‘Pride P.E.I. can only do so much’

Island drag queen searches for opportunities for the drag and gay communities

He walked into the coffee shop wearing a black leather jacket with a pink purse in hand.

Joshua Borges is Demona Deville, an Island drag queen determined to help people understand the lifestyle.

His journey began at 20. She – Borges goes by she while in drag – sat in her hairstylist’s chair in Toronto talking about the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a TV show competition between drag queens. Her stylist suggested she try it.

She started with heavy black eye shadow and black lipstick, taking inspiration from her favourite drag queen at the time, Nina Flowers.

That Halloween was her first time doing drag.

Her Disney-inspired drag name references villains from 101 Dalmatians and Gargoyles, Cruella de Vil and Demona. Before that, she was Robin Graves, a nod at her style, modeled on her grandmother.

But a queen in B.C. already had that idea, said Deville.

“I thought it best if I respectively bowed out.”

Now, she has become comfortable as Deville. This year she’s making a costume for P.E.I. Pride 2018 on July 28. It’s her favourite costume yet, she said.

“I’ll be the one with the 10-foot rainbow wing span.”

Since moving back to P.E.I., there haven’t been many opportunities to be herself, she said.

“One of the main things holding P.E.I. back right now is the lack of a gay bar. Pride P.E.I. can only do so much.”

That group is politically correct, making sure everyone is included and no one is offended, said Deville.

“I do like a little bit of shock value and I do like to be political sometimes, which I’m a little bit hindered at here.”

Deville isn’t the only one who feels that way.

Troy Martin, 28, of Montague, also believes having a gay bar on P.E.I. is a good idea.

However, he doesn’t think it would attract enough business compared to a more traditional bar, he said.

“Realistically I don’t think we have enough people that would go to it.”

A gay night in a normal bar could work. It would be nice to have a place on the Island where there isn’t a risk of being judged or kicked out, said Martin.

“We need somewhere that is primarily a safe space.”




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