FOF #2956 – Translocas: Puerto Rican Art Gender Warriors

May 4, 2021 · 1985 views

From left to right: Freddy Mercado, photo by: Raquel Pérez Puig, Lola Von Miramar, photo by Fausto Fernós, Sylvia Rivera, Nina Flowers, Lola again and Vegigante from Puerto Rico. Other photos from Wikimedia Commons.

With the high visibility of drag queens on TV and social media and (even this podcast) there’s an idea that drag is just another form of show business, but it’s so much more.

For Puerto Rican queens or “Locas” as they are known, the call to do drag often stems from the pressure to survive as an artist in a very dangerous world.

Larry La Fountain’s new book Translocas: the Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance gives us a deep look at how Puerto Rican performers use drag to explore race, class, poverty and gender.

Today Larry La Fountain, professor of queer and Latinx studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor joins us to take a look at the Translocas we love: from Ru girls like Nina Flowers and Monica Beverly Hillz to trans pioneer Sylvia Rivera to other fabulous performance artists like Barbara Herr, Lady Catiria, Javier Cardona, Freddy Mercado and even Larry’s alter ego Lola Von Miramar.


Was Ricky Martin’s mega hit pop song “Livin’ la Vida Loca” a queer coded anthem?

With POSE on FX wrapping up the third season, what’s going to happen to the careers of trans Latinx actors like MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore?

Vejigantes, the horned masked tricksters from carnival celebrations in Puerto Rico. Are they drag queens too?

And singing and dancing Puerto Ricans come to Hollywood with two major motion pictures hitting the big screens this year: In the Heights and Steven Speilbergo’s remake of West Side Story.

Larry LaFountain’ new book is out! – Translocas- The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance Save 30% with promotion code UMS21.


  1. Thanks for having me on the show to talk about Translocas!

  2. I just ordered the book, can’t wait to read it! I have learned so much about queer culture in PR from Larry over the years. I hope to hear more from him in the future!

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