Cuban drag queens take to the stage

Published: May 20, 2010

Cuban drag queens take to the stage

SANTA CLARA, Cuba — For 23-year-old Charlimar it was a dream come true, gyrating like Latin pop star Shakira on an outdoor stage before 2,000 cheering people, in the first government-sanctioned drag show in the communist country.

Organized by the daughter of President Raul Castro, Mariela, the unprecedented show in the central city that revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara conquered in 1958, drew stares and stopped traffic on Monday under the watchful gaze of local police.

"I’ve been a drag queen for three-and-a-half years, but it’s hard to believe I’ve been blessed at such a young age when others waited much longer to see their dream come true," said fashion designer Dayan Marin, known better as the spandex-wearing Charlimar.

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