American Idol contestant Ada Vox had the audience chanting her name over the roof top after slaying her performance of Jennifer Holliday’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” The loud applauses and the judge’s standing ovation left Vox emotionally overwhelmed. Although Vox wasn’t one of the top contestants to be chosen through America’s votes, the judges overruled the voting outcome to put Vox in the top ten.
Katy Perry took off her earrings and said, “I think we do know talent when we see it.”
It was then the judges collectively made the executive decision to send Vox to the top ten, making her the first ever drag queen to make it to “American Idol’s” top ten. In response, several “American Idol” fans had mixed emotions about this decision.
Some were particularly bothered about Vox’s stage identity as a drag queen.
Ada Vox is the first ever drag queen to make it to the top 10 in American Idol. I can’t believe that, in 2018, this is what people have to say about her. pic.twitter.com/IthEw1fz4E
However, those types of hateful comments were shut down quickly.
Ada Vox doesn’t need to fit the AI mold to deserve her spot in the top 10. The powerhouse trailblazer that she is needs no specific genre or category to show the world her talent & creativity. @AmericanIdol#AmericanIdol
Yes, yes, and yes. ? There’s no one version or definition of who an American idol is or should be.
Also brought to the top ten by the judges was contestant Michelle Sussett.
Rather than performing a cover of a song, Sussett performed an original song of hers called “I’m a Dreamer.” In both Spanish and English, Sussett sang her heart out, delivering lyrics that resonated very much with DREAMers across America. One of these impactful lyrics being, “I’m just like you, I just want something better. It doesn’t matter where you come from.”
Similar to Vox’s case, it wasn’t America’s votes that took Sussett to the top ten, rather the judge’s collective decision. This makes Sussett the first ever Venezuelan to make it to “American Idol’s” top ten.
Some “American Idol” fans disagreed with the judge’s decision.
Michelle Sussett did not deserve top 10 what in the worldddddd
Others, on the other hand, recognized Sussett’s hard work.
For everyone who says she's a terrible singer, remember that 3 world-class singing artists (the judges) disagree with you. @MichelleSussett is both exceptional and talented. Plus, she's singing in her non-native language! Can YOU do that?
Center-Left Alberto Fernandez has been elected as Argentina’s new president with over 45 percent of the vote needed to win, beating the conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri. Fernández isn’t only known for his leftist policies, but also his son Estanislao Fernández who happens to be a drag queen. Estanislao goes by the name Dyzhy and is quite famous in the Buenos Aires LGBTQ community.
Alberto has been adamant about defending his son from conservative attacks.
“Es el mejor pibe que conocí en mi vida. ¿Cómo me va a joder que me pregunten por mi hijo, si yo siento orgullo por él?” Alberto said on a radio show.
Argentina is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in the world. The nation legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, and has some of the most comprehensive transgender rights laws in the world. Because of this, Argentinians have some of the most positive attitudes in the world towards LGBTQ people. Thus, it is no surprise that Alberto takes no issue with his son being a drag queen.
Meet Dyhzy, queen of drag and cosplay.
The 24-year-old entertainer is a design student who works in insurance and has 111,000 followers on Instagram. However, he has been pretty open about the cost of his father’s potential presidency. Dyhzy says he started being recognized by people on the street because of the campaign, and said he would have preferred to live a less public life where he can establish himself on his own terms.
Nevertheless, Alberto has continued to champion his son.
“I have pride in my son, how can I not be proud?” Fernandez said in an interview in June, according to Reuters. “My son is a rights activist in that community. I would worry if my son was a criminal, but he is a great man.”
In 2008, Estanislao said he wished his father would step away from politics.
Albert said on record that his son had repeatedly asked him to quit his job because it affected him too much.
“Me reclama más tiempo y presencia. Lo agobia mucho a veces las cosas que se escriben sobre uno. Mi trabajo es completamente desgastante y sin horarios. Uno tiene que confrontar con posiciones e intereses de los más variados sectores”, declaró tiempo atrás el político.
When Albert announced his election for president, Dyzhy temporarily deleted his Instagram account.
Dyhzy talks about his father’s candidacy on a YouTube video.
