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Wigwood 2020: Day 3

EVENTS | FESTIVALS


Wigwood 2020

Day 3

It probably would be fair to say that the last day of Wigwood must be everyone’s favorite. After two days of intense partying and turning out looks, most of the people get to relax by the pool and let the queens scheduled to perform on that day do all the work.

Abhora

“When I schedule the acts, I try to think who would be a good fit to perform by the pool. It’s not an easy task,“

Queef says about scheduling the festival’s program.

Viola Putx kicked off the shows a bit after 4 pm, blending in perfectly with the leafy backdrop of the performance side of the pool as an exotic pussy; Moxie Mopp followed up with a comedic take on Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty,” showing up in a laundry basket and then dousing herself off with the whole bottle of “detergent,” at some point chugging it down, spitting it up high in the air, and catching it back in her mouth just to spit it out again.

Yoko Oso embodied Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, played by Jennifer Hudson in the Cats movie. The mix of the performance included as many popular versions of “Memory” as she could incorporate, from Elaine Paige to an often-forgotten Celine Dion rendition. She also included a clip from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, where Titus learns that Cats is entirely made up.

Yoko says:

“It felt good as an intro for this ballad to not entirely be mired in sentimentality as I feel like drag itself is just a thing way too many people take far too seriously.”

Towards the middle of her number, Yoko got on top of a floatie, eventually submerging into the water completely and almost drowning under the weight of her soaking-wet fur coat, eventually being saved by the crowd and an impromptu appearance by Abhora.

“I was in the dressing room with Abhora and some of the other performers. Having seen her at other Wigwoods, I hadn’t had the chance to be near her outside of a performance space. Last year she had a performance all three days and I believe she was only here on Sunday. I had talked a bit about my concept and Abhora, having just done an homage in LA called (S)CATS with Alaska and Meatball – she didn’t even hesitate when I semi-jokingly said she could be Victoria so I wasn’t lip-synching to myself. During the performance, when I jumped on the raft in the pool and had been thankfully saved by people in the crowd because that fur coat weighed a ton soaking wet, Abhora had hit her cue as Victoria with nothing but white tights and paper ears,”

Yoko comments on whether this whole shtick was planned,

“In some video I could hear people flabbergasted as to whether this was planned or not, and now the cat’s out of the bag.” 

Iris Velvet, Jupiter Velvet’s drag daughter, followed Yoko by performing to Kali Uchis and ridin’ round the pool on a pink kid’s bike, while Brenda who came along from New York with MTHR TRSA and who hosted the first two days alongside her bestie, gave all of her signature hilariously hectic energy into the performance, ending the show with a plunge into the cold pool as if to stop herself from going on nonstop.

The second set of performances was headlined by Abhora, who came out wearing a white sheet over her whole body, looking like a ghost. In Abhora’s typical manner, she abused the crowd by climbing on top of tables, climbing over guest’s pool chairs and catapulting her heels in different directions. One of the attendees said she was scared and backed away from wherever Abhora established her dominion.

Aurora Whorealis delivered her signature high kicks and splits, putting sexy into activism and dedicating her number to climate change by taking off her top to expose a silicone breastplate that looked mighty real from afar; “Fuck Trump” written all over her tits and “Climate Action Now” across her abs with a black Sharpie.

Vex The Thing came out enshrouded in what seemed to be a black cloak devouring her entire upper torso, later opening its – what turned out to be – petals and turning it into a beautifully crafted carnivorous alien flower.

Opal Lords started her number at the top of one of the buildings adjacent to the pool in a hippo ballerina costume. It was a beautiful sight to see – everyone was looking up as the setting sun projected beautiful pink hues all over the sky; then the beautiful blue of the pool was interrupted by a flash mob of divers ultimately joined by Opal, soaking anyone who was close to the edge of the pool.

Miami’s legendary drag fixture Adora closed out the shows, just like the year prior.

An unexpected guest showed up towards the end of the festivities – almost 80-year-old trans pioneer Henrietta Robinson, or the Queen of South Beach, who was born in Ohio, but moved to Miami in 1952 and transitioned in 1959 with the help of her uncle. A crowd of Wigwood’s partygoers surrounded her to say their hellos and pay due respect. Unfortunately Henrietta passed away a few weeks later due to COVID.

Alexey Kim

Founder

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Wigwood 2020: Day 2

EVENTS | FESTIVALS


Wigwood 2020

Day 2

The second day of Wigwood took place at Gramps, just like the year before, but with a later start.

Daisy Deadpetals, a legendary local drag queen

“Last year, the second day was very long, because we started so early, so a lot of people were exhausted,”

said Queef Latina about starting the shows later this time around,

“I want to make sure that everyone has a good time slot to perform.”

Indeed, there weren’t a lot of people at Gramps early last year; I myself showed up around 8 pm and missed a few allotted performance blocks.

35 performers took the stage on the second day of Wigwood this year, all of them bringing everything they had and putting on an incredible four sets of hour-long shows. Drag Race alum Serena ChaCha hosted the very first set, while the remaining performance segments were divided between MTHR TRSA with Brenda and Queef Latina with Hairy Bradshaw.

Dreamboi, who flew in from Brooklyn, New York, performed a vulnerable number to “I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy” by Antony and the Johnsons with assistance from a white blanket that represented someone missing.

