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14 Confessions Of An Indian Drag Queen

Meet the sultry, sari-clad drag performer with an MBA degree and "titanium balls".

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Meet Alex Mathew, a Bangalore-based 26-year-old content writer with an MBA degree.

He loves dancing, acting, and writing, and dreams of performing on Broadway someday.
mayamma12 / Via

He loves dancing, acting, and writing, and dreams of performing on Broadway someday.

What sets Alex apart from other young Indians is that he’s a drag performer.

His drag idol is RuPaul Charles and his inspiration is 2014 RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio. He began doing drag as “Mayamma” on September 10, 2014, and there was no going back. Mayamma dresses in traditional Indian garb. Her bindi, saree, winged eyeliner, and hair is very classic Bollywood.

We asked Alex AKA Mayamma some questions. Here's what we found out.

1. "As a drag performer, I want to be a good motherly figure to people in society."

"I love to make parodies of English songs, but at the end of the day, I am an entertainer who aims to delivers a good message," Alex told BuzzFeed.

2. "The society has some major misconceptions about drag queens. They sometimes think we're prostitutes."

"A) She belongs to the hijda community (proud to be),

B) He will go through knife soon (bullshit), and

C) He is a prostitute/sleazy. (YEA RIGHT!)"

3. "I used to have a fear of getting caught in drag outside."

"I don't leave the house in drag. I get ready in drag at the venue."

4. "My Amma gave me her saree and blouse for my first performance."

"My parents do know that I do drag. They were initially supportive of it. However, when I started performing more, they went against it. Amma came to terms with it recently.

5. "Mayamma as a character is sweet and fierce like Sasha Fierce, but shady to people who are mean and hurtful."

6. "My biggest pet peeve is uncleanliness (especially dirty tables and loos)."

"Also, bad grammar (Ugh! Like your > you're, their > they're)."

7. "I have lost some friends since I started performing in drag."

"But I feel what matters is the true friends who stand by you irrespective of whether you do drag or not."

8. "Questions like 'So, when's the sex reassignment surgery going to happen?' annoy me a lot and frequently."

I face a lot of trouble when I explain to people that I am a drag performer. The typical response: "So you are a cross-dresser (in daily life)?", "What! You are a hijda?"

9. "I don't do that. I prefer to perform as a woman on stage and be a man in the streets."

10. "I got titanium balls. Nothing is impossible and I am living proof."

"Alex and Mayamma are similar in terms of confidence and the guts to achieve anything."

11. "I identify as queer because I don't believe in set brackets about sexuality. Sexuality and gender should be fluid."

12. "The one aspect of drag I really can't deal with is wearing a tight bra that cuts through your mid-section!"

Like, I've asked my girlfriends how they manage and they've sympathised with me.

13. "I take at least two hours to get ready which is a pain. But and the end of the day, I look fierce and gorgeous.”

"I love that I can be anyone I want to be, plus the whole illusion of being a beautiful woman."

14. "Unless they gonna pay your bills, pay them bitches no mind!" Alex quotes RuPaul. Mayamma has zero time for haters.

"The drag community is still an infantile one. There are too few drag queens out there for any sort of competition to even exist. The idea of drag and cross-dressing are often confused with each other. The community of individuals who only drag on stage is a very very small one," he told BuzzFeed. "Be fierce, strike a pose and you better werk it!"

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