Over the summer Dyhzy was interviewed by YouTuber Pablo Augustín where he expressed reservations about Alberto’s candidacy.
“Ahora me está pasando que me conozcan en lugares. El otro día llegué al trabajo y un tipo me dijo. ‘Vos sos el hijo de mi esperanza.’ Y ahí pensé ‘qué paja’”, Dyhzy said. “Yo no estaría acá si no fuera por mi viejo, pero tampoco me quita la posibilidad de crecer por mis propios méritos.”
The drag queen said he will never be prepared to have a father that is also president of Argentina.
Dyhzy became a drag queen after watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014.
Although Dyhzy feared judgment for being a drag queen, watching Rupaul’s Drag Race solidified it was what he had to do.
“Mi primera vez en drag fue para una sesión de fotos de mi amiga Victoria. Necesitaba fotos de hombres y mujeres y yo le dije te hago de los dos,” Dyhzy told Profile.
While Dyhzy moonlights as a drag queen, he says his sexuality is fluid and has been in a relationship with his girlfriend, Natalia Edith Leone, for three years.
Alberto Fernandez is Argentina’s next president.
On Sunday, crowds gathered at Alberto’s election headquarters to celebrate the 60-year-old’s victorious candidacy. Former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will now become the vice president and reportedly played an essential role in his election.
Macri, the incumbent, trailed behind Alberto in key polls leading up to the election so his win came as no surprise. The conservative conceded defeat this Sunday night.
‘With 97.13% of ballots counted, Mr Fernández had 48.10% of the vote, Argentina’s electoral authority said. Mr Macri had 40.37%. To win in the first round, a candidate needs at least 45% of the vote, or 40% and a 10-point lead over the second-place contestant,” according to BBC.
Economic concerns took priority in the election, with one in 10 Argentinians out of work. According to BBC, despite claims that he would achieve “zero poverty,” Macri actually worsened conditions during his four-year stint.
“The only thing that concerns us is that Argentines stop suffering once and for all,” Alberto said in a speech to voters, “We need an orderly transition that will bring tranquillity to all Argentines, because the most important thing is the well-being of all Argentines.”
Non-binary individuals, also known as genderqueer, encompasses a spectrum of gender identities that escape the traditional definitions of masculine and feminine. In short, their gender identity falls outside the man/woman gender binary, outside cisgender paradigms (cisgender refers to a person whose personal identity and gender both correspond to their birth sex). For years, genderqueer folks were forced to live in the shadows, either due to conservative social norms or due to lack of awareness of this identity.
Recently, a group of celebs have come out as non-binary and we think that’s fabulous. We can think, for example, of Australian model Ruby Rose (remember their steamy affair with Piper in “Orange is the New Black”? Just this month “Queer Eye”hairstylist extraordinaire Jonathan Van Ness came out as non-binary. He told OUT magazine: “The older I get, the more I think that I’m nonbinary — I’m gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman. I don’t really — I think my energies are really all over the place. Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I’m here for it. I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It’s this social construct that I don’t really feel like I fit into the way I used to. I always used to think ‘Oh, I’m like a gay man,’ but I think any way I can let little boys and little girls know that they can express themselves and they can like be.” This pretty much sums up what genderqueer identity is all about.
Because we celebrate identities of all forms, here are some genderqueer POC stars that make us proud and happy! Some of them have identified as genderqueer while others have broken the paradigms of cisnormativity. Bien por ellos, muy bien!
Rico Dalasam, the Brazilian rap dynamo
This Brazilian rap artist and former hairdresser has taken his genderqueer identity to powerful lyrics of political resistance. He told Vice: “All the marginal communities I’m a part of—young, black, gay—all of these identities are forced to be ashamed by the oppressor. But I’m the potential of resistance.” With a career that started in 2014, Rico Dalasam has achieved success thanks to his high couture looks and remorseless combative attitude.
Bad Bunny, the boricua marvel
Bad Bunny wears long nails and jewelry that would commonly be associated with a feminine aesthetic. As we have reported, he is unbothered by those who criticize his non-binary moda. He identifies as a straight man but finds inspiration in the queer community. He has talked about his fashion choices in a GQ interview: “There’s people that appreciate what I do; there’s people that criticize it,. There’s people who say, ‘Thank you for sticking up [for us], thank you for defending [this].’ There’s others that say I’m an opportunist.” Be what it may, Bad Bunny is challenging the role of masculinity in urban culture and in a musical genre, reggaeton, that is often criticized for its often sexist lyrics.
