Poster for “UNTITLED (AMERICA)“
50 States. 1 Territory. 1 Drag Artist per State. All Queer People of Color. Premiering July 4th, 2020 | 5PM EST. Streaming on Twitch.tv/UntitledShow
Untitled (America) is an art drag experience asking what does it mean to be an American Queer Person of Color today? On the “holiday” of this nation’s birth, our art is in direct response to the racism, slavery, genocide, and white supremacy enacted at this country’s creation.
Below my conversation with Drag Artist and Curator Untitled Queen:
Francesco Ferranti: Good afternoon Untitled. Thanks for reaching out and talking to me about this amazing initiative. Can you first of all introduce yourself?
Untitled Queen: My name is Untitled Queen. I use whatever pronouns. I am a Boricua-Filipino artist, drag queen, community organiser, based in Brooklyn-NYC. I am also a resident performer at Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns , which is the subject of a docu-series now streaming on Quibi.
Francesco Ferranti: What’s the genesis of “Untitled (America)”?
Untitled Queen: The idea for the show “Untitled (America)” came before what is happening right now with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. All my drag practice has always been centered in uplifting and providing a platform for Black, Brown and PoC artists. My close friend Horrorchata, who is also in the show, does Yes Mama and Latinx-focused parties. However, in the last few years we became more explicit and very direct in highlighting these voices. The emphasis of the show came in response to the change to the digital landscape cause of COVID-19, and to the opportunity of engaging with a wider and more gender-diverse number of performers.
Through the diversity of representation in region and style, we hope to show that there are many answers to what it means to be an American: where hope, anger, power, resilience, protest, change, love, kindness, apathy, pain, celebration, condemnation, questioning, investigating, and honoring intermingle. The show is by no means comprehensive or exhaustive.
Francesco Ferranti: Which Selection Criteria did you use for the show?:
United Queen: My criteria for choosing each drag artist was: 1. Each drag artist had to be a person of color.
2. I wanted each drag artist (drag queen, drag king, non-binary, everything between and beyond) to be currently living in and performing in their state/territory. They did not have to be born in that state. I had this stipulation because I wanted the artist to reflect, be a part of, and contribute to their immediate community.
3. I wanted an artist that had not been on television or was a living legend in their State/Territory. I was looking for artists who did not have the opportunity for as much exposure or for their voice to be amplified.
Francesco Ferranti: What does Drag mean to you, both as a political tool and art form?:
Untitled Queen: Drag has always been a community art project, which gives a platform for activism and social change. Drag as an art form also is rooted, started and created by Black Trans People. We have to give back to our ancestors.
Francesco Ferranti: The show will be benefiting The Navajo Water Project – @digdeepwater . Can you tell more about the cause? How did you discover this initiative?
Untitled Queen: The Navajo Project is an Indigenous-led community-managed utility alternative that brings hot and cold running water to homes without access to water or sewer lines for Indigenous communities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. I discovered the project through Indigenous activist Allen aka @lilnativeboy . I usually tie the events I produce and curate to charitable causes.
Francesco Ferranti: Can you give us a little sneak peak of some of the performances?
Untitled Queen: So excited to highlight some of the performers in the show.
Majesty Jekyll and Daddy Hyde [Pronouns: The Twins] / IOWA
Majesty Jekyll and Daddy Hyde are drag twins born from Iowa City but not conceived there. They toy with mixed mediums using art, dance, makeup, fashion, theatre, and poetry to convey their own validation in this queer world. Daddy Hyde is Mr. Gay Iowa City 2020/21.
Adi Love [Pronouns: She/Her] / Puerto Rico
I’m Adi Love the “Fashion Puelka “ queen of ratchet couture. Puelka meaning Pig. I’m a trans performer of color here to break the rules of drag , gender and represent the beautiful diversity of identities and bodies in our queer community. I’m here to laugh at taboos and shake shit up . Trust and believe you’ve never met a girl like me.
Lady Shug [Pronouns: She/They] / New Mexico
Amazing Indigenous Artist from Dine Territory of 4 corners area. Former Miss New Mexico and Las Vegas Nv Pride. From HBO’s SERIES We’re Here.
Queen Brown Suga Spice [Pronouns: She/Her] / Alabama
Queen Brown Suga Spice is the Spiciest Bitch in the South. She is located in Birmingham Alabama, fairly new to drag, starting only 5 months ago.
For more info:
Navajo Water Project: https://www.navajowaterproject.org