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LOLA the Showgirl is certainly a recognizable figure in the Palm Springs area. Hailing from Long Beach, California, she has lived in Palm Springs for ten years.  A former contestant in Queen of the Desert and all-around drag diva, GED Magazine had a quick chat with Miss GED Magazine LOLA about the upcoming Palm Springs Pride celebration, her background and her decision to move to the Coachella Valley.

GED: Is it your talent for makeup and styling that got you interested in drag?

LOLA: I got started in drag at the age of three. My sister, who is also a hairdresser and make-up artist, introduced me to wigs and make-up. I always loved Halloween (the “Gay Holiday”) but never wanted to be a boy character… I always wanted to be the “princess”. My sister obliged and would dress me in drag. The creativeness I found in hair styling and make-up came later, but that was the start. I was not very popular as a boy growing up. Once I started getting positive attention in a dress and high heels, well… my drag career was off and running! I love the attention and having my photo taken. Being able to sew Lola’s outfits, helps to create the special Lola-Look.

GED: When/where did you do your first drag appearance?

LOLA: My first drag appearance was at the Paradise Bar and Grill in Long Beach, where I dressed as Gwen Stefani.  The drag group “The Barbituates” took me under their wing and my drag Mom, Monalot Fontaine, helped me to look pretty.  Starting out you are never as pretty as you think you are. You really need a drag Mom to teach you the ropes. These drag professionals helped and nurtured me along the way.

GED: When and why did you move to Palm Springs?

LOLA: While living in Long Beach, I started vacationing in Palm Springs (as many do) and feel in love with it. I moved permanently ten years ago. Everyone comes together as a community here, and the LGBT and Sober communities are very important to me. It is so calm and serene in the desert… I certainly do NOT miss the traffic and parking in LA! Palm Springs is like being on vacation all the time!

GED: Obviously you are at many fabulous events. How important is it to you to “give back” to the LGBT community?

LOLA: I attend lots of charitable events throughout the year, all in support of a cause. Palm Springs has a strong LGBT charitable network. One of those charities near and dear to my heart is Desert AIDS Project. Desert AIDS Project enhances the health and well-being for people living with AIDS/HIV in the Coachella Valley through so many amazing programs. Being HIV+, I know that the programs and services provided by DAP are so helpful in maintaining a healthy mind, body, and soul. Education and outreach to those who are HIV- is also an important part, in helping to destigmatize and eradicate AIDS/HIV.

GED: You have also traveled and been at many Pride events/parades… what are some of your favorites and why?

LOLA: I have been fortunate to travel to many gay pride events all over the world.  I love my hometown pride – Long Beach!  You can’t beat the beach views along the parade route down Ocean Boulevard, and I love the very large gay community there. Of course, Palm Springs is another one of my favorites… a free festival with a cool vibe and the parade along palm tree lined Palm Canyon Drive. I also really enjoyed Vancouver Pride this past year. Canadians are just so darn polite! [Laughs.] But seriously, I do always get a little choked up when riding in the parades, thinking about how far the LGBT community has come and what the elders have done for us.  Without those pioneers that started the “gay movement” we would have nothing today. And hopefully our move toward total equality without discrimination will continue.

GED: Outside of makeup, drag and just being fabulous… what are some things you like to do in your free time?

LOLA: Well, I love what every good drag queen loves… shopping and brunch! [Laughs.] I do enjoy travelling (especially to Mexico), hiking, sunning by the pool, and driving around town in a convertible with the top down… with the proper Jackie-O scarf and glasses of course.

GED: You will be appearing in the PS Pride Parade with GED Magazine. I’m sure many of readers will be looking for you in the parade. How/where can our readers follow you?

LOLA: Yes, I will be Miss GED Magazine in the Palm Springs Pride Parade, so please do look for me. You can also follow me and my antics on social media at facebook.com/PS.Lola.5 and on instragram.com/mikidoeslola.

 

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