In the heart of Sao Paulo, a downtown tattoo studio served as the backdrop for Brazil’s first-ever King of Kings competition, where 15 drag kings from across the country competed for the coveted title. The historic event, organized by 43-year-old drag king Lorde Lazzarus, brought together a diverse group of performers, all sharing a common goal – to celebrate and express the art of the LGBT community.
One of the standout performers was Hinacio King, a 33-year-old occupational therapist who transforms into their drag king alter ego with a contoured six-pack and taped-down breasts. King’s performance, set to a song about the killing of transgender women in Brazil, earned one of the loudest rounds of applause of the night. “I just want to cause a bit of a shock. I want to make white cis heterosexual boys feel uncomfortable, that’s my goal,” said King.
The competition, which had been planned for 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was held virtually in 2021 and made its return to a small theater in Sao Paulo this past Sunday. Despite limited funding and technical difficulties, the event was a triumph, with contestants traveling from across the country to share their talents and messages about social issues affecting the LGBT community through their artistic performances.
Lorde Lazzarus, who identifies as transgender, expressed their hope that the competition will serve as a step towards greater acceptance and affection for LGBT artistic expressions in Brazil. “We (drag kings) have very little space and we are still in the country that kills the most trans people in the world,” Lazzarus said. The event, which was a night to remember, is a sign of the growing recognition and celebration of the LGBT community in Brazil and around the world.