Entertainment

As ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Wraps Up Its 11th Season, Let’s Have A Well Deserved Moment Of Silence For Miss Shuga Cain

Reality television can be cruel for both contestants and fans. Sometimes our favorite faces leave way too early, and we are left wanting to get to know them a bit better. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has both broken and lifted our spirits for almost a decade and this 11th season has not been the exception.

One of the most beloved queens of recent times has been Suga Cain, the curvaceous and salacious diva who makes strong political statements (yes, she went there and dressed like President Donald Trump, as you will see in images below). She has entertained us with her unique style. She came in 7th in the season, but in our hearts, she is a true winner.

Jesus Martinez is the man behind the elegant and vivacious queen Miss Shuga Cain.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

One of the best things about Shuga Cain’s Instagram is the fact that we get to see both facets of her life: a proud gay man and a professional and sparkly queen with tons of creativity. 

And that boy sure packs some serious muscles.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

Jesus, miren a Jesus! Martinez is a consummate sportsman, a triathlete who runs-bikes-swims to compete with the best. This certainly gives Miss Shuga Cain the required strength for all those acrobatic dances she has delighted us with. 

He is also in love with this handsome bear, her partner Gilbert Gaona.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

Ay, madre santa, son tan lindos. Look at these two, Jesus and his fiancé Gilbert in the City of Lights, Paris, enjoying some much-needed couple time. This photo is so cliche, but we love it. Que sean felices por los siglos de los siglos y amen. 

Gilbert is ultra supportive so, of course, we love him already.

Credit: cgilbertrun / Instagram

We love Gilbert’s Instagram almost as much as we love Shuga’s! Here, he shows his support for su corazoncito and captures the pride and flashiness of queer culture.

But what does Shuga Cain even mean?

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

The origin of the stage name is threefold. First ingredient: sugar, of course, as she loves all things candy and baking. Second ingredient: the character Shug Avery from the novel “The Color Purple”(if you only watched the Steven Spielberg film that’s OK, we give you a pass). Third ingredient: the performance artist Candis Cayne. 

Jesus had a corporate job that he quit to become Shuga Cain.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

Sometimes you have to let go of your current life and really shake your life to the core if you want to pursue your dreams, and that is exactly what Jesus did to deliver this ravaging queen.

It only took her 18 months to succeed as a drag queen.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

A mere year and a half after Jesus quit his six-figure pay, Shuga Cain was already a fixture in the very competitive New York drag queen circuit. Dreams don’t wait for you, do they?

Her secret weapon: opera and performance theater and she slayyyys.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

We can really see the influence that performance artist Candis Cayne has had on Shuga: her style is based in opera-like extravaganza and out-there outfits that verge on the sublime.

Jesus has Latin American and Native American heritage making his drag super poignant and doubly beautiful.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

She is as proudly Brown as it gets! Some of her outfits speak of her ancestral roots in the land that is now the United States of America. Her papito is from El Salvador and her mamita is Spanish and Native American (Apache) from New Mexico.

She’s a Cali girl!

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

That’s right: she might have made her name in the Big Apple, but her freshness and onstage dorky attitude scream California. She was born in the town of Magalia, a small town in the forest. How cute!

Her elimination was, and is still, very controversial.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

It happened in episode 10 when she was sent home by Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. Fans of the show immediately became keyboard warriors and blamed the producers, arguing that they wanted to send her home because they always saw her as a filler contestant. 

Of course, Shuga Cain didn’t remain quiet.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

That thing of calladita te ves mas bonita didn’t apply for Miss Cain, who has been very vocal about the unfairness of her elimination. She has been supported by fans. Will we see her return in a future All-Stars? 

She has one of the best entrance quotes in “RuPaul’s Drag Race” history.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

“Get ready y’all, cause this sugar is so sweet!” Ay, mamacita divina.

 She is 41-year-old, which makes her older than many contestants of the show but she is just as graceful and energetic as the younger queens.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

That is right, she was born in 1977. One of her most memorable quotes is “I can be your grandmother, girl.” She said that to Plastique Tiara, referring to her age. She also said: “Do I have to really say 40?” Te amamos, reinita chula de preciosa

Her farewell message was tender and supportive even if the elimination was crap.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

And we quote: “You all hold a very special place in my heart. Make Nana proud ♡ Shuga.” Can we even love her more? 

