Entertainment

These Are Just Some Of The Latinos Giving RuPaul’s DragCon In Los Angeles So Much Life

mis_alexis_mateo / vanessavanjie / Instagram

There’s no arguing that “Rupaul’s Drag Race” has changed the world and perception of drag. Drag has become a popular, mainstream part of American culture in large part to the show and RuPaul’s work. Nothing proves this more than the annual RuPaul’s DragCon event that brings the famous queens to the fans with days of entertainment, panels and performances. Here’s a little peak into the Latino presence that will dominate RuPaul’s DragCon this year.

AB Soto

Get those dancing shoes ready. AB Soto is sharing his dancing skills with all of his fans and convention attendees. The singer and dancer is going to be part of the “Jealous of My Boogie” panel on Saturday morning talking about his love of dance and how he fell into the business. Be ready, he might be willing to teach you a few steps.

2. Yara Sofia

Yara Sofia is sharing her experience and expertise with her fans with multiple panels. First, she will be joining fellow Latino queen Alexis Mateo and other Season 3 queens to talk about how things really are in the RuPaul work room and beyond. Then, on Saturday afternoon, Sofia will give fans a taste of what it means to properly tuck for the best drag in your life. Be ready to hear some things that you might not be ready to hear.

3. Alexis Mateo

Sometimes you got to be evil to get what you want! #devil #evil #bam #red

A post shared by Alexis Mateo (@miss_alexis_mateo) on

The mother of the infamous Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, aka Miss Vanjie, and that is what she is bringing to RuPaul’s DragCon this year. She, along with her drag mother Madame LaQueer and daughter Miss Vanjie, will host a panel about the importance of drag families. Just like friends, drag mothers and daughters are the family you choose.

4. Serena ChaCha

You might remember Serena ChaCha from her brief time on season 5. While she didn’t take home the crown, she did use her fame and name to create a line of wigs that will leave you gagging. That said, it makes sense that ChaCha will be imparting her knowledge about wigs to her fans during her panel “Wig Out!: Create Your Coif.”

5. Ginger Minj

Drag queens use sexual innuendos in a lot of their comedy. Not a read, just an observation. Clearly there is nothing wrong with some naughty jokes and salacious banter even if you are committed. That’s why Ginger Minj is joining Chad Michaels and Dusty Ray Bottoms on Saturday afternoon to discuss committed life while being a very famous drag queen. #Education

6. Aja

Who’s a SLUT? Wearing @marekrichard for their new collection FRESH VIBES ✨💎

A post shared by AJA (@ajathekween) on

Who else remembers the game Toot or Boot from the show? Well, Aja and Raja are bringing the show to life with their own special version called “WOW Presents Plus: Fashion Photo Ruview.” Find out what these two queens think about different looks in only the way they can.

7. Cynthia Lee Fontaine

Cynthia Lee Fontaine left fans shook when she came back as a surprise contestant on season 9 after being eliminated in season 8. She did win Miss Congeniality on her original season so it wasn’t a total loss. She is just one of the queens during “Guess Who’s Back In the House: Returning Queens” to discuss what it is like to come back and face RuPaul again.

8. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo

Mis Vanjie! There is no denying that this queen made herself very famous when she left the stage chanting her name over and over again. The queens on season 10 still refer to that moment because that is a legacy, baby. Check her out on Saturday with her drag mother and grandmother discussing the concept of a drag family.

9. Madame LaQueer

All the way from Puerto Rico, and season 4, Madame LaQueer is one of the queens we cannot forget. She might have made 10th place on her season but her talk about family and the unity that is drag sisterhood is important. Check her out with her drag family Saturday afternoon.


