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

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

On Thursday, the Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

via Getty Images

According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

via Getty Images

It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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