You can feel Shuga Cain’s Scorpio energy.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

She is only the third Scorpio on the show and the first since season 5. Maybe being outspoken played against her? Was it the stars that aligned in her detriment? We should ask Walter. 

She’s an incredibly self-sufficient entrepreneur.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

After her fame skyrocketed she created her website, https://www.shugssweetshop.com/, where you can book her for a show and buy licensed products. Maybe this is only the beginning of her American Dream.

We cannot forget about the time Shuga Cain became Charo for the Snatch Game.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

Shuga Cain often makes veiled references to popular culture. Her Snatch Game look as Charo was a revelation of monumental proportions. We still think about it because it was just so damn good.

She performs all around the world, as a true queen should.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

Montreal, Vienna, Toronto… Miss Shuga Cain is everywhere, and perhaps her elimination encouraged her to be a globetrotter. Wanna check out if she will be in your city soon, here are her tour details

She wears her age as a badge of honor.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

She told Jezebel:  “I’ve had all these years to build all these incredible skills as a person, as an actor, and as an artist. I mean, it’s still scary, and I still go through it. But like I feel like I’m better able to handle the stresses of what it is, and I know how to behave and how to act.”

Did we say she has a Master’s degree in opera?

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

Many were surprised by the fact that she was chosen in only her second try, but the fact is that she has been performing since she was a little boy. She has a higher degree in opera, so turning life into theatrical experiences is nothing new to her.

Here’s a cute funny picture of her to wrap this up because we could keep going.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

Those Snapchat filters really suit her! ❤️

OK, last picture, we promise.

Credit: missshugacain / Instagram

And what about this homage to She-Ra, a queer symbol like any other? We just can’t get enough sugar, can we?

READ: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Fans Have Serious Questions About Shuga Cain’s Unjust Elimination

The Miss Universe Pageant Featured Its First Openly Lesbian Contestant And Crowned Miss South Africa The Winner

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The Miss Universe Pageant Featured Its First Openly Lesbian Contestant And Crowned Miss South Africa The Winner

NBC Universal / Miss Universe

Miss Universe made history this year. First crowning Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi as its winner. Tunzi has dark skin and a short-cropped afro — rampant anti-blackness means most people would not have conceived of her as the most desirable woman in the universe just a few years ago. Tunzi’s win is a win for black women across the universe but she wasn’t the only victor that night, even if she reigned supreme. 

Swe Zin Htet, Miss Myanmar, is the pageant’s first openly gay contestant. In fact, Htet came out publicly only a week before the pageant’s final round. The competition hasn’t had an out contestant in its 67-year history. In Myanmar, homosexuality is illegal. Not only was Htet making a stance in Miss Universe, but in a country where she could face very real consequences, including an imprisonment sentence of 10 years to life

Htet comes out to help the LGBTQ community back home.

The 21-year-old contestant wants to use her influence to change the laws against homosexuality in Burma, Myanmar. Members of the LGBTQ community in Burma still face all levels of discrimination and ostracization in society.

“I have that platform that, if I say that I’m a lesbian, it will have a big impact on the LGBTQ community back in Burma,” Htet said. “The difficult thing is that in Burma, LGBTQ people are not accepted. They are looked down on by other people and are being discriminated against.” 

Htet came out on November 29 in an interview with a beauty blog called Missosology. When asked if Htet had any personal causes she told the interviewer that she strongly supported same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. It was only a matter of moments before she proudly revealed she was a lesbian herself. 

“I came to a full realization about my sexual orientation over a long period of time. I knew I was ‘one of them’ way back in 2015. It is personally quite challenging but I feel that I have a greater voice and the best position to promote this cause. Some pageant fans know about it and they still support me but this is the first time I am able to talk about it in public,” she told Missosology. 

Coming out wasn’t easy, but Htet hopes it will have a positive change.

