Meet The Local Queens: Ana Macho

Drag has always been an integral part of the queer community. Drag performers, notably alongside transgender individuals, lead liberation movements and their efforts paved the way for the LGBT community as it is today. As we continue to progress, drag continues to offer queer people a platform to express themselves and their individual visions of what it means to be part of a community so resilient. With the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race, it seems that drag is at a new cultural peak; nonetheless, every drag performer—old or new—always brings something unique to the table along with them.

Ana Macho is no stranger to crowds among the community—especially those from the millennial generation. With her quick wit and fierce (with a touch of comedy) lip-sync skills, Ana Macho has been rising in fame since she debuted to the tune of Fifth Harmony’s “Work from Home” in 2016 and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Photographed by Elvis Oliveras

Bryan Castro, the person behind Ana Macho, became interested in drag at an early age. “When I was in middle school, I randomly found Alaska Thunderfuck’s Meet The Queens video for season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race,” he says when asked about how he got into drag. “She was so raw and funny, yet still glamorous. That was when I realized that drag could be a vehicle for my weird and queer imagination. My brain hasn’t stopped thinking about drag ever since.”

To Puerto Ricans, the name Ana Macho instantly provokes a reaction. “It comes from Puerto Rican problematic legend, Ana Cacho.” Castro explains. Ana Cacho rose to notoriety in 2010 after being the central suspect for her 8-year-old son Lorenzo’s murder. The suspicion against Cacho was mostly fueled by then-media giant, La Comay, a program that basically turned a murder investigation into a celebrity buzz story. “I loved the thought of making people uncomfortable just by the name, and also the idea of a girly name like Ana being followed by such a hypermasculine word like Macho.”

Ana Macho’s drag has gone through its fair share of evolution since her debut in 2016. “When I started doing drag, I had no idea what I was doing.” Castro recalls. “I looked a busted mess.” For the first year, Ana Macho was a bald queen and leaned towards androgyny more than creating a female illusion. “Slowly, I started gravitating to drag that felt more authentic to me and the evolution of my character has felt very organic.” Now, Ana Macho has a life of her own, something for which Castro is very proud. “She is literally the glamorous space witch I always wanted to be.”

Photographed by Elvis Oliveras

Drag has its ups and downs, something Castro is very aware of. “In drag, nothing is given. You really have to earn your place,” he says. “It has taken me a lot of bad gigs and long nights to get to a place where I feel like I’m respected as an artist. It’s been a tough climb, but it’s been worth it.” He later adds: “And it’s only the beginning!”

“I feel like there’s a drag renaissance in Puerto Rico,” Castro reflects when asked about the current state of drag performers in the island. “The old bastion of classic pageant drag is just not relevant anymore. The drag scene is definitely becoming way more inclusive, and it’s not afraid of breaking rules.”

Ana Macho performing in DragaWest, an event organized by her that brought Rio Piedras drag to the west side of the island. The event was hosted at Taller Libertá, a performance art theater in Mayaguez.

Aside from her comedy, people who come to Ana Macho’s shows are always treated to a spectacular lip-sync. “I’m obsessed with Holding Out For A Hero [song by Bonnie Taylor],” Castro exclaims stating his favorite song to perform. “I did it as a closing number for a show I did in UPRM, and I had a blast. Every time I do that song, I have the greatest time. It’s just so electric.” Oh, and, yes, he loves Shrek.

With only three years in the game, Ana Macho has already cemented herself as one of Puerto Rico’s hottest drag queens in the scene. As his craft continues to grow, Castro already has sights on what he wants for his drag in the future. “I want a stand-up comedy special on Netflix,” he says, alluding to a strong focus in comedic entertainment.

Photographed by Carmencita Carmona

 

To get in contact with Ana Macho, you can find her in the following platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.