For Pride Month, Nolisoli revisited queer spaces—past and present—through the stories of people who lived in and through them. There’s Malate with its dimmed but nonetheless still inclusive streets, Cubao that was once home to music hangout Today x Future, Makati with its artistic meccas XX XX and Pineapple Lab, Taguig with its buzzing nightlife fixture Nectar, Ortigas with the loud and proud home of the drag queens O Bar, and the transient spiritual hub that is Open Table Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) now in Mandaluyong.
Getting political at O Bar
By drag queen Dee Dee Marie Holliday
I’m always referred to as the fat queen at O Bar, on social media, and even in real life. Workplace, clubs, gatherings, name it. I got fat-shamed every single day in the most recent TV show I participated in. Sometimes, I respond with something shadier and nastier. It’s about time we make people realize how primitive body shaming is.
In 2019, I took off all of my clothes on stage while performing with the word “FAT” (amongst other things) written on my body to make people realize that my weight is not something they can use against me. At least not anymore. I consider it as one of the highlights of my career as an entertainer.
Looking back and looking forward
A conversation among drag queens Brigiding, Precious Paula Nicole, and Katkat
Brigiding: Ayan so girls, ano ang favorite moment ninyo or most unforgettable event or nangyari sa inyo sa O Bar? Ako I think ’yung 2019 Pride na nagperform ako ng Freddie Mercury. That was the best. First time ko nagcareer ng impersonation and I think ‘yun ‘yung time na talagang napatunayan ko sa sarili ko na I can be proud of being a performer. Oh ‘di ba!
Katkat: Ako talaga yung pinakahappiest at memorable experience sa O Bar talaga, ‘di ko talaga malimutan, is yung makasama ko on stage si Anne Curtis. And then nakasama ko siyang naligo with me ‘di ba? Talagang nakijoin siya sa akin na mag-perform at talagang naligo rin siya ng kasama ako. Pati na rin yung nakakasama natin ang ating mga family on stage. Ayun.
Precious Paula Nicole: Ako three years ago ang favorite ko kasi nung inakyat ko si mama para manood siya sa akin for the very first time na ako ay nasa drag persona ko: Si Precious Paula Nicole.
Brigiding: Three years ago na iyon?
Precious Paula Nicole: Three years ago na ’yon.
Brigiding: And Mother’s Day?
Precious Paula Nicole: And Mother’s Day. Yes! Andito siya sa Manila para manood nang show ko dahin iyon talaga iyon.
Brigiding: So we can’t wait to go back to performing again!
Brigiding: Tama! So I hope the pandemic ends soon and magkasama-sama at makapagsayaw-sayaw na tayo together.
Katkat: And makapag-entertain uli tayo ng tao.
Precious Paula Nicole: For the meantime, Happy Pride, everyone!
All: Happy Pride!
Katkat: Celebrate with love and light!