Day 57: Chi-Chi Rodriguez
"Little Latin boy in drag, why are you crying?" Noxeema Jackson had a rough, yet nurturing tone to her voice. Miss Chi-Chi looked up with tears in her eyes, "It's just cause the two of you are so pretty, you know. You're so pretty." Even at thirteen years old, something about this spoke to me, but I didn't know why at the time.
Hello again, my fantastic thirsty readers! I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and wondering how strong everyone will emerge after we're once again released into the wild. It's easy to feel jealous when we see the beauty in others, and society has created this idea that we need to bring everyone else down in order to succeed. That never made sense to me. Being inspired by others can be a really beautiful thing, and I don't see any reason not to be proud of each other, lifting up our spirits. Maybe the real culprit is a fear of what we don't understand.
The 1995 film, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, centers on three New York drag queens, as the embark on a road trip to compete in a pageant in Hollywood. While on their journey, they have a run-in with a racist Sheriff, and find themselves stranded in a small town, full of even smaller-minded people. Initially, the townsfolk aren't exactly receptive to the fabulous trio, and it becomes obvious, they need a lesson in manners.
After experiencing the prejudices of the local residents, as well as seeing them abuse one another, our three heroes take matters into their own hands. Along the way, a lesson is learned by everyone involved, especially the queens themselves. We shouldn't be afraid of what's different. The fact that these things scare us, is the very reason we should embrace them!
I especially loved the character Chi-Chi Rodriguez, played by John Leguizamo. Through the film, you can watch Chi-Chi's development and transformation, gaining maturity and poise. Leguizamo even brought certain cultural elements into the character, considering Hollywood hadn't really had much representation of Latin drag queens up to that point. “I had my face done really light all the time because I have family members who [have] issues with self-hate and race,” Leguizamo says. “So their face skin will be like five times lighter than the color of their neck. So, that always tripped me out so I wanted to put a little bit of that into it.”
Chi-Chi, to me, is a reminder to love ourselves just the way we are. Instead of tearing down those who have what we wish we had, why not look to them for inspiration? We are all in the crazy world together after all. I think we could learn a lot from that "Little Latin boy in drag."
1.5oz Vodka (I originally used Boyd & Blair for this drink, and I see no reason to change now. Pro tip: they make a 151 proof version, if you'd really like to kick this up a notch)
.5oz Blue Curacao
.25oz Ancho Reyes Verde
2oz Pineapple Juice
1oz Orange Juice
1oz Coconut Cream
1 dash Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub Bitters (A little goes a long way, but feel free to kick the heat up a notch, if that's your thing)
Normally, I use a large glass or tiki mug for this, but when there are coconuts, crack them open!
Whip shake and pour unstrained.
Top with crushed ice.
Garnish with pineapple fronds, a large orange rosette, and freshly grated nutmeg.
I'm not usually the biggest fan of spicy drinks, but on the other hand, I'm also not allergic to fun! Another day, another cocktail, and there will surely be another tomorrow. Don't forget to lift each other up today, so we can build a more positive tomorrow. Until next time, keep shaking.