An Apology, Or Laganja Estranja at PAMM
We decided to leave on a whim. Would it be worth the $2.50 metrorail ride and subsequent maze of a metromover trip? I hoped so.
By the time we got to the Perez Art Museum’s patio, Laganja had nearly finished her pre-show dance class, but it was magical just to see her in the first place.
Her moves were scarily precise -- everyone struggled to keep up with her.
Laganja Estranja was the villain of Rupaul’s Drag Race season six. Or maybe she was the victim. season six was the first season of Drag Race I’d ever seen, four and a half years ago, as a high school freshman straight out of Christian middle school and unaware of my burgeoning bisexuality.
It still is my favorite season: the drama between Laganja and the season’s finalist, Bianca Del Rio, was always hilarious. It was fun to ridicule her and her breakdowns. It’s still fun to scream “OKURRRRR,” especially when your white friends can’t copy the rolled ‘r’ sounds. It’s less fun when people attribute the phrase to Cardi B or the Kardashians, like so much of drag culture is.
She broke and let local Miami drag queens take the stage next. First up was Tiffany T Fantasia, who’s hosted our on campus DragOut events twice now. Tp Lords gave a toned-down laser light show next.
Then came Kat Wilderness like a blaze of burning glory. Or like a really hyperactive shark that would seriously die if it stopped moving -- so much so that I couldn’t get a single decent shot of her.
Even with live photos, her energy was infectious.
“Enjoy your youth, girl,” said Tiffany after her performance.
“You can do that now, but wait until you start getting old -- how old are you now? Don’t say it into the mic, you shouldn’t say that aloud.”
Kat then signed a two and three at Tiffany from behind the stage.
Finally, we were ready for the main course, and out came Laganja again, this time to deliver.
Death drops and drops into splits and splits back onto the stage. It felt like she hadn’t aged a day, physically, like her 29 could outpace Kat’s two-and-three anyday.
But as I told her how season six was what got me hooked, all those years ago, it hit me how she had aged. How she refuses to come back on for an All Stars season, how she’s grown from her very public, televised fits and tantrums.
Maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up, but I only realized that when her eyes went a little glassy at the mention of her season. It made me feel young and dumb instead.
So, sorry Laganja. Thanks for the memories of a pettier, more confused time. I hope to catch up with you sometime.