Valentina, global drag phenomenon
“I identify as nonbinary,” Valentina told Out in an interview. “I don’t completely feel like a man, I don’t completely feel like a woman. I feel like a goddess. I feel like I’m my own gender.”
The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” superstar is one of the most recognizable faces in the drag world. We are so proud of the Latino representation Valentina has been able to bring to the drag world.
Chaska Sofia a.k.a DJ Precolumbian, the amazing Peruvian music powerhouse
Making it in the electronic music scene is not easy, and much less so if you are a genderqueer Peruvian DJ. Bue Chaska Sofia has played in the creme de la creme of the London underground scene. They told the magazine Electic Llama: “I feel like I identify more as a woman now; I’ve been transitioning for almost five years. I like the term ‘genderqueer’ because it challenges not just sexuality, but also gender.”
Aja, bruja extravaganza
Aja’s experience coming to terms with her gender identity was a long one.
“When I was 18, I actually lived as a trans woman for almost a year,” Aja told Them. “I thought I was trans, and then I learned through the education of the queer community about being non-binary, genderqueer, and all these different [identities]. I realized that I do feel like a woman, but I feel comfortable in my body. I don’t feel the need to change anything. I don’t feel the need to appear more feminine to society’s standards.”
Amandla Stenberg, from “The Hunger Games” to queer advocate
This amazing African-American young actress openly uses they/them as pronouns. She came out as non-binary on Tumblr (before she came out to her family!), by writing: “I honestly don’t know… I mean they/them makes me feel comfortable but I know that the media and the general populace that follows me will critique it/not understand which makes me feel sad and almost more uncomfortable. So I guess she/her for now”. Not in the cisgender closet anymore, dear Amandla!
Jaden Smith, the prodigal son
The son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith first gained notoriety regarding his non-gendered persona in 2016, when he started using women’s clothing. Even though he identifies as a straight man, Jaden has become an ally of genderqueer individuals in that he epitomizes the rejection of constrictive gender norms. Good for him. When he was criticized for wearing dresses, he tweeted: “If I Wanna Wear A Dress, Then I Will, And That Will Set The New Wave… -JADEN SMITH #ICON.”
Liniker Barros, the Brazilian soul star
Samba and Latin rhythms find a nice home in the tender voice of this musical prodigy. Liniker is the lead singer if the band Liniker and the Caramelows, and many of their lyrics focus on the joy and tribulations of those who are not cisgender. They told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “Why should I wear jeans and a T-shirt and present myself as just a voice? My body is political. I need to show my audience what I’m living.” Liniker is well aware of the fact that they represent a wider community. They told Now: “[My] visibility as a singer helps me occupy spaces that aren’t the usual ones for trans women. That representation is so important. Brazil remains a very transphobic, chauvinist, racist country, with a lot of hate speech. When a trans woman takes the stage, that alone is political.”
Angel Haze, rapping for freedom
Born Raykeea Raeen-Roes Wilson, this rap artist identifies as pansexual and agender. Angel Haza has said: “I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they.’ It drives me crazy. If you call me ‘him’ or ‘her’ it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself an experience.” Quite an interesting and revolutionary approach! Angel Haze used to date Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin.
Jenny Shimizu, the norm-defying model
This Asian-American model has defiedCredit: linikeroficial / Instagram the looks that are “acceptable” on the catwalk. With her short hair and fluid identity she defied the expectations of the fashion industry. She is rumored to have had a relationship with Madonna. A genderqueer style icon for the ages. She loves being called “handsome”, which says a lot about her genderless philosophy.
Grace Jones, the queer icon
During the 1980s, in the midst of the conservatism of the Reagan era, Grace Jones was a gender-bending phenomenon who became a queer icon. Jones was born in Jamaica and now, even being over 70, she is still a fashion pioneer. Long live Grace Jones, the patron saint of genderqueer! She said in her memoirs: “Those who demand that you conform the most to how they live are the ones who are the most scared and intimidated by life.” Preach!