“BLACK DIVAZ”— Six Fabulous Indigenous Drag Queens

“Black Divaz”

Six Fabulous Indigenous Drag Queens

Amos Lassen

Adrian Russell Wills was commissioned to make the documentary, “Black Divaz” as part of the 40-th anniversary celebration of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Over the course of an hour, we meet six fabulous indigenous Drag Queens as they prepare to participate in the very first Miss First Nations Drag Queen competition.

This group of men and one transwoman, from across Australia came to Darwin during Pride week lugging oversized luggage filled with outrageous costumes and enormous colorful wigs and exotic names (Nova Gina, Isla Fuk Yah, Crystal Love, Josie Baker, Jojo and Shaniqua). They are met by the two co-hosts Miss Ellaneous and Marzi Panne who are determined to make the whole event one big unforgettable party.

As each of the contestants bares their souls on camera sharing their life experiences, we learn that represent a community and cultures that are so neglected and overlooked by the rest of the LGBT community.  They are not bitter and understand that the struggle for acceptance exists in their own communities and  they also relate as well as that as they struggle for understanding and acceptance.  

Wills has captured a beautiful and affectionate portrait of the camaraderie among the talent who care more about the ‘sisterhood’ than just winning a crown.  On the final night of the competition each of them ends up with a winner’s sash of some kind and this is the perfect ending. When they are dressed up and performing onstage, we see their professionalism which at the same time comes over as both natural and authentic and these are the two qualities that are often forgotten elsewhere in a world too obsessed with “the over-glossiness (and dare we say fakeness?)  of Drag.”

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