Drag queen to perform in Three Wise Men act as part of Madrid’s traditional Epiphany parade
A drag queen is set to perform as one of the “Three Wise Men” alongside two other women as part of Madrid’s traditional Epiphany parade.
Spanish singer Amapola Lopez, who is also known as La Prohibida, will be joined by cabaret dancer Roma Calderón and singer Dnoé Lamiss to play the Biblical role on one of 16 floats in the parade.
The three are set to be dressed as stuffed animals in pyjamas for the parade, which celebrates Three Kings’ Day – a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelations of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.
They will also carry as Pride flag with the words “participate, dream and imagine.”
The parade will be held the night before Epiphany on January 5.
The parade is part of traditional Spanish Christmas celebrations and usually features three local men who dress up as the three kings to parade through local towns and villages handing out sweets.
Vallecas, a neighbourhood within Madrid, decided that they would go against tradition after gay Pride collective Orgullo Vallekano suggested they do an alternative parade.
A representative explained: “We planned to do a parallel parade but when we proposed it in the municipal council, they told us to join the main one.”
“It’s yet another example of the diversity of Madrid,” said supporter Carla Antonelli, a gay rights activist and Socialist Party politician.
The decision to cast the drag queen and two women have been condemned by conservative figureheads in Madrid.
Critics insist that Madrid City Council should impose sanctions as the traditional form of the parade is respected.
Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, a spokesperson for the conservative Popular Party, said: “We support Gay Pride and the rest of the celebrations, but we believe the Kings’ Day should be respected as a religious holiday.”
“Sometimes, a Cavalcade of Kings must simply be what the children expect it to be – a Cavalcade of Kings,” tweeted Begoña Villacís, a Madrid councillor for the centre-right Ciudadanos party.
Drag queen La Prohibida said that she was excited to challenge the usual format and ‘enrich’ the traditional festive season.
“The parade is for children and it will be a party for the children. There will be no glitter, no crowns, no different dresses… It is a festive thing, but it is neither the Carnival of the Canary Islands nor Gay Pride,” she said.
Dnoé Lamiss added that the controversy around the alternative parade was hypocritical as recently councillors had been found to “black up” to play Balthazar.
She questioned: “Why can a white man paint himself black to play Balthazar, while I who am black cannot make Balthazar a magical queen or a page?
“It will be a giant chariot with mothers, fathers, children – and super diverse.”