Carmen Monoxide is performing in packed venues in Mexico City.
Monoxide told Vogue that there’s a burgeoning drag scene in the city,
It’s Pride [Month] right now, so this is our busiest season
Here in Mexico City, drag queens have their own way that they see drag. There’s something about Latinos—they just have this fiery energy and stage presence.”
Born in Montpellier, France, but raised in Guatemala City, Monoxide first became interested in drag in high school.
I didn’t develop a character or anything, I was just mostly having fun with friends.”
In 2017, she moved to Canada, with her then-boyfriend and truly fell in love with the art.
It was my first winter ever, so I was stuck at home and not really knowing what to do.”
As a Drag Race fan, she started experimenting at home, then eventually performed her first show for the public in nearby Toronto.
It was a viewing party for RuPaul’s Drag Race. A girl I met on Grindr asked me to do a little show.”
She performed to Whitney’s So Emotional… (sounds familiar)
I wore this Audrey Hepburn look. It didn’t make any sense, but I just wanted to get on stage and try to do it in front of people.”
Last year, Monoxide decided to move to Mexico City to fulfill her dreams of doing drag full-time.
I moved on a Wednesday, and my first gig was Friday…
My drag has turned upside down and inside out. [Before the pandemic,] I had put myself in this box:
‘You’re a sexy fashion queen.’
But I realized putting myself in a box was unfair to myself.
Now my drag is all about the transformation.”
She says her creativity has blossomed after meeting a whole new community in Mexico City. She says the city is far more accepting of drag queens than Guatemala and there are more laws protecting LGBTQ folks.
There’s plenty of lanes for drag queens to work here.
You see drag at restaurants, bars, clubs. In Guatemala, the industry still lives in the underground scene.
Moving to Mexico made me feel more confident about my drag because there’s so much talent around. It’s playground for my queer imagination.”
there’s a lot of talented queens there—I see a bright future.”
She also foresees a bright future for herself and wants to start designing clothes for other queens, make music, and continue competing in drag shows (perhaps on popular shows like La Más Draga or Drag Race).
Read more about Carmen and see exclusive photos of her working in Mexico City in Vogue.