READ: Here’s How Upset Some ‘American Idol’ Fans Are That A Drag Queen Made The Top Ten

Are you going to be RuPaul’s DragCon this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Fans Are Living For This Miss Vanjie Cake Brought To Us By Fierce Latina Queen Shuga Cain From ‘Drag Race’ Season 11

Entertainment

Fans Are Living For This Miss Vanjie Cake Brought To Us By Fierce Latina Queen Shuga Cain From ‘Drag Race’ Season 11

World of Wonder / YouTube

RuPaul’s Drag Race helped usher in a new era of queer culture into the mainstream. Dozens of talented drag queens have passed through the various Untucked lounges (shout out to the Interior Illusions Lounge) but only one queen can take the crown. Win or lose, Drag Race alumni go onto do some dope things. Season 11’s Latinx Queen Shuga Cain is no exception. 

While Shuga Cain disagreed with RuPaul’s decision to have her sashay away in a group challenge, she appears to be doing just fine. 

Gimme Some Shuga 

Shuga Cain has a new cooking show called Gimme Some Shuga. The premise is simple, Shuga Cain will create cakes in the style of Drag Race legends. It’s going to be sickening, except for the cake I hope. I sincerely hope the cake tastes good and doesn’t have E. coli. Baker Justin Salinas from Cake It With Justin is set to co-host. 

World of Wonder’s WOW Presents has blessed us with a clip of the first episode. The queen they chose to honor is nothing short of legendary. It almost feels wrong to eat her… 

Vanjie! Vanjie! Vanjie!

It’s 3 AM, you hear a strange voice muffled in the darkness. Is it a burglar? A murderer? Some sorry agent of death lurking in the shadows? You approach the sound slowly, weaponized with a chancla in your hand, the stranger’s voice is clearer. “Vanjie! Vanjie! Vanjie!” Oh, it’s just Miss Vanjie breaking into your home. You give her everything because she is your God. This is not a true story but there are two true things in it: a) I worship Miss Vanjie. b) I am certain Miss Vanjie would break into a home just to stunt on whoever lives there.

The series has introduced us to many talented queens, but few became icons within seconds. Anyone can make an entrance, fewer can slay an exit. Miss Vanjie was the first queen eliminated in season 10 of Drag Race. In the first episode of any reality TV show, there are so many contestants and so little screentime to go around. Miss Vanjie barely left an impression on the judges — until she was eliminated.

That iconic moment.

Walking backward in a DIY dress made of severed Barbie doll parts, Miss Vanjie stunned judges by shouting her name as if it were some call to arms. “Vanjie! Miss Vanjie! Miss Vanjie!” The moment instantly went viral and Miss Vanjie secured herself a second chance in a future season of Drag Race. Now that is some real crafty, chingona sh*t. As my mother always says, Latinos are a resourceful people.

It is no surprise Shuga Cain and Justin chose to make their first cake in the style of Miss Vanjie’s popping, pink elimination outfit. 

Tres Miss Vanjie Cake

In the series, the duo reveals their decorating secrets to school even the most rudimentary bakers on new techniques for high concept cakes that are meant for special occasions like quinceaneras, graduations, and weddings. Whether you plan on making the cake or not in real life, seeing the process that goes into fancy cake-making is interesting and there is no shortage of laughs. While Justin spearheads the decorative process, Shuga Cain roasts Miss Vanjie and herself. 

The series combines many of my favorite things: drag queens, baked goods, and humor. All six episodes are available on World of Wonder’s WOW Presents Plus subscription streaming service. 

“I want more Miss Vanjie…” 

If like me, you came for Miss Vanjie, stayed for the laughs, but still want more Miss Vanjie, rest assured she is coming. The Network has a reality show slated for release starring Miss Vanjie and Silky Nutmeg Ganache called Nightmare Neighbors with Silky & Vanjie. I assume this is a show where Miss Vanjie breaks into people’s homes to stunt on them in the middle of the night? 

Just know that if you ever feel alone, if you ever feel scared, if you’re ever stranded in a desolate forest, all you have to do is say “Vanjie! Miss Vanjie! Miss Vanjiiiiiie,” three times. Unfortunately, no one will come but you will make yourself laugh at how quickly you’ve lost your sanity. That’s the power of Miss Vanjie! 

Latino Students Are Being Put Into School With Fewer White Students And That Often Means Schools With Fewer Resources

Things That Matter

Latino Students Are Being Put Into School With Fewer White Students And That Often Means Schools With Fewer Resources

If you’ve been paying attention to the Democratic debates, you might be feeling some type of way about CNN’s repeated taking to task of Vice President Joe Biden for voting against busing to desegregate public schools in the 1970s. Some feel frustrated to hear this issue be brought up. One Twitter user lamented. “Good grief. Enough about busing. Focus people. We have a corrupt, racist criminal in the White House. Stop helping him.”

Meanwhile, Latinx journalists like Yamiche Alcindor are wondering out loud, “Why are we talking about busing 50 years ago when schools are segregated today? We need a conversation about what is happening now.” The research from three universities definitively conclude that Latino students in California public schools are more racially segregated from white peers than any other state. In fact, it’s only “intensifying.”

Last week, University of California Berkley released a study that concluded that, nationwide, Latino children are likely to enter elementary schools with fewer white peers than a generation ago.

@educationweek / Twitter

The definition of segregation in the case of the study isn’t by individual race or ethnicity, but rather by the obvious educational and funding benefits that white students receive over black and brown students. The authors of the research report that this matters because “”racially segregating students of color … often corresponds with unfair financing of schools, regressive allocation of quality teachers and culturally limited curricula.” It benefits minority students to be integrated with a white majority (read: better funded) school. 

In 1998, the average Latino student in elementary school found themselves in a student body where 40% of the students were white. By 2015, that number dropped to 30%, even though the population of Latinos in this country has skyrocketed.

The numbers just become drastically worse in urban areas.

@FDCSD / Twitter

Again, the problem isn’t inherent in a black and brown student body. It’s systematic racism that determines that implicitly implies that the more white students in the classroom, the better the funding and, therefore, education is going to be for everyone. Research shows that black students who attend integrated schools have higher rates of earning bachelor’s degrees and higher wages overall compared to black students who are effectively segregated.

In urban areas across the country, the average Latino finds themselves in a student body that is just 5% white. That reinforces class lines and prevents the diversity of ideas to be spread across those very lines.

The good news is that Latina mothers are progressively becoming more educated.

@kayashley_x / Twitter

UC Berkley’s research team produced an in-depth report on the intersection of education and the Latino community, which includes the impacts of segregation and beyond. Bruce Fuller is the lead researcher and a professor of education and public policy at Berkley. Fuller is happy to report that his “Berkeley-led team found that college-going rates of Latina mothers have climbed steadily since 1998. These women show little hesitation to assimilate, while enriching their bilingual skills, then moving into better jobs and suburbs that host integrated schools.”

The seemingly largest factor in Latino children having a better education is a result of their parents becoming more and more educated.

@latimes / Twitter

The research confirms our own personal anecdotes. As Latinos finally enter the middle class, families are moving to middle class neighborhoods with schools that are just likelier to be more integrated. In an interview, Fuller says that as young Latino families become more educated, it “allows for movement into more economically-integrated communities. Now [these communities] might still be predominantly Latino, but at least we’re achieving economic integration for many, many Latino kids.”

“If we can get poor kids in the same classrooms as middle-class kids,” Fuller said, “we’re probably going to see stronger educational outcomes.”

*Shocking* research that bilingual skills offer higher pay is also motivating schools to implement dual-language campuses.

It doesn’t have to be Spanish either. According to Fuller, “One popular elementary school immerses students in classes taught in both Mandarin and English, starting in kindergarten. It’s a “microcosm of the world,” Principal Darlene Martin said.”

Fuller’s research compares the demographics of various counties across the U.S. and tries to understand what policies allow for greater racial integration. “Part of this stems from differing patterns of housing segregation,” he reports. “Still, educators differ in their will to build magnet schools and dual-language programs, which white parents find rigorous and attractive.”

Fuller wants to see political leaders explain “how they aim to bring the nation’s kaleidoscope of children under one roof.”

@13Who_Gaga / Twitter

Fuller concludes his research with this powerful statement: “Let’s look forward and build from what works, recognizing that nurturing mutual respect grows from tender mercies each day in classrooms, not from polarizing squabbles over the past.”

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