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The Mexican FIL dresses in sequins

Guadalajara, Mexico – With black humor, sequins and lots of color, the Drag Queen Story Hour Collective mesmerized the public with their stories in favor of tolerance and sexual diversity, at the Mexican International Book Fair (FIL) in Guadalajara, which ends on Sunday .

Far from the formalities of conferences and book presentations, the group managed to enchant the attendees with the stories, mysticism and impudence of a drag show that combined in an unusual way with the tenderness and depth of children’s stories.

Lalo García, one of the founders of this organization that promotes respect for the LGBTQ+ population and is part of the “Barrios de paz del gobierno de Jalisco” initiative, explained to the attendees that this project aims to generate a “sense of belonging, of community and identity” so that no one feels discriminated against.

The intention of the reading is to promote an environment of respect towards the LGBTQ+ population through public readings of stories with various themes. The collective is made up of gay, transgender and cisgender people who seek to bring an inclusive culture to readers.

SPACE FOR EVERYONE

A couple of teenagers, a group of young people from the Wixárika indigenous community, a family with their young son, an exhibitor at the fair, and a handful of young people from the LGBTQ+ community gathered in one of the main halls of the fair to listen to the “Tales in heels”.

The reading drew a diverse audience who laughed at the performance of the three readers and applauded as they told their stories of self-acceptance and being seduced by drag shows.

Simulating a little doll with a pink and lilac dress and a big bow on her head, Diva Nova surprised the attendees by staging the story “No, not you” that talks about how people are often rejected when they think they don’t fit in a circle Social.

Diva Nova explained that since she was little she had an inclination for art and saw in this type of show a space for acceptance and identification.

“When I get to drag I realize that everything I had studied and that I felt did not fit anywhere, (this) was the place where I could develop it, it has helped me professionally and personally because I approached it with fear of not knowing if I could do it and the community embraced me,” he explained.

Young readers return to the FIL of Guadalajara after two years of pandemic. (Francisco Guasco)

CHARACTERS THAT SPELL

Drag “is about bewitching” and that members of the LGBTQ+ population find “a place anywhere” being who they are, García explained to the attendees.

With her blue dress like a fairy tale and a blonde wig, Evelyn Carmín walks around the stage to make the audience feel that she is a mermaid. Andrés, the main character of the story “Mermaid and Point”, has one wish in life: to have blonde hair and to be a mermaid.

The story talks about bullying and invites to defend what each person is regardless of the judgment of others.

With her thick voice, she says that she identified with the character because on more than one occasion she wanted to belong to another person and see herself in a different way without being judged.

“I went through something similar and many here may have gone through it, we have that little thorn of knowing what it feels like or how you would look, but until you do, you feel that release and it’s very funny,” he said with some mischief.

Dressed in a green dress with a Mexican rose and flowers framing long eyelashes, María Rivera imitates a shrill voice and then a thicker but fearful one. With her body, her voice gives life to the characters of the story “Fearsome Monster”, a story of inclusion that encourages the liberation of who we really are.

The narrator said that transgender people, with non-binary identities and who transgress gender identities only seek to be respected in society and asked attendees to have more empathy with this sector of society.

“We don’t want to steal anyone’s rights, we don’t want to take spaces away from anyone, we just want to exist like anyone else,” he said.

The FIL takes place until Sunday with a large program that includes 620 book presentations, 3,000 literary, academic and scientific activities and the attendance of 600 authors from 45 countries.

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