This summer, the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus named Valentina a Pride Honoree for her work as a brand ambassador for The Trevor Project.
This weekend, she’s also receiving the key to the city of Bell and she’s also the Grand Celebrity Marshal at this year’s Long Beach Pride Parade, which takes place Sunday.
It is the most Latino Pride there is.”
There, she will be proclaimed by the state of California as the official “Princess of S.E.L.A.” Valentina told the LA Times in a feature story out now,
L.A. has this reputation for being fake, but that’s not my experience.
It’s fake because there’s so many people coming here trying to make something of themselves. When I’m here, I’m not trying to make something of myself; I am something.
And I’m soaking in this moment where I get to embrace being from California, while being proud of being Mexican. I worked so hard to be welcomed and accepted in Mexico for so many years that I kind of forgot…
I’m lucky to be from L.A.!”
Five years after making her big debut on Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Valentina joined fellow queen Lolita Banana in hosting Drag Race: Mexico which is airing now on WOW Presents Plus and Paramount+ Mexico.
I get so criticized for my Spanish when I go to Mexico.
And in the American realm, people hear my accent and say,
‘Oh, she actually speaks English pretty well.’
I was fucking born in California, sweetie! You think I’m here to serve you chips and salsa?
You have no clue. I’m every woman. I’m international.”
Valentina instantly wooed Drag Race fans and judges with that sense of humor and hubris. Although she was dismissed by Mama Ru keeping her bejeweled red mask on while lip-syncing for her life — she won Miss Congeniality.
After Drag Race, her star rose with…
- her own web series, La Vida de Valentina on Wow Presents Plus
- a starring role in Rent: Live, on Fox in 2019
- being featured in Mexican Netflix telenovela La Casa de las Flores,
- a cameo in the 2021 film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical In the Heights
- a part in La Usurpadora: The Musical, based on the ‘90s telenovela
And now co-hosting Drag Race: Mexico, her experience makes her sympathetic to the trials of the show.
Even from my position, I’d be questioning myself:
‘Do these girls standing in front of me have any idea that I might be just as nervous as they are?
I wanted the girls to leave with an experience that made them grow. I really hope that the post-show life and experience comes with many blessings for them, They come from many different socioeconomic [statuses], from small towns to major cities.
But once you get there to film, it don’t matter. Because you can be the very best with what you got. Your past is thrown out the door, and you just live in the moment!”
And Valentina is living her own moment at the moment,
I don’t want anybody to put a finger on what kind of artist I am, what kind of gender I am.
Right when you thought you could put your finger on me and define me and put me in a box… I jump out and go,
‘You don’t define me. I define me.’
And what I was yesterday, I might not be today.
And tomorrow? I hope I give it sickening, darling.”
Drag Race Mexico is airing right now on Wow Presents Plus.
(Photo, Drag Race; via LA Times)