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Este es mi último posado oficial como @missuniversespain 2018 y es tan especial como el primero que realicé a días de ser coronada en la hermosa ciudad de Tarragona. Ha pasado más de un año y la emoción de ser #España permanece intacta. Ha sido un camino de descubrimientos, aprendizajes y evolución en el que juntos hicimos historia llevando al universo un mensaje que rompió barreras sociales. Hoy quiero agradecerles a cada uno de ustedes por ser incondicionales conmigo, por acompañarme en las risas, en el llanto, en la lucha por los derechos humanos, en la ardua tarea de educar sobre la diversidad del ser humano y en el orgullo de representar la energía, la cultura y la idiosincrasia de mi país. Gracias universo, gracias #España, gracias a ustedes, mis queridos amigos. Siempre suya, Ángela Ponce. _______ This is my last official shoot as @missuniversespain 2018 and it's just as special as the very first one I did just days after being crowned in the beautiful city of Tarragona. It's been over a year and the excitement to represent Spain is just as alive today! It's been a journey in which we've learned and discovered new things. We have evolved together and made history taking a message that broke barriers and has had a social impact. Today I want to thank each of you for your unconditional support to me. You've been there for me through the good times and bad, throughout this fight for human rights and the difficult task of educating about human diversity. I am very proud to represent the energy, culture and values of my country. Thank you, Universe. Thank you, #Spain. Thank you to all you, my dear friends. Always yours, Ángela Ponce. – Fotografía: @ivandumont. – Coordinación: @rogervrgs. – Producción: @tino.constantino. – Maquillaje y peinado: @jcesarmakeup. – Vestido: @douglastapiaoficial. – Pendientes: @gwittles. – Corona: @gwittles. – Locación: Hotel @vpplazaespanadesign – Org Miss Universe Spain: @milamartinez_pageantcoach.

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Htet told People that coming out wasn’t easy. She knew who she was since she was 15 at least, but her parents weren’t immediately as understanding as she had hoped. 

“At first, they were mad. They didn’t accept me. But later, when they found out more about the LGBTQ community, they started to accept me,” she said. 

Because LGBTQ members experience bigotry in her country, when she entered a three-year relationship with the famous Burmese singer Gae Gae, she had to keep it a secret. The contestant received praise from Paula Shugart, president of The Miss Universe Organization. 

“We are honored to give a platform to strong, inspirational women like Miss Universe Myanmar, who are brave enough to share their unique stories with the world,” Shugart said in a statement. “Miss Universe will always champion women to be proud of who they are.”

While Htet is the first out and proud lesbian in the Miss Universe pageant, there have been other open members of the LGBTQ community. Last year, Angela Ponce, who happens to be trans, was crowned Miss Spain. 

Black women reign supreme in the pageant world for the first time ever.

Hip Latina notes that in 2019, for the first time ever, Miss America, Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe were all black women. The times, they’re changing! Beauty pageants have been known to promote a white European, cis, thin standard of beauty. While these wins are symbolic they do represent that the larger public perception of black women’s beauty is evolving. 

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me—with my kind of skin and my kind of hair—was never considered to be beautiful,” Tunzi said as she was crowned. “I think it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Even Oprah Winfrey spoke out about the historic win.

Oprah Winfrey congratulated Tunzi on Twitter and invited her to speak at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Leadership was on Tunzi’s mind as well when she won

She said, “I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that is what we should be teaching these young girls—to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself.”

Vogue Mexico Teamed Up With British Vogue To Show The Beauty Of ‘Muxes’ An Ancestral Gender-Fluid Indigenous Community

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Vogue Mexico Teamed Up With British Vogue To Show The Beauty Of ‘Muxes’ An Ancestral Gender-Fluid Indigenous Community

voguemexico/ Instagram

Sometimes, fashion is more than just a mirror of society. In a few instances, the fashion industry has actually been responsible for reshaping reality rather than just mirroring it. One way it does this is by breaking taboos and introducing marginalized ideas into the mainstream. The current visibility of transgender people is a development that the fashion world has embraced in recent years. Granted, fashion’s focus on the topic is, more often than not, on the “blurring of traditional lines between genders” to explore androgyny, but many designers and brands are currently emphasizing on a ‘gender-neutral’ and non-binary ethos. The editorial side of fashion however, has been a bit slow to embrace representation and support genderqueer people—but this month, Vogue Mexico and Latin-America, in collaboration with British Vogue, are leading the charge, by dedicating their cover story to a small group of people in Juchitán Oaxaca who seek to live outside of binary labels: Los Muxes.

Vogue Mexico and Latin-America has proven to be the most ‘woke’ publication of Conde Nast’s portfolio this year.

instagram @voguemexico

 The magazine has doubled up on its efforts for representation and diversity. Just this year they made history by featuring an indigenous woman, Yalitza Aparicio, on the cover of a magazine for the very first time, ever. A few months later they featured four Afro-Latinas on their cover and opened the floor to discussion about what being Afro-Latina means. Just last month they honored indigenous women of different parts of Latin America for their 20th anniversary issue. And now, the magazine is shining a light on a centuries-old non-binary indigenous community of rural Mexico, and introducing them to the world. 

