag queens was hidden for a long time, it is now widely democratized thanks to the particular audiovisual showcase. In 2009, the broadcast of a series in America RuPaul’s Drag Race which featured a competition of drag queens who had to face the challenges of the playoffs was a great success. This series, with 17 seasons available on Netflix, was finally adapted in France on June 25 under the name Drag Race in France. Broadcast on France 2 and France TV Slash, it follows the same principle as its American counterpart with French artists including Lova Ladiva, who came to perform in New Cancan. Arriving from Toulouse before the show, Lova Ladiva did not hesitate to tease her audience before dancing. A way to tame the stage. There are many scenes in Marseille: there are many places where drag queens can perform, such as the Place des Canailles or the Annexe.

Mysti Karatcha: a mother figure

Mysti Karatcha is getting ready before going on stage.

When Mysti Karatcha came on stage, time stood still. Floating her long wig over her glittering costume, she captivated the entire audience with her performance. “It’s a hobby I do from time to time for fun“, confides one who wishes to remain anonymous. At the age of 21, he took his first steps on stage to replace an artist who was absent. A success: Mysti will never come again . 2021 where she was elected Miss Royal Beauty Elite France. But despite her success, not everything is simple.”For five years, I had the impression that we were going back and forth… he sighed. There is always someone behind his screen who says that he will kill us and call us human waste … Some people see it as a perversion while a few centuries ago men in theater dress up to play women’s roles..” Despite this constant fear, at the age of 47, he showed his experience and perfect skill in his character to the point that Jonathan (read opposite) asked him if he could take his artist name to incorporate it into his own stage name. What he accepts:I was moved by him because I saw myself at his age. I find it touching: strong and vulnerable at the same time. Everything he’s been through has hardened him“.

Jonathan and Adina: two sides of the same coin

Jonathan finished his service at the bar before putting on his costume to make way for Adina.
Jonathan finished his service at the bar before putting on his costume to make way for Adina.

Jonathan is 22 years old. A waiter in a bar during the day, once a month, he puts on his wig, puts on his heels and puts on make-up to make way for Adina Karatcha, a drag queen who burning with dance floor. “My biggest pride is to be Adina Karatcha he trusted. Without Jonathan there is no Adina, without Adina there is no Jonathan. I’m sweet, he’s strong. He was the one who told me to wipe my tears and go“. No contact with his parents since his out, the young man experienced a dark period alternating between prostitution and homeless life. But after watching the series RuPaul’s Drag Race conducting drag queens, he decided to go on stage. A revelation. “The moment I put the wig on my head, I felt beautiful, fierce. I can finally move mountains. Adina was born“. Faced with the looks of people, curious or hateful, he does not lower his head: “I’m not ashamed of who I am but I remain cautious. It’s the difference that scares people.” Feeling fulfilled now between his daily life and his art, he can count on the support of his partner and his friends who never miss his movies. .

Julien de Bomerani is the DJ Drag in the evenings

Julien hosts the night in New Cancan alternating between French variety and pop music.
Julien hosts the night in New Cancan alternating between French variety and pop music.

Red dress, big shiny earrings, colorful wig … On his heels, Julien de Bomeranie and his 2 meter height cannot be noticed. This 33-year-old resident of Montpellier, party organizer and DJ, came to mix tonight for the New Cancan night in Marseille. “My job is not to be a drag queenhe said. This is an addition to my job! I started working as a bartender in a gay bar during my studies and gradually I started dressing for dance shows, animation.“. Julien de Bomeranie explained that this desire was born from a sense of freedom because as a child, wearing heels or doing certain gymnastics choreographies was forbidden to him.”I like to wear clothes but I have never created a character for myself. I remain Julian“, he explained.

Very confident about the future of the profession, the young thirty-year-old says that he is more in need of hosting nights. “We have no reason to hide from the present. We just want to give love to people. They are not used to us being human but once the ice is broken, it will be great. And yet, if we continue because the good is greater than the harm“, he said, sketching a smile.

“There have always been drag queens in Marseille but now we’re talking about them more!”

Michel Piacenza directs The New Cacan.
Michel Piacenza directs The New Cacan.

Michel Piacenza is the manager of The New Cancan bar, known for welcoming Marseille’s LGBT community with themed nights where drag queen shows are often offered to the public. “Being a drag queen is freeinghe said. It is being able to dress as you want… It is a form of rebellion against the rules of society. There was always some in Marseille but now we don’t talk about it. Mindsets change!“, he exclaimed with a smile. Rotating between the bar, the customers and the artists throughout the night, he did not hesitate to go on stage at the end of the show to greet the public cheering him on .A true conductor who always ensures the smooth running of the nights, the distinction that customers appreciate the most.

Lisa, a Marseillaise who regularly attends New Cancan, went with her boyfriend to the party but also to watch the show. According to the young woman, drag queens are “flag bearers of the LGBT community because everyone can recognize them, regardless of their sexual orientation.” Believing that they are men who understand the discrimination that women face every day, Lisa insists: “They are very important and their visibility is growing thanks to Instagram“, he was happy. On his side, Mathias agreed with his words.”They show a beautiful picture of what the gay community is likeadded the young man. Obviously, I think parties are better when there’s a drag queen show..”

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