Meet the queen of Singapore’s drag scene

Queen of Singapore's drag scene Vanda Miss Joaquim (Photo: Facebook)

Vanda Miss Joaquim, who named herself after Singapore’s national flower, is one of Singapore most famous drag queens.

She represented Singapore in the second season of Drag Race Thailand — the first version of the iconic show outside of the US.

But, as a Malay Muslim, she courted controversy by wearing a burka outfit.

In conservative Singapore, where gay sex is illegal, she was denounced by religious groups for perversion.

But, Vanda Miss Joaquim persevered. Her venue House of Miss Joaquim is now a hub for Singapore drag shows and artistes.

Vanda Miss Joaquim (Photo: Facebook)

Vanda Miss Joaquim (Photo: Facebook)

She is, almost single-handedly, nurturing the next generation of Singapore queens.

Vanda Miss Joaquim, performed by Azizul Izzy Mahathir, and the story of how she found success and acceptance is at the center of a new short film.

‘I didn’t just want to tell the remarkable story of Azizul Izzy Mahathir and his rise to stardom’ said local filmmaker Melvin Tseng.

‘His story mattered to me not just because of the success he’s achieved’.

‘They call us a disgrace’

Vanda Miss Joaquim explains hate and abuse did not dampen her passion for drag.

‘There’s a lot of hate, a lot of comments’ she explained ‘They call us a disgrace, and that if they see us outside they will punch us, all these threats’.

The film also shows how the drag artiste’s family reacted when they found out about her life as a drag queen.

‘At first I was very shocked, I was very sad’ her mother told Tsenf. ‘A career like this, I don’t like.’

But, Vanda Miss Joaquim worked hard to become successful and support her mother.

At the same time, her venue and coaching inspired more Singaporeans to enter the art.

‘Through this documentary, I also aimed to send out a message on the insides of the Art of Drag in Singapore and its relevance in today’s time’ Tseng told Gay Star News.

Author: Rik Glauert

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Guys At Parties Like It is the queer horror movie for the #MeToo era

Guys At Parties Like It is an upcoming indie horror film produced by Mattioli Productions. It is written and co-directed by award-winning gay director Colton Davie Coate and trained actor Micah Coate.

The film

The film opens on a typical scene — a college fraternity party. ‘It’s a typical night at the frat house; booze are flowing, boobs are bouncing, and a young frat prodigy, rising through the ranks, is about to get lucky,’ the movie’s synopsis reads. ‘To score major points with his frat bros and to avoid a humiliating pledge ritual, he leads a wasted sorority girl upstairs to swipe his v-card only to find out getting lucky isn’t as easy as it sounds.’

Inspiration

Inspired by the #MeToo movement and #TimesUp campaign, the film sheds light on the fact one in four women will experience some type of sexual assault in her lifetime. This includes coercion and date rape.

However, this is a story of survival. While there are no graphic rape scenes (the creators knew how triggering that could be), there is a lot of gore.

Conversation with the Creators

GSN spoke to Colton and Micah Coate about the inspiration behind the film and the process of making it.

Writer and co-director Colton Davie CoateColton Davie Coate

Writer and co-director Colton Davie Coate

‘At the time, I had been racking my brain trying to think of an idea for a punchy, contained horror script. Because originally I was planning on self-producing. But wasn’t having much luck,’ Colton says.

‘It was right around when Netflix dropped Big Mouth. The “Head Pusher” episode came on and I was like BAM that’s a horror movie.’

‘”Guys At Parties Like It” (GAPLI) is a #MeToo inspired exploration of sexual assault, toxic masculinity, and societal influence, with an emphasis on date-rape and coercion,’ Colton explains. ‘It is about a frat boy who leads a wasted girl upstairs to lose his virginity as part as a hazing challenge, but things go awry when she says “no.”’

#MeToo

‘I have 2 sisters and a mom. And as a gay man, I also have acquired many girlfriends throughout the years. Every single one of them has dealt with sexual misconduct. And too many have experienced full blown sexual assault,’ Colton says. ‘It is important to dissect all of the factors that influence these staggering numbers such as the jokes we make, the negative gender stereotypes we reinforce, and the behavior we ultimately allow for ourselves and our peers not only in our own social circles, but as a country and society as a whole.’

‘We see this terrible pushback online constantly when women actually decide to come forward. We saw it in the Kavanaugh hearing. We saw it after that Gillette commercial. And even with such high rates of sexual violence against women, we still see the benefit of the doubt going to the accused rather than the accuser and it is really heartbreaking to witness.’

Micah describes the film as a ‘#MeToo inspired horror film with the wittiness of Heathers and the gore of Tarantino.’ She believes this is an important story for right now.

Co-director Micah Coate

Co-director Micah Coate

‘The #MeToo movement did a lot to make our culture more aware of how common sexual assault is,’ she says. ‘However, a lot of people still somehow think that it’s not that big of a problem. There are people who believe that the only perpetrators of sexual assault are weird men in trench coats who hide in the shadows and wait for their moment to attack. It’s difficult for some people to accept that the all-American boy next door who went too far when his date told him “no” is also an offender. Stories like GAPLI spread #MeToo awareness and help keep the movement alive.’

Queer Characters

‘On the surface, “Guys At Parties Like It” is a date-rape revenge/thriller about a cis man and woman,’ Colton adds. ‘But if you dig into the supporting characters and their backstories and actions, we see all different types of sexual misconduct from casual to severe.’

‘We have a character named Connor who brings a lot of our LGBT flair, but he is also not without fault. We slice into how gay men can perpetuate misogyny as well. The kind of hero-figure, Trixie, is sexually fluid and is the victim of homophobia. Though the main character is cis female, her struggles and her experiences are mimicked against trans women and men, lesbians bisexuals, and gay men all the time. So I think it relates to many struggles we collectively face.’

Support the film

Guys At Parties Like It is currently hosting a KickStarter campaign. Should the goal be met, the team plans to start shooting the film in April 2019.

See Also:

Hannah Gadsby explains why ‘good men’ shouldn’t get to call out misogyny

As Boy George mocks Gaga’s looks, why gay men must stop judging women

Boozy and cliquey LGBT+ university societies fail students

Gay rep Brian Sims: ‘Some of the most intense misogyny I see towards women comes from gay men’

Author: Rafaella Gunz

The post Guys At Parties Like It is the queer horror movie for the #MeToo era appeared first on Gay Star News.