Meet The Local Queens: Misandra Bolac

 

 

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.

Fresh to the scene and drag daughter of previously covered queen, Ana Macho, Misandra Bolac strutted into the drag scene with confidence and a thirst for breaking the norm. Focusing more on the social activism of drag with thought-provoking lip-syncs to follow, she has demonstrated that she has a vision and is not afraid to let everyone know.

Photographed by Dermaris Zayas

Imanol Unanue, the person behind Misandra Bolac, became interested in drag after doing what most of us have probably done: binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. “I binged watch seasons one through eight,” they explained. “I later remember telling my best friend that I seriously wanted to do drag. So, we began practicing makeup, since I had never done it before.”

Explaining the origin of their drag name, Unanue laughed. “My drag mother and I were sitting in the balcony of Resi [UPR-Rio Piedras’ student boarding building] and we started thinking about names.” They explain that they wanted Misandra, since it came from the Spanish word for misandry, which is the hate of men. “And Bolac, well, it came from Bullock… and bolas.”

Unanue reflected when asked about how their drag has evolved since they first started out. “It’s funny, the other day I found some notes I had written about what I wanted for my drag,” they said. “The name wasn’t the same and I wanted to be this super sexy bombshell wearing strictly lingerie, which is far from what I am today.” They describe their current drag as a “mega-power lesbian, family of Ana María Polo.”

“I think the toughest challenge I have faced as a drag queen has been knowing who I was,” Unanue explained. “Finding a face, a personality, and an aesthetic. I don’t think I have found my aesthetic yet, but I intend to keep trying.”

Photographed by Elvis Oliveras

As of recently, Puerto Rico’s drag scene has gone through a “boom” as more people, specifically the young queer community, have take an interest in the artform. “The drag scene in Puerto Rico has a lot of faces, not one is better than the other,” Unanue expressed. “There’s a lot of pageant drag around the island, a lot of the most famous performers have come from pageants. Then there’s the more experimental, more comedy-inclined. I think I’m part of the latter,” they say this last part with a bit of blissful doubt. “I love it because there’s always a balance between comedy, pop culture, and creativity.”

When asked about their favorite performance, Unanue again made reference to Ana María Polo, the power-house TV judge from Caso Cerrado—essentially Judge Judy for Latin Americans. “One of my favorite performances was the Ana María Polo mega-mix I did at El Vidy's,” they said. “I swear, it lasted like seven minutes but I had such a good fucking time.”

A lot of up-and-coming drag performers tend to picture themselves auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race, but this is not the case for Misandra Bolac. “I actually don’t see myself auditioning for Drag Race—if it even exists by then,” Unanue stated. “I want to focus on opening more doors for other communities in Puerto Rico, giving them a space to experiment with drag and letting them see it “first-hand”.”

Misandra’s drag family (from left to right): Velvet, Misandra, Ana Macho, and Vena Cava.

For Unanue—and Misandra Bolac—it is of utmost importance to work towards opening spaces that are inclusive and secure, and even more important opening them where they haven’t existed at all. “I would love to be part of a Puerto Rico more tolerable and inclusive, with drag shows all around the island.”

If you’re interested in contacting Misandra Bolac, you can find them on: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.