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PRIDE: McMaster alumna dazzles Digital Pride with drag show How Drag Queen Kamilla Flores Kameleon shared her culture during Digital Pride

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Photos C/O Kamilla Flores Kameleon

By Adrian Salopek, Contributor

In light of COVID-19 prompting social gathering limitations, Pride Hamilton’s festival weekend was one such event that had been affected. Although not an ideal way to honour Pride and its roots, new ways of celebrating the 2SLGBTQIA+ community have emerged, bringing Hamiltonians together during these recent difficult and lonely times.

One of the most anticipated Pride events in Hamilton was “Pride in the Park”, originally planned for June 19. This was replaced by Digital Pride, which occurred on June 14, consisting of livestreamed Facebook and Youtube shows and featuring drag performers from the Hamilton drag scene. Heart, crown and even dollar bill emojis flooded the chats under the live performances along with the odd “yass” or “slay”.

Among the featured talents, McMaster alumna Kamilla Flores Kameleon, who also goes by the Spice of Hamilton, dazzled audiences with her virtual drag performance. Through a comically tragic love story and aggressive salsa dance, Kamilla starred in a mini telenovela reminiscent of the ones she watched growing up in Lima, Peru, and showed the world what it really means to be a Latina diva.

 

“I thought it would be a fun way to live out what I had always watched as a child [and] show a campier side of my drag,” said Kamilla Kameleon.

Behind the comedy, campiness and five pounds of makeup, Kamilla celebrates her background and culture with those who attend her shows. Many of the queen’s influences are of Latin descent, such as pop stars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

“My drag has always been about representing my culture and a way I have done that is by paying homage to the legendary Latina pop stars that came before me,” explained Kamilla. “I have always felt Shakira embodied what it meant to be empowered and an entertainer and that’s what drew me to her.”

“My drag has always been about representing my culture and a way I have done that is by paying homage to the legendary Latina pop stars that came before me,” explained Kamilla. “I have always felt Shakira embodied what it meant to be empowered and an entertainer and that’s what drew me to her.”

In the current political climate, this celebration of diversity and the artistic contributions of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour is needed now more than ever. Digital Pride not only celebrated the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, but also provided an opportunity for discussions surrounding racism and policing within Hamilton, and facilitated a platform for Black community leaders to speak. Moreover, the event showed that drag can offer artists an opportunity to advocate for issues they are passionate about.

For Kamilla, the art of drag plays an important role — especially in the current climate — in disseminating love and advocating for movements fighting for justice.

“Drag can play a huge role in the spread of information about these issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement and protests,” explained Kamilla, “I have experienced racism as a person of colour, and it is important, now more than ever, to not be silent when issues continue to persist.”

Behind the wigs and makeup, drag is a crucial part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community’s culture and history and plays a major role in catalyzing social change from within. Besides the laughter and enjoyment one usually finds when attending a drag show, attendees will surely find themselves learning something new and being inspired when watching the performances of drag queens like Kamilla.

In the queen’s own words, “Don’t stop fighting for what’s right and always wear your heart on your wig. Te amo McMaster!”

 

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