Joy in Taiwan – and praise from the president – as Nymphia Wind wins RuPaul’s Drag Race | Taiwan

Drag queens sparked nationwide celebrations as the “pride of Taiwan” and earned praise and blessings from the island’s president after winning RuPaul’s Drag Race over the weekend.

On Saturday, the long-running Emmy Award-winning American reality show, in which drag queens compete in challenges such as lip-syncing performances, announced that the winner of its 16th season will be drag personality Nymphia Wind, created by 28-year-old Leo Tsao. It was announced that. She is a Taiwanese designer.

Nymphia Wind’s appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race garnered huge support from her home country, which is becoming increasingly famous for its vibrant and colorful drag community.

The crowd at her weekly live screenings at Taipei’s Ximending Red House Complex, the birthplace of Taiwan’s capital’s drag scene, has grown with each show.

When her win was announced during the show’s finale on Saturday, Red House fans screamed, hugged and waved bananas that Nymphia Wind had made as a symbol of her Asian and Taiwanese identity.

Although the subculture is not often discussed in detail in Taiwan, local media widely reported her victory, saying she had “broken the Asian curse” and “set a record as a leading figure.” It was reported. [from] Taiwan”.

“Dear Taiwanese, this is yours,” Nymphia Wind said after accepting the victory, and thanked President Tsai Ing-wen for “living without fear.”

“Congratulations to Nymphia Wind for achieving such an accomplishment in the difficult art form of drag and for becoming the first Taiwanese to step on stage and win RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Tsai said.

Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party have pushed hard to strengthen LGBTQ+ rights in Taiwan, including becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019 and amending the law to allow same-sex couples to adopt in 2023.

Nymphia Wind, who grew up in Taiwan and Hong Kong, said she developed a passion for fashion and drag while studying abroad in London, with the support of her mother, who flew to New York for the final episode.

Her performances on Drag Race include Bubble Tea; taiwan temple and traditional Chinese opera, and the color yellow represents her personal background. She became known for her homemade costumes, earning her the nickname Banana Buddha and her fans becoming known as Banana Believers.

“Yellow is more than just a color, it’s who I am as an Asian,” she wrote on social media. “Yellow is who I am. I always wear yellow clothes. Through drag, I have learned to value my Asian identity.”

she said entertainment weekly Her final outfit, a boba tea-themed outfit, was a statement that read, “I found a fun way to represent my homeland and do this lip sync even when I’m at camp…I obviously came here to represent my homeland.” , and I am,” was her way of saying. I’m not going to do that by putting a flag on my dress. ”

November 2023 Nymphia Wind Held at a traditional Taoist temple in Taiwandisrupting the traditional spaces of the country’s religion and making drag queen culture more accessible to the general public.

“This event aims to involve everyone, by inviting the elderly and children to come together to enjoy the joy of cross-dressing, to put aside their prejudices and enjoy the moment together in the same space. Destroy the echo chamber,” Nymphia Wind wrote. Social media.

Helen Davidson contributed to this report