Queen of the ring: The champion wrestler who competes in drag
“In the dressing room, something happens while I am getting ready,” said Cassandro El Exotico, a Mexican wrestler who owns a championship belt. “When I start putting my make-up on, I turn from this male to female. And that is amazing for me.”
El Exotico has been wrestling for 28 years.
“I’m an Exotical Luchello, which is a flamboyant wrestler with glamor and style,” said El Exotico. “I always knew I was different. I remember when I was in second grade, I already knew I was gay. I was taught that I couldn’t be gay, I couldn’t act this way, I couldn’t dress this way, and I couldn’t talk this way because I was going to burn in hell.”
When he was first called to be an Exotica, he said he felt freedom.
“I was like, this weight that I had been carrying for years was just, like, melted down. I started using bathing suits, pantyhose, make-up, rhinestones, feathers, a boa, and all that because I wanted to be different.”
He said that was a scary moment, but when he saw the audience and the fans and how they took him in, he felt like a woman inside.
“And then it’s like, ‘this is me,’ and that transformation is beautiful. Something happens when I get out of the dressing room to the ring. I still look like a woman, I’m looking flamboyant, and once I step in the ring, my macho side kicks in. I’ve got to be ready for the fight.”
All his title matches, and mostly all his matches have been against men.
“Masked men, machistas, homophobes, but I’ll always be true to myself. Today I can tell you that being gay has been a gift for me, and I understand that. It has always been one of my biggest medications.”
He does not think he will ever leave Lucha Libre (the term used in Mexico for professional wrestling).
“This is what I’ve done all my life.”
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The Gayly. 6/24/2020 @ 4:29 p.m. CST.