In recent years, Oaxaca has become somewhat of a trendy destination. 

instagram @oaxtravel

The Zapotec state is a multicultural hub in the south of Mexico known for its delicious climate, rich food and complex history. The people of Oaxaca have fought hard to keep a lot of their centuries-old traditions and beliefs alive, and one of these beliefs —or rather, a group of people— is called “muxes.”

In Juchitán, a small indigenous town in Southern Oaxaca, a community of individuals known as ‘Muxes’, seek to live free of binary labels “male” and “female.”

instagram @johnohono

 The word muxes also spelled muxhes in some instances, comes from the Spanish word for woman “mujer,” and it generally represents people who are assigned male at birth, but identify as non-binary. Muxes have their own gender identity, different from what the West has traditionally dubbed to be female and male. 

The iterations among the Muxe community and their self-identifications vary – some identify as male but are female-expressing, while others identify as female and are more closely associated with Western culture’s understanding of transgender. In their culture, the term “third gender” might be more suitable to define Muxes. 

Muxes are ‘dual’ beings, they don’t believe in being ‘female’ or ‘male’, they simply are.

Instagram @salvadorconpan

“To be muxe is a duality. We carry out the role depending on the circumstances, sometimes I might seem like a man, and others like a woman,” says Pedro Enriquez Godínez Gutiérrez, a person known locally in Juchitán as “La Kika,” in an interview with Vogue Mexico. Apart from being a muxe, he’s the Director of Sexual Diversity of Juchitán Town Hall. 

Muxes have lived in Juchitan since pre-hispanic times, there are a few indigenous legends that explain their origins and give a faith to the antiquity of their existence.

instagram @voguemexico

There are two legends in Juchitán, that recount the origin of Muxes. One says that San Vicente Ferrer, the holy patron of Juchitán, had a pocket with holes in it, from which they fell out of. Another version says that as he walked the earth, San Vicente Ferrer, always carried three bags: one with male seeds, another loaded with female seeds, and a third that contained both seeds, mixed up. This last bag was the one that broke as he walked through Juchitán, and that is why there are so many muxes there. 

The people of Juchitán are a sort of pre-hispanic family. In this town the women are as strong as the men and muxes are as respected as both men and women. Ironically, the system of tolerance and respect that’s existed there for centuries is considered ‘modern’, elsewhere. 

Mixes are a community that not even the 21st century can wrap its head around. 

Instagram @rafa213

“Gubixha bizaani guirá neza guzá ca,” writes Vogue Mexico, is Zapotec for “the sun illuminated all the roads they have walked”, and perhaps that is why they can walk the streets without fear in a predominantly Catholic country that still struggles to offer equal rights for women and that is mostly intolerant of sexual orientations and preferences, Juchitán remains greatly untouched by this hate. Muxes walk the streets with flowers in their hair, they wear light huipiles —a traditional garment worn by indigenous women— and colorful skirts. This indigenous town is a model of how a culture can make space for life outside of the binary. Juchitán is an example to even the most progressive cities of the world. 

Vogue Mexico and Latin America teamed up with British Vogue to celebrate both British and Mexican talent. 

Instagram @voguemexico

The collaboration marked the first time both publications work together on a joint story. The experience allowed both publications to exchange ideas and share their cultures. Vogue Mexico’s cover, featuring Estrella, one of the muxes from Juchitán, was shot by Tim Walker, the iconic British fashion photographer, and the story will be published on both magazines for the month of December. 

Vogue Mexico’s Editor-In-Chief took to Instagram to share the news of the cover story. 

Instagram @karlamartinezdesalas

“It’s finally here!!! We are releasing one of our December covers early as it is a special joint collaboration with @britishvogue – thank you @edward_enninful for featur[ing] the beauty of MEXICO in the pages of British Vogue. No one could have captured the magical realism better than Tim Walker and Kate Phelan. Stay tuned for more!” wrote the Mexican editor Karla Martinez de Salas on her personal Instagram page.

Vogue Mexico’s December issue will be available nation-wide starting December 1st.