Celebrating Pride

Indy Latinx LGBTQ+ Pride performers share their journeys

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A drag queen and a burlesque and drag artist will be among Latinx artists performing Friday at The Vogue for Indy’s first Latinx LGBTQ+ Pride event.

“To be a Puerto Rican princess, it’s really important for me to give that to the people,” Raychel Knowles, a drag queen, said.

Knowles moved to Indiana from Puerto Rico four years ago with the goal to uplift people through her dancing and Latinx pride. “My drag is like oldies. So, I do like ’90s or ’20s kinds of songs, so that brings memories to people, so that makes people happy and fun, and that’s what I like.”

Now, she’s performing all across the Midwest while working two jobs. Knowles has a twin brother and, she says, since coming out, her family has always been supportive of her.

“Something more important that I have the opportunity that other people don’t is my family’s support,” Knowles said. “After they found out, my family going crazy, my mom did go crazy, but all my brothers and my dad was like is your body not mine.”

Dahlia Desire comes from a Puerto Rican family. Desire moved to Indiana from New York at age 11. Desire is a local burlesque and drag artist known for their soulful, sultry and provocative performances.

“With the art forms that are going to Latinx pride that is an opportunity to educate. It is an opportunity to see a different lifestyle than your own and it’s an opportunity to learn and grow and you know gain a new sense of community,” Desire said.

As an afro-Latinx nonbinary person, Desire also performs across the Midwest using all kinds of music including Motown and Afro-Caribbean music, but Desire has been with some challenges along the way.

“Because strip tease is involved, some people aren’t as accepting as others in my family, but they still wish me the best,” Desire said.

Now, these two performers are looking forward to getting on the big stage for Latinx Pride.

“I have performances everywhere in every kind of bar and places, but this big event and like Latinx is really special for me because it’s my community and it’s something that I can show everybody what we can do and what we’re here for,” Knowles said.

Desire said, “I’m able to show people that you can be Latin and still be heavy metal, you can be Latin and still be alternative, you can look however you want to look.”

Doors will open at 8 p.m. Tickets are free and can be accessed online.