Contributing Author: Miss Cario
In the premier of our new interview series, ‘Conversations with Cairo,’ Miss Cairo kiki’d with RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 alum Manila Luzon during her trip to London earlier this month and discussed everything from fame, creativity, happiness and the London drag scene.
Conversing with Cairo and Manila Luzon
Cairo: What’s your preferred pronoun?
Manila Luzon: In my everyday life I live as a man, so I prefer to be called He. However, since most people think of me as a drag queen, even without me being in drag, I am always called she. I answer to both!
C: Where did your drag name come from?
ML: I chose my drag name because of my mother. She’s from Manila in the Philippines. I liked it because it had “man” in it and the same number of syllables as “Madonna“. And Luzon, is the island that the city of Manila is located.
C: What does ‘celebrity’ mean to you?
ML: I don’t know. It’s all kind of unreal. And I’m barely famous! Since being on the show and having seen the behind the scenes world of “celebrities”, I have a totally different view of what celebrity is. It’s a lot of pressure and responsibility. Too bad that being a celebrity doesn’t always translate into dollar signs…sorry, pounds!
C: Is there anyone on the London scene you’re interested in seeing perform?
ML: Gurrl, there’s too many. I just watched a few episodes of “Drag Queens of London” and I’ve been introduced to a whole new world! There are too many to choose from! I would even like to say that I’ve seen some members of the Familyyy Fierce perform when I was performing myself at Meth Lab, unfortunately I only got to hear them perform from backstage! Cairo I want to see you throw that afro around on stage!
C: How do you inspire yourself?
ML: I try to find my inspirations through the nostalgic things from my childhood. Kind of how Hollywood keeps rebooting old 80s movies. I want to take something from your past and turn it into a dress…worn by a man! Did you like Legos as a little gay boy? GAG! I got a Lego themed outfit, bitch! Now LIVE!
C: How do you achieve a space in which you can focus on your artistry?
ML: I am always thinking about my drag. It’s no longer satisfying to just think of a fun song to lip sync on stage, or even satisfying to design a new themed couture gown. I’m spending all day thinking of new ways to use my talents to showcase my drag. Nowadays I am really enjoying playing around with original music, that will eventually become a music video, which is basically a great way for me to package a bunch of FIERCE drag looks into 3 and a half minutes for everyone around the world to see!
C: Other than drag, how do you invest creatively?
ML: My creative muscles are always being exercised by drag, however I do love to draw and recently I have been enjoying the creative process of cooking! Nothing is more satisfying that devouring your creation!
C: What makes you happy?
ML: I’m just happy to be alive and to able to leave a little mark on the world.
C: What gives you strength in times of turbulence?
ML: I try to put things into perspective. I try to imagine things from the bigger picture and not to try to take things so personally. But when I’m really down, I know that I can always turn to my friends and my family. They always got my back!
C: Why do you choose to connect with the world using drag?
ML: I like the fantasy part of drag. And it’s quite simple to do. Just one drag queen’s performance has the ability to take you to another world. If you can believe that this man in a dress is a beautiful woman, hell, I’ve fulfilled the fantasy! Anything is possible!
C: Out of The Familyyy Fierce, who would you fuck, marry and kill?
ML: Easy! I’ll fuck Lily Snatch Dragon, cuz we’ll video tape it and make millions! I’ll marry Meth, cuz our wedding will make all the papers…and our divorce will too. And I’ll kill you, Cairo, so I never have to worry ever again about standing next to you and your tiny young body and your pretty little face! hahaha