“In a broad sense the song is about longing for something or someone you cannot have; being separated by the obstacles of time, space, distance, though each of you separately existed at one time or another. The desire to share history together,”

says Dreamboi about the significance of his performance,

”I think about this a lot with my heroes lost to the AIDS crisis, like David Wojnarowicz; how I wish I could share time with him. But I never will. Our atoms simply missed each other.”

Patent Pending showed off her spot-on lip syncing skills to a highly sexual spoken-word song, “Bilingual,” keeping the crowd enchanted throughout the entirety of the performance; Sage gave the audience all of the love and received just as much of it back, to Madonna’s “Like A Prayer,” as an angel painted entirely in shimmering gold; Juanita Labanjee showed off her comedic side with a number where she lip-synced for the male and female parts of her song with the help of a floppy, non-sticky mustache; Opal Am Rah mesmerized everyone with her reptilian look and seductive moves to Sade’s “No Ordinary Love.

Queef Latina performed her first-ever song, “Venganza,” with duo Niña, revealing a sick corset that she made in one day out of Wigwood’s wallpaper; Lady Paraiso, a high-concept queen, came out as a green alien housewife, poisoning her dick of a husband at the end of the number; Persephone Von Lips put on another high-concept performance as Adam, enlisting help from a very fit Steve, Opal Am Rah as a snake, and Miz Toñya as the tree of knowledge; Andro Gin shut the house down just like the previous year with his incredible prowess in musicality and improvisation.

One of the most powerful performances of the night belonged to Jupiter Velvet, one of Queef Latina’s drag children. At first she read a poem titled “How to Make Love to a Transperson” by Gabe Moses, bursting into tears several times. Then she performed a lip-sync number where she injected herself with HRT right onstage. Her show resonated with a lot of people in the audience, some also bursting into tears, and showering Jupiter with tips.

Jupiter Velvet self-administering a shot of HRT

Alexey Kim

Founder

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Wigwood 2020: Day 1

EVENTS | FESTIVALS


Wigwood 2020

Day 1

Miami’s Club Space hosted the first day of Wigwood. This club used to be a legendary party spot back in the day, famous for its events going on until the wee hours of the morning, where people could party and watch the sun rise through its open roof. Even though the club might have lost its coolness mojo over the years, and is mostly known for hosting straight and gay circuit parties, it remains quite a unique space, and Queef Latina saw its potential for hosting the first day of Wigwood.

TP Lords (by Angel Ortiz)

“We are going to have this back alley entrance, that’s going to be separate from the main one. There will be another party happening at the same time downstairs, so I don’t want those people to freak out when they see a bunch of monsters and aliens,”

Queef announced two days before the festival, when we were setting up the space. 

Queef said that this year she wanted to try something new and have hour-long performance sets on the first two nights instead of shorter sets more spread out through the night like everyone was used to in previous years.

The NYC DJ duo The Carry Nation warmed up the crowd for the first set of performances scheduled to start right at midnight. Kat Wilderness stayed incognito under a black robe, until she was called onstage to open the weekend’s shows. Under the robe she was clad in a sexy leopard-print leotard, and with her mane of red hair she slayed the stage to The Pussycat Dolls’ “React,” the video for which had just come out that same day. Persephone Von Lips was being a good friend holding a portable wind blower at the end of the stage, which Kat eventually ended up grabbing and making it her wind bitch; Bassfunkdaddy followed right after Kat, downing beer from a long beer bong, with his nephew lovingly pouring it from the other end. Miss Toto performed next, confining a sexy papi to a chair, seducing him along with the rest of the crowd with her sexy moves, showing off her hip flexibility by throwing in a couple of splits. Hairy Bradshaw followed Miss Toto with an enigmatic art number, eating and feeding the crowd with paper flowers attached to her crown, at the end of the performance turning it into a muzzle. Celia Booze danced her ass off to “Invasion Al Area 51” by Cumbia Drive that she mixed with Trump’s voice and Selena’s “Techno Cumbia.”

Landon Cider, the first drag king to appear and win on a US drag reality show competition – Boulet Brothers’ Dragula Season 3 – ended his testosterone-filled performance with a reminder to stay grateful and vigilant:

“We will speak up, act out, when we see anyone who is not treated equal, because we are all fucking equal.”

Drag superstar DJ Jodie Harsh got the party really going after the first set of performers and soon enough it was already time for the second part of the shows.

A legendaric Miami drag queen Missy Meyakie LePaige opened the second performance slot of the night and sent the crowd into a frenzy after at least half a dozen kitty wig reveals throughout the performance; MTHR TRSA self-appointed herself as Mx. Wigwood 2020 during her number, giving a comedic nod to last year’s coronation of Serena Tea as Mx. Bushwig 2019; Landon Cider gave another supercharged performance, this time dressed as a leather Wolfman Daddy; Opulenceeeeee put on a dance number involving four backup dancers; TP Lords showed everyone why she’s an OG of Miami drag by gagging everyone with a circular cape embroidered with an enormous spider with glowing eyes, and laser beams coming out of her fingertips. Amanda Lepore closed out the shows with her signature number, taking a lipstick out of her pussy and applying it to her face lips.

“That just happened,”

local photographer Karli Evans uttered in complete awe. 

At 3 AM DJs Gami and Get Face took over the DJ booth, while Amanda Lepore meet-and-greeted a horde of the remaining attendees.

Special thanks to Angel Ortiz for the first 35 images.

Alexey Kim

Founder

Angel Joél Ortiz-Perreira
Angel Joél Ortiz-Perreira

Photographer

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Wigwood 2020: Portraits

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