This Puerto Rican born beauty queen recently won a major national pageant, and is about to help a drag sister claim a crown of her own. Bow down to Sophya Medina!
Thotyssey: Hello Sophya, how was your Pride?
Sophya Medina: Hi Thotyssey, thanks for having me here! It was so much fun… I really enjoyed all this month!
You actually were getting your Pride on way back in June, when I saw you march in Jackson Heights for Queens Pride in your full Miss Mundo Latina USA Plus 2021 sash and crown regalia!
Yes! It was so amazing being in the area [within the parade] with my title. And also I was partnering with the Hispanic Aids Forum and Latino Pride Center on site with prevention, condoms, and HIV tests for our community!
Tell us a bit about your triumphant turn at the Miss Mundo Latina pageant, and your history with drag pageantry.
Miss Mundo Latina USA was held in Washington DC; it’s a national pageant, and it has ten years of history in that state. One time I attended this pageant as a dresser, and it caught my attention. And three years later, I caught the crown being Miss New York Mundo Latina USA; also I won Talent and Question and Answer.
My close friends know that I love pageantry so much; I enjoy it a lot. This crown is my second national title, and my Number 9 crown. I’ve been doing pageants since 2016 when I was in Puerto Rico. In 2018 I left my country to see new opportunities and to grow as an artist and entertainer, and now New York became my home.
What was your life like in Puerto Rico before you came here… and how might you describe the drag scene there?
My life was amazing there. I left my family, my friends and great people that gave me opportunities to grow as an artist. Puerto Rico was great, but I think that I fulfilled my dreams and it was a time for a challenge and to look for new opportunities.
The drag scene there? The only think that I can say is