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“Drag You And Me” Makeup Artist Marlyn Ocampo Shares What It Means To Be AFAB In The Drag Community

“Drag You And Me” Makeup Artist Marlyn Ocampo Shares What It Means To Be AFAB In The Drag Community

Marlyn Ocampo sheds some light on what being AFAB is like in the drag community

 

 

Drag continues to make waves locally, especially after the premiere of Drag Race Philippines and Drag Den Philippines in 2022. From several drag-themed parties to drag representations in the media, we’ve slowly witnessed the ever-growing community become the powerhouse that it is today. More and more projects emerge to amplify local drag culture—case in point, iWantTFC’s latest series, Drag You And Me.

 

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The series revolves around Betty (played by Andrea Brilliantes), who hopes to save her family’s gay bar in order to continue financing her education. In her efforts to do everything she can to turn things around for her and her family, we witness the female-lead dip her toes into drag culture for the first time as she joins a drag competition in her drag persona, Valentine Royale.

 

“Drag You And Me” Makeup Artist Marlyn Ocampo Shares What It Means To Be AFAB In The Drag Community

Andrea Brilliantes as Valentine Royale, makeup by Marlyn Ocampo

 

If you’re new to the drag scene, you must be raising an eyebrow at the premise of the series thinking, can a cis-female participate in drag? The answer is yes, and there’s even a term for it—AFAB or Assigned Female at Birth. As Andrea plays an AFAB in the series, it’s about time we learn a little more about AFABs in the community as well. Luckily, we got to speak to real-life AFAB Marlyn Ocampo, who is Drag You And Me’s fabulous makeup artist and previously worked on the Drag Den Philippines set with Manila Luzon! Marlyn talks about her struggles and triumphs in the community and how this has impacted her creative journey.

 

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Now let’s get one thing straight: drag is for everyone! As a community that highlights inclusivity, drag is no place for discrimination. Marlyn echoes this, “AFAB drag artists should be welcomed and appreciated in the community.” She urges people to support AFAB drag artists as many often have the preconceived notion that AFABs are “non-transformative” in the scene.

 

Marlyn admits, “[People] think [that] what we look like in real life is also how we look like in drag.” Of course, AFAB drag artists take this criticism as a challenge and continue to reach even greater creative heights through collaborations and innovations in their work. Marlyn continues to hone her craft through the many projects she has booked over the years.

 

A celebration of AFAB drag artists as Marlyn Ocampo collaborates with Lucky Beauty’s Andrea Brilliantes on the set of “Drag You and Me”

 

When asked about her creative process on the set of Drag You and Me, she talks about how collaborative of an experience it has been for her as she reimagines makeup looks together with Andrea, making every look on the show their own. Through these experiences, Marlyn hopes to showcase that AFAB drag artists are forces to be reckoned with in the drag community, too! 

 

On what viewers should look forward to in Drag You And Me, Marlyn reveals epic lipsyncing battles that amplify the beauty behind the art of drag. As the show highlights themes of inclusivity and representation, Marlyn shares that it is a huge feat for the community to be showcased in mainstream media with an AFAB-leading character. Bonus points for casting the Andrea Brilliantes who is “a real fan of drag and a huge ally” to the community. Marlyn shares, “It means a lot to us that the show tells us that AFAB drag queens/artists are doing great drag.”

 

As we witness Andrea in Drag You And Me uncover the power of being an AFAB drag queen on her own terms, Marlyn leaves us with advice for aspiring AFAB drag queens out there. She reminds us that drag is all about staying true to yourself. “Just do what you want; look how you want to look and act like how you really [want to] act. Be yourself and define your own drag. Do not force yourself to be like other people. After all, drag is a celebration of who you are.” 

 

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On that note, don’t forget to stream Drag You And Me on iWantTFC as we continue to create spaces that celebrate all things drag. And remember to never be afraid to express yourself as you continue to shine!

 

 

Words Vanessa Tiong

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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