Venturing Into the Creative Landscape of Alternative Drag

Venturing Into the Creative Landscape of Alternative Drag


Tales from the Crypt of Slaytina featuring Aurora Boreális, Lily Gaia, and Kijinka

Alternative drag artists often craft their performances from the experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community that lean toward the seemingly perpetual battle for acceptance. Stories of inequality inflicted by an oppressive society and government are frequent themes woven into their performances. They aren’t subtle about how they want their message to come across either, as they use jarring visuals, sounds, and props that stir their audiences into shock. Such disturbing shows fulfill a role: to provoke thought. 

RELATED: A Glimpse Into The Minds of Alternative Drag Artists

alternative drag

“Alternative drag tries to stray away from the usual way of doing drag by challenging it.”


Tell us how you got started in drag

Lily Gaia: I started as a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and then I tried doing makeup and wearing wigs secretly in my room. I wanted to experience what a drag artist does, which is performing on a stage in front of many people, so I joined Drag Cartel in Nectar Nightclub last December 2022.

Kijinka: I try to relive the suppressed femininity of my childhood with drag.


Aurora Boreális: I discovered drag through RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2018 and immediately became a fan of the show and drag as well. The urge to start doing drag hit me by 2021 and peaked in 2022 following the airing of Drag Race Philippines and Drag Den. Seeing our very own queens on national TV really gave me the fire to be a drag queen. My drag career officially started when Lady Gagita looked for backup dancers, and I signed up. Afterward, she encouraged me to do drag. 

Who or what are your biggest inspirations when it comes to drag?

Aurora Boreális: 

  1. Lady Gagita – I really look up to how she gives a spectacular show when it comes to all-out performance.
  2. Pura Luka Vega – Luka could just stand in front and just be iconic.
  3. Viñas DeLuxe – Lip-sync is always on point.
  4. Lady Morgana – Her stage presence! She always lip-syncs the hell out of a song!
crypt of slaytina

Lily Gaia: My biggest inspirations in drag are probably Tammie Brown and Jinkx Monsoon. I really like their quirkiness and hilarious personalities. As a shy person, those are the personalities I really want to have, so I strive to be like them whenever I’m in drag. 

Describe your drag. What influenced your approach to your drag?

Aurora Boreális: I am a theatre kid, so my drag is very conceptual and theatrical. I like to tell a story in every performance. 

Lily Gaia: I am still exploring my drag since I have just been doing it for eight months. But I can say that my drag is a combination of glitter, a little bit of comedy, and darkness. I am also a big Taylor Swift fan, so I mostly incorporate or use Taylor’s songs whenever I get the chance to perform. But right now, I am hooked on performing jukebox vibes kind of songs. When it comes to my looks, I like having those lace and tulle combinations that scream fairy and goth. 

alternative drag

Kijinka: My drag is very sensual, sultry, and provocative. Growing up in a female-dominated household, I have witnessed men shame and brand them as sluts when they do feminine things. So, I wanna embrace these things and relive them for them in my drag career. 

lily gaia

“Alternative drag is self-expression on how we accept our queerness that focuses not just on beauty, glam, and colors.”

Lily Gaia

What is alternative drag?

Kijinka: Drag has been around for multiple decades, and everything has been done one way or another. Alternative drag tries to stray away from the usual way of doing drag by challenging it. 

Lily Gaia: We know that drag can be anything, but, for me, alternative drag is self-expression on how we accept our queerness that focuses not just on beauty, glam, and colors. It embraces all the flaws and all the dark side of the reality of living as a queer person. It showcases all the possibilities of what LGBTQIA+ people can be. 

alt drag

Aurora Boreális: Alternative drag, for me, is the other side of drag. It is broad and limitless that you can be whoever you are without the notion of a queen only being glitz and glam.

Where do you want the alternative drag scene to go in the next few years?

Lily Gaia: I want the alternative drag scene to be appreciated and recognized like mainstream drag. I want to see more platforms and shows for alternative drag artists because they deserve the spotlight. I know they can bring a show that will blow people’s minds. 


Kijinka: I want people to appreciate alternative drag more, as these ghouls would go out of their way to do the craziest, freakiest, and most innovative performance ever. 

Aurora Boreális: As an alternative drag artist, I want to witness the rise of the alt-drag scene here in our country. Most people here have the stigma that a drag queen should always be beautiful. As much as every drag is valid, we also wanna show them that it’s not all the time that a drag queen must only serve beauty. We also have different dimensions and elements.

crypt of slaytina

“I like to tell a story in every performance.”

Aurora Boreális

Tell us about the inspiration or the story behind your performance at Crypt of Slaytina

Kijinka: I went as a succubus to stay true to my brand while still following the category. I wanted to show them that filth doesn’t have to be gross, but can also be freaky and smutty. Additionally, as a girl who doesn’t pad or corset, I went as naked as I could be to show how I love the skin I am in.

Aurora Boreális: My performance was very conceptual and theatrical. I portrayed Sisa while mouthing “I Dreamed a Dream.” It was a very emotional performance showcasing my roots and live for theatre, incorporated with alternative drag. 

Lily Gaia: My performance was for everyone battling mental health and those being invalidated for struggling with it. 

lily gaia


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