Entertainment

Miss Vanjie is Back for Season 11, Here’s Why She Is The Most Relevant

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” has become hotbed for LGBTQ+ icons, especially in the Latino community. Throughout the years, RuPaul has begrudgingly given us Queen Puerto Rican-Peruvian trans activist and supermodel Carmen Carrera. This past year, the Internet experienced the “Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjiiiiiee” cult sensation after she was eliminated in the first episode.

The good news is that she’s coming back for Season 11, which premieres February 28th on VH1. Here are 20 reasons why the stanbase for Miss Vanjie is so strong.

She is an unapologetic Puerto Rican queen.

 Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, a cozy community for Cuban ex-pats and Puerto Ricans. If you ask her via Twitter if she’s proud to be Boricua, she’ll give a resounding “claro, puta.”

The man behind the stage persona is Jose Cancel.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

He identifies as a gay man and, of course, Queen.

Caption: “the pimp behind Vanjie lol #gobblegobble”

Miss Vanjie only lasted on one episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” but has left a lasting legacy.

Credit: @DiscreetLatino / Twitter

Besides the obvious genius of her floral, mermaid Barbie outfit, her exit was strange and dramatic. She just shouted her own name louder and louder for a total of three times as she walked backward off the stage.

Then came the memes.

Credit: @atilioenrique / Twitter

Even Kathy Griffith made a lip sync video creeping her partner out to the voice of Miss Vanjie. Miss Vanjie herself reportedly was shocked that Kathy Griffith even knew who she is.

Her favorite meme was “The Shining meme.

Credit: @DannyO215 / Twitter

She didn’t quite realize it was a twist on “The Shining.” She just thought it was super creepy and, Boricuas somos brujas.

She said “there was no f***ing meaning” to her chant.

Credit: Mic / YouTube

She told Billboard, “I didn’t anticipate getting kicked off first, so I didn’t plan my exit, I didn’t plan what to say, I didn’t plan what to write on the mirror with the lipstick message. I didn’t plan any of that.

Fan art has overfloweth since.

Credit: @chelsinstitches / Instagram

Someone actually spent the time cross-stiching this. It’s the new mal de ojo.

Lady Gaga even chimed in to stan Miss Vanjie after her elimination.

Credit: @ladygaga / Twitter

Pretty much, the moment she back walked off that stage, we all knew a major mistake just went down. Latinas. We know how to make an exit.

“I feel like I got eliminated, but I’m still there.”

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She told VH1 that it’s the best of both worlds. She doesn’t have to do the work, but there isn’t a single episode that she hasn’t been mentioned in for the rest of the season.

RuPaul low-key was thinking about Miss Vanjie many weeks after her elimination.

Credit: @RuPaul / Twitter

Miss Vanjie told Billboard that she just said, “Girl, I’m in Denver. Are we gonna meet up for lunch?” Meanwhile, other users were pointing out that RuPaul is missing her big presence on his show.

RuPaul was even wearing her name around his neck by the end of the season.

Credit: Mic / YouTube

She told Mic, “The last time someone wore my name around their neck was my ex. I was like b*tch, am I taken? Do I need to change my Facebook profile or something?”

She wants to put “Miss Vanjie” on tampons and pads.

Credit: Etsy / Pinterest

She’s here for all the merch options and it looks like we can expect some to roll out on her site soon. We think she sanitary products are probably going to roll out after the apparel. 😉

She never imagined she’d be this huge sensation.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

When asked about how it feels to be one of the biggest names in drag, Miss Vanjie had this to tell Mic, “I always been a little bit extra. I always knew I was going to something with entertainment, I didn’t know it was going to involve a wig.”

She won’t stop for all her fans but will stop for every child stan.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

“If I’m rushing or something, and it’s a kid, I have to stop. Like, I have to,” she told Mic. She even wanted to hire two little girls who dressed up in her elimination outfit as her backup dancers. Pending parental approval.

Jose Cancel used to work at a MAC store.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

Now we know how she has so much MUA game. She’s a professional. Just look at her amazing work on her face. She is definitely someone who can give you some necessary makeup tips when you need them.

The first time her mom met Miss Vanjie, she wasn’t here for it.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She told him not to quit his day job. Her exact words according to Miss Vanjie’s version told to Mic was, “My mom was like don’t you dare quit your job and do drag.”

Now her mom wants to take credit for her fame.

 Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

“Now my mom is like, ‘Oh b*tch you just like me. Miss Vanjie–that’s me.’,” she tells Mic. “Oh and now you wanna take credit, okay.”

Miss Vanjie made it to the September 2018 issue cover of Gay Times.

 Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

In it, she talked about how happy she is that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is here for kids these days. When she was growing up, she looked to Britney Spears like how kids at DragCon look to the Queens.

Fans have been sending her some … intimate … videos.

Credit: @vanessavanjie / Instagram

She told Gay Times, “Fans love to send me videos of them being in an intimate setting with somebody else, and then say my name in the middle of them having sex. It’s so weird. It’s the freakiest f***ing thing.”

Catch her making her re-entrance on Season 11.

Credit: @RuPaulsDragRace / Twitter

Ultimately, she just wants to inspire kids to express themselves. “If I’m able to make people relate and express themselves, and I inspire them to do whatever they might want to do – even if it’s Barbie or flowers on a corset – I think it’s great,” she told Gay Times.

We’re already inspired by you, Miss Vanjie!

READ: 27 Moments When Latina Queens Ruled In RuPaul’s Drag Race

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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

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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These Latinx ‘Drag Race’ Queens Are Reuniting For ‘Dragueando’ And It’s About Time

Entertainment

These Latinx ‘Drag Race’ Queens Are Reuniting For ‘Dragueando’ And It’s About Time

It’s no secret that drag and, in particular, drag queens have made their way into the mainstream. Much of their success is easily attributed to the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has helped catapult hundreds of queens into the spotlight.

However, according to many iconic queens from the series, not all are equally represented on the show. In fact, Alexis Mateo – one of the most popular queens from the series – has long spoken out regarding the treatment of its Latinx talent.

So it should be no surprise that three of the shows top Latinx drag queens have come together to launch Dragueando – a YouTube special all about Latina queens.

Three of ‘Drag Race’s’ top Latina queens have come together for a Latinx drag experience.

I’m not complaining at all but it seems like 2020 has come with a new season or spin-off of Drag Race every few weeks. First, we had the latest installment of All Stars, a special spinoff called Secret Celebrity Drag Race, then came Drag Race: Season 12, followed by Drag Race Canada and now Drag Race Holland is airing.

Like I said, I’m not complaining. But that’s a lot of drag. Thankfully, it’s not over yet. Three of the franchises top Latinx queens have banded together to create a new spin-off – Dragueando. Alexis Mateo, Jessica Wild, and Cynthia Lee Fontaine have teamed up to bring us the new special on YouTube and although there’s only been one episode so far, we can’t wait for whats next.

In addition to talking about all things Puerto Rican and drag, the YouTube special also sees the queens discuss Latinidad and drag. Later in the episode, Mateo congratulated the recent winners of the Drag Race series and spin-offs: Jaida Essence Hall, Shea Couleé, and Priyanka. She also paid tribute to season eight icon Chi Chi Devayne, who sadly passed away last month.

On Mateo’s YouTube channel, episode one of Dragueando is also titled “pilot,” so let’s hope there will be more where that came from. Maybe next time more of our favorite Latinx drag queens from Drag Race will be able to stop by.

The three queens involved in the new show are iconic veterans of the hit drag competition.

Credit: Miss_Alexis_Mateo / Instagram

All three of the queens involved in Dragueando have earned their spot in Drag Race herstory. The three queens, all Boricuas, have helped shine a light on Puerto Rico and its rich drag traditions.

Alexis Mateo is perhaps the most well-known of the three. She’s been a competitor on three seasons of Drag Race: season three, All-Stars 1, and All-Stars 5. During her latest run on the series, she made headlines for her incredible impression of astrology icon Walter Mercado during the show’s “Snatch Game” episode.

Fontaine, the self-proclaimed queen of “cucu” and the Miss Congeniality of Drag Race season eight, hosts the “Leida Educacional” section. For this first installment, she breaks down the history of five Latin American countries that celebrate their independence near Sept. 15: Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Fontaine does this all while throwing a little shade at British drag queen Charlie Hides.

Wild, who was voted onto season two of Drag Race by massive fan demand, hosted the “Dandolo Todo” section. And she gave her all in learning a dance routine with Puerto Rican choreographers Prodigy Duo.

Alexis Mateo has long been outspoken about the need for better Latinx representation.

Credit: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1 / World of Wonder

Shortly after Alexis Mateo was booted off All Stars 5, a video resurfaced where the 40-year-old Puerto Rican queen was speaking out about the mistreatment of Latina queens on the show.

In the clip, Alexis cites her fellow latin sisters Nina Flowers (who she says should’ve won over Bebe Zahara Benet), Yara Sofia, and Jessica Wild, all who performed well throughout their seasons, and were still not given the opportunity to go all the way.

She also slammed other queens of Latin descent who were celebrated and well-loved despite not actually speaking Spanish or alluding to their heritage at all during their time on the show. She didn’t mention anyone in particular, but fans think it could’ve been in reference to Bianca Del Rio, who won season six. 

“I don’t care who your great-grandfather is,” she said. “For me, if you don’t speak Spanish, you’re not a Latino. Period, end of discussion. These roots are very important.”

Speaking of her rocky relationships on All Stars, she added: “For those of you who are at home celebrating Miz Cracker, stop being sell-outs. What we need is Latino support.

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