When you think about drag queens, the first thing that comes through your mind is peaceful beauty and delicate grace. La Mestruo – performer of the night life in Milan – is going to upset all your assurances: naked and probably wigless, she is bound to show you what a real murder on the dancefloor is made of.
Good morning La Mestruo. Let’s get straight to the point. In a world where drag queens are supposed to keep it girly and light, you punch the limits proposing a rough, unpolite and personal representation of drag queens’ panorama. How do people reach to this? Are they scared of you?
Well, more than an aesthetic I think people is frightened by the act of cross-dressing itself.
For most of the people there is not a difference between me and a fishy queen for instance; basically we are seen as faggots on heels even if, having a darker aesthetic, attracts people differently.
Here in Italy, I often notice that the figure of drag queens is sexualized – just like transgender girls – almost as if we are at a disposal to anyone who wants to use us.
In this case, I consider myself lucky because it is a bit difficult to sexualize me when I have no hair, black teeth and lipstick smudged up to the knees. No, wait, that is not true, people try it anyway.
Brutality, grotesque and fashion are the secrets ingredients for your persona. How did it all start?
It all started from a wrong decision! I was planning to dress-up like Lord Voldemort for a Halloween night 6 or 7 years ago, but I ended looking like Cruella Devil.
I don’t remember a lot of the party but, since then, every Halloween I dressed-up like Cruella, younger every year.
Violence influences your style and your performances a lot, what are your inspirations?
My primary inspirations come from the world of music and fashion, when I think of a performance, it always starts from the song and generally from those who were my adolescent beloveds: Pj Harvey, Peaches, Marilyn Manson, to name a few.
The way they move on stage, their powerful energy, their sloppy and decadent looks – still sexy but in a foolish and uncoated way – have always spoken to my heart.
In fashion, above anyone I love Thierry Mugler. The performative aspect of his fashion shows, the models he chose (men, women, old ladies, transsexuals) and the attitude they had, told me that self – confidence is the key to appearance. I am also obsessed with his extreme fitted hourglass silhouettes of which he was a master in the 90s.
Nowadays RuPaul drag race represents the main ideal of what a drag queen should look and act like. What is your opinion about “the mother” and about that vision of performing?
In a certain way, I think it’s fantastic! She made it clear in the entire world that drag can be an expressive and dignified form of entertainment, she has removed the veil of hypocrisy inside and outside the LGBT+ community.
But, clearly when a phenomenon like this becomes mainstream, it needs to be coded and devalued to be public usable (and cost-effective). Some restrictions should not exist. We need to have the awareness of having a choice.
I am aware that there still be a lot of racism towards drag queens, have you ever been touched by that and how did you react?
At least half of the time. For disaster discriminations can assume any form, from a silly “faggot” to the deepest violence. Drag queens and night life come together so it is very easy to run into surreal situations and it is even sadder when it comes the LGBT+ to be part of perpetrating those kinds of actions.
Of course, this is not always the case, I receive a lot of support.
What are your plans for the future? How will you shape La Mestro for the upcoming season?
Well, after six years spent into a club – Toilet – I discovered new needs and I really want to see other realities around the city. I have a plan of performing art but it is still top secret.
In terms of shaping, La Mestruo for the next season wants to be less feminine than the last few months, she was doing too much pussy and the monster she hosts really wants to get back in the business. I feel a lot of my body and I like to play with it, with ambiguity and fluidity of course.
Pictures: Alberto Degano
Clothes: Lorenzo Seghezzi