CARACAS - JUNE 27, 2019. Aron “Arona”, widely known as “Venezuela’s #1 Drag Queen,” poses for a portrait during the Drag Gala 2019 held in Caracas this past May. Aron said that drag is the decision to live a fantasy, where qu

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 27, 2019. Aron “Arona”, widely known as “Venezuela’s #1 Drag Queen,” poses for a portrait during the Drag Gala 2019 held in Caracas this past May. Aron said that drag is the decision to live a fantasy, where queens and public alike can have fun and escape from the everyday. But there is also the part where the public praises you for how beautiful you are, but they don’t know you as a person. That is why many queens create family dynamics among themselves, where Aron was considered a matriarch. Aron passed away June 9, 2020.

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CARACAS - JULY 5 2019 Eduardo changing into his new outfit, a handmade dress of ties in his apartment in Caracas. While Eduardo uses fillers to create a curvy silhouette, many younger drag queens are choosing to go without: p

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 5 2019 Eduardo changing into his new outfit, a handmade dress of ties in his apartment in Caracas. While Eduardo uses fillers to create a curvy silhouette, many younger drag queens are choosing to go without: partly because of costs and also the current trend.

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CARACAS - JULY 5 2019 A rainbow striped bag laying on the washing machine in Eduardo’s apartment in Santa Monica, Caracas. Eduardo is a part of the queer political movement in Caracas, working to fight for full equal rights f

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 5 2019 A rainbow striped bag laying on the washing machine in Eduardo’s apartment in Santa Monica, Caracas. Eduardo is a part of the queer political movement in Caracas, working to fight for full equal rights for women and LGBTQIA folks alike.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 5, 2019. Eduardo stands in front of his mirror, preparing his drag in his apartment. Eduardo created Amala specifically as a way to promote the peoples’ political rights and collective well-being, wo

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 5, 2019. Eduardo stands in front of his mirror, preparing his drag in his apartment. Eduardo created Amala specifically as a way to promote the peoples’ political rights and collective well-being, working to raise consciousness through his drag.

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 18, 2019 Aranza gets ready for the nightly show at Club Cul. She is a trans woman currently in transition and winner of Miss Globe Gay Venezuela, a play off of Miss Venezuela for the LGBTQ+ community

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 18, 2019 Aranza gets ready for the nightly show at Club Cul. She is a trans woman currently in transition and winner of Miss Globe Gay Venezuela, a play off of Miss Venezuela for the LGBTQ+ community.

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CARACAS - JULY 18, 2019 A drag queen stands in line for official headshots with a professional photographer at a local drag club before opening. The club is hidden within a larger office building in Altamira, an upper middle-

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 18, 2019 A drag queen stands in line for official headshots with a professional photographer at a local drag club before opening. The club is hidden within a larger office building in Altamira, an upper middle-class area of East Caracas. The only sign of the club is a bouncer stationed at the door, which always remains closed.

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​CARACAS, VENEZUELA - AUGUST 7, 2019 Walcott, a 20-year-old hip hop dancer turned drag queen, in his home in Propatria, a barrio in West Caracas. Walcott’s drag style is androgynous, using fantastical makeup with no padding,

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - AUGUST 7, 2019 Walcott, a 20-year-old hip hop dancer turned drag queen, in his home in Propatria, a barrio in West Caracas. Walcott’s drag style is androgynous, using fantastical makeup with no padding, often shirtless. He uses this “monster drag” style to appeal to a wider audience and show that drag doesn’t have to mean only dressing up as a woman.

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​CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEBRUARY 23, 2020. The curtain tassels are balled up in the corner of the dressing room of the club. Performers tend to spend the night, drinking and chatting in the dressing room after the club closes.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEBRUARY 23, 2020. The curtain tassels are balled up in the corner of the dressing room of the club. Performers tend to spend the night, drinking and chatting in the dressing room after the club closes. When the sun comes out and it is safe, queens head to the subway in pairs of two.

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CARACAS - FEBRUARY 24, 2020 A group of drag performers in downtown Caracas, sitting at a bus stop. After spending the night at the club, they left early in the morning for a private beach party. A private bus is taking them t

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEBRUARY 24, 2020 A group of drag performers in downtown Caracas, sitting at a bus stop. After spending the night at the club, they left early in the morning for a private beach party. A private bus is taking them to La Guaira, the coast, to perform for a well-known private LGBTQ party. The performers are excited for good tips and a fun rumba.

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CARACAS - FEBRUARY 22, 2020.
A drag performer looks on as a group of dancers rehearse for the night’s show at the local club.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEBRUARY 22, 2020. A drag performer looks on as a group of dancers rehearse for the night’s show at the local club.

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CARACAS - AUGUST 7, 2019
Walcott poses for a portrait in his home in Propatria, a barrio in West Caracas.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - AUGUST 7, 2019 Walcott poses for a portrait in his home in Propatria, a barrio in West Caracas.  

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CARACAS - JULY 7, 2019.
Plants grow out of the ground on the tin roof of Walcott’s home.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 7, 2019. Plants grow out of the ground on the tin roof of Walcott’s home. 

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CARACAS - FEBRUARY 24, 2020.
Victor, known as Roxy, and a party bouncer sit in a bedroom/makeshift dressing room while Victor begins putting on his makeup - getting ready for a private LGBTQ beach party.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - FEBRUARY 24, 2020. Victor, known as Roxy, and a party bouncer sit in a bedroom/makeshift dressing room while Victor begins putting on his makeup - getting ready for a private LGBTQ beach party. 

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CARACAS - AUGUST 2, 2019
Aron chatting with fellow queens in the dressing room of the local club in Altamira. When asked why he has stayed in Caracas doing drag, he said that he wants to stay and support the drag community in Venezuela. He has seen many f

CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - AUGUST 2, 2019 Aron chatting with fellow queens in the dressing room of the local club in Altamira. When asked why he has stayed in Caracas doing drag, he said that he wants to stay and support the drag community in Venezuela. He has seen many friends leave to try and make a career out of drag in other countries and have to start from zero. Arona sees himself as a mentor for the younger generation of drag queens entering the local club. As he says, “There is no Venezuelan Drag Institute that is going to teach you how to be a drag queen. The club owner isn’t going to teach you, the DJ isn’t going to teach you…it’s the “marica vieja” (old gay guy) who is going to show you the ropes.” Aron passed away June 9, 2020 and is remembered through his legacy as a mentor for the drag community. 

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 18, 2019. 
Shayna de Lunar taking a selfie during the break between acts.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 18, 2019. Shayna de Lunar taking a selfie during the break between acts.  

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CARACAS - JULY 30, 2019.
Daniel - dressed in full drag as Miranda - in a cab on his way to the drag club in Altamira. He, like other drag queens, work nights. Often the daily routine is to sleep a few hours after getting home from the club, rehearse and g

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JULY 30, 2019. Daniel - dressed in full drag as Miranda - in a cab on his way to the drag club in Altamira. He, like other drag queens, work nights. Often the daily routine is to sleep a few hours after getting home from the club, rehearse and get made up again for the show. In a country like Venezuela, due to a mix of street violence, lack of public transportation and hyperinflation fewer people are going out than before and night life workers are more vulnerable than ever. 

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