Tickets for drag shows are sold out in Val-d’Or. Sherbrooke’s have their regular customers. A drag will soon be hosting a golf tournament outside of Montreal. Although the LGBTQ+ communities are smaller in Quebec regions, drags are of course welcome there.
Posted at 1:00 p.m
When Sasha Baga went to Saint-Georges to perform 12 years ago, a slight worry came over her. “I went to the bar, put on my makeup there and didn’t go out,” she recalls. Today, when I go to Trois-Rivières or Sherbrooke, I have no problem going to the restaurant with a train. Of course there are funny looks, but people are very open-minded. »
Originally from Amos, she never imagined doing drag in her home region.
grown up [à Amos] as a very marginalized person i had a primary and a secondary Rock’n’Roll. I never thought the minds would open up.
“There’s still a lot to do, but I’ve just been hired as an ambassador for Tourisme Abitibi-Témiscamingue,” she adds. This is totally insane! »
Two worlds collide
In Sherbrooke, Gina Gates sees that a hundred people gather every week to see drags at Bar l’Otre Zone. “The community supports its artists,” she says. We have many regulars who follow us shows. »
She feels just as at home with the regulars at the microdistillery above. “It’s a very heteronormative bar, but when I go into travesty, the customers applaud me, encourage me and come to talk to me. They are fascinated by what they see. »
Originally from Joliette, Rainbow performs shows across the province.
More than 70% of my contracts are outside of Montreal. I am often hired for company events in the region.
She also observes a positive reception to drag art. “People are curious to know more. They are knowledgeable about make-up and costumes, but know that there is a lot of research and creativity in what we do. This leads to great discussions. »
To send a message
According to Lady Frencheuse, who forms the duo Les Diamond Drilleuses de Val-d’Or with Old El Paslut, drag makes it possible to tackle several delicate issues. “When we talk about systemic racism and what’s happening to First Nations, people listen to us,” she said. We can discuss any topic and it will pass because we are in the air. »
Having recently taken her first steps in drag, Lady Frencheuse conjures up a second come out have to do with his fellow human beings, then with his sexual orientation.
What I do in drag is more difficult to understand for some relatives who do not develop in the middle strange. I am often asked questions about my gender identity.
She adds that showing up in drag in Abitibi’s small LGBTQ+ community is a double-edged sword. “Some love it while others think I’m too feminine or too feminine garbage. If you deviate from the norm in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and are not sufficiently “manly”, it bothers you. »
Regardless, she accepts. “I make people a little uncomfortable and that’s a good thing. It will be easier for future generations to talk about what they want to become. »
Despite some inconveniences, drag shows are popular in his region. “This year we already have six! I find it phenomenal to do shows Drags in Val-d’Or, the cradle of mining! »
From Rouyn-Noranda to Sherbrooke, Sasha Baga can also testify to the euphoria of the audience. “People are out of control and they really like it! Nevertheless, there is educational work in his case. “Being a trans woman who drags, there are always people who comment without being mean and who come to ask me questions about why I’ve been moving on since my transition. »
Rainbow is particularly fond of watching some members of the public take their first steps into the world of drag. “It’s often those who twisted their arms to come to us who end up getting the most fun. And sometimes the party throws a lot more in the regions than in Montreal. »
Throughout Quebec, drag shows attract people of all sexual orientations and ages. “Drag Adriana was present at the last edition of Fierté Val-d’Or show, and I saw 13-year-old teenagers scream and throw five piasters like there’s no tomorrow, says Lady Frencheuse. Adriana herself was surprised. She told us that she has not tasted this type of energy in the big centers. »