Culture

Meet Diego Garijo: MMA Fighter By Day, Fierce Drag Queen By Night

It may seem like the world of MMA fighting and the world of drag are in two completely different solar systems. One is all about how strong you are, your ability to literally take gut punches and withstand physical attacks. The other is about cultivating your art and allowing your inner self to shine through. But dig a little deeper and you see that both are all about being the fiercest version of yourself.

One man seems to have figured that out long before all of us, as he’s been straddling both worlds for years as renowned MMA fighter Diego Garijo in the ring and as fierce drag queen Lola by night.

Diego Garijo is the straight, drag ally we need right now.

Diego Garijo is an imposing figure in the ring. He’s 41-years-old and covered in tattoos with a recorded seven victories in the ring before suffering a detached retina and having to put the sport on hold. But he’s since come back with a vengeance and got into bare-knuckle boxing.

For Garijo, fighting is an art form through which he entertains. Becoming ‘Lola Pistola’ allows another part of himself to shine and fulfill his need for artistic expression.

Garijo says that drag and MMA have more in common than we might think.

While being a drag queen may seem a world away from being an MMA fighter, Garijo has expressed his belief that the two pastimes actually work well together.

In an interview with VICE, 41-year-old Garijo said that he gets ‘a lot of love from people in the drag scene, as well as the trans and gay communities.’ He stressed that his support doesn’t stop there, as Lola is also loved by ‘big tough fighters’.

Garijo commented: ‘Maybe they are also hiding an element of themselves that they would like to bring out more.’

His story as an immigrant has also played a major part in his creativity and art forms.

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Garijo was smuggled into the US as a child. And as a youth, spent many of his years serving time in prison, which is where he got into fighting.

As for getting into drag; Garijo says that really began when he was a child, with a photo of him as a six-year-old wearing his mother’s underwear. He was brought up without a father and says he had a couple of gay cousins, so he ‘wasn’t exposed to many traditional masculine stereotypes.’

He continued: ‘Maybe that’s why I can be very feminine. I think people wonder if I’m gay, but they don’t understand that femininity and sexual preference are two completely different things.’

After being bullied as a child he has found that ‘art and fighting’ offer an outlet to the trauma he carries with him, and both through fighting and creating ‘a personality that has no shame’, he feels is able to ‘take a step forward in combat when others would take a step back.’

Currently, Diego is filming a new documentary about his life journey. His dear friend John Padilla serves as writer, director and producer of the project that they hope will find a home at Netflix.

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The Black and Afro-Latina Queens of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Discuss #BlackLivesMatter

Entertainment

The Black and Afro-Latina Queens of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Discuss #BlackLivesMatter

THEKANDYMUSE / THE_SYMONE / INSTAGRAM

The drag queens on the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race discussed the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the previous episode and it was real. They talked about the ways they were active during the protests last summer and what it means to be a queer person of color in the U.S. today.

Kandy Muse gave the conversation an Afro-Latina perspective.

While the queens were putting on their makeup in the workroom, LaLa Ri from Atlanta, brought up the topic of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. New York’s “Dominican Doll” Kandy Muse was the first to speak on her involvement in the protests.

“Being an Afro-Latino from the south Bronx, when I see Black people being murdered by police, it just puts so many things into perspective,” Muse said. “Fighting for Black lives and all those things are very, very important to me.”

Symone reminded the other queens of George Floyd’s murder by the police.  

Symone, who hails from LA, reminded her season 13 sisters that the murder of George Floyd last May by the police is what sparked the protests throughout the country.

“It’s sad that he to- that that had to happen, but I’m happy that people are waking the f*ck up because it’s always been there,” Symone said.

As a Black queen, Symone spoke to the trauma that Black people were facing with video of George Floyd’s murder being replayed in the media.

“Even with [the] corona[virus] going on, I felt immediately compelled to be involved in protests here in Los Angeles because enough is enough,” Symone recalled. “Things need to change.”

Lala Ri put some light on Rayshard Brooks‘ murder by the police.

During the discussion, LaLa Ri brought up that the murder of Rayshard Brooks at a Wendys in Georgia happened very close to their home.

“It kind of just really hit me that I could easily be in that drive-thru, and there’s a situation where they can pull me over just because I look like I don’t belong in that type of car,” LaLa Ri said.

As LaLa Ri relived that realization, she got emotional talking about it on the show.

“You could just be a Black person in the world and you could just get killed for nothing,” the queen said in tears. “It’s scary that you could just be killed just because of the color of your skin.”

Olivia Lux, an Afro-Puerto Rican queen from New Jersey, also mentioned how Black trans women are being murdered at a high rate.

“Statically Black trans lives at the most at risk,” Olivia Lux said.

Tamisha Iman wrapped things up with the words of John Lewis.

Tamisha Iman, a Black queen from Georgia, evoked the words of late Georgia Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis to wrap up the conversation.

“Get in some good trouble!” the Georgia queen said in an empowering moment.

The clip was uploaded to RuPaul’s Drag Race YouTube channel on Feb. 1 in honor of Black History Month. Be watch the full video to see more of this necessary conversation.

READ: Denali is Serving Mexicana Representation on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

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Argentinian MMA Fighter Took Down Man Who Tried To Steal Her Phone

Things That Matter

Argentinian MMA Fighter Took Down Man Who Tried To Steal Her Phone

Radio Brisas / YouTube

There are few things more aggravating and devastating than someone stealing your phone. Smartphones have become an extension of us. Everything is on there. So, when one man tried to steal one from a woman in Argentina, he wasn’t ready for the beatdown of his life.

One thief learned a lesson he won’t soon forget.

A viral video is showing on thief’s hard-learned lesson. A man in Argentina tried to steal a smartphone from an unsuspecting woman. What he wasn’t prepared for was that the woman is an MMA fighter. It was long after he took the phone that he learned that the woman, identified as Brisa, was not someone to be messed with.

Like most people in the world, the 4-foot-11 woman was tired of being on reduced wages because of Covid. She spent a long time saving up money to buy a new smartphone and was furious when the man tried to run away with it.

Brisa was ready to take the man on the moment he snatched her phone.

According to reports, Brisa and her friend immediately gave chase to the man who stole the phone. They yelled for people to help them apprehend the thief and he was finally stopped by a group of workers.

When he was stopped, Brisa finally got her phone back, but that wasn’t it for the thief. Brisa then delivered a series of blows to teach the man a thing or two about stealing from her.

“I refused to accept this guy coming along and making more than half my wages in three seconds,” Brisa told Nostros a La Mañana. “Hopefully this guy never steals again. I was lucky because I know how to defend myself as I practice MMA, but I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

People on social media are celebrating her moment of vigilante justice.

This is not the first time a man has tried to steal from a woman in Latin America and suffered severe punishment. Last year, a man tried to steal a phone from a woman in Brazil who turned out to be an MMA fighter. The man was also taught a valuable lesson.

READ: What Happens When Robbers F*ck with an MMA Fighter? She Makes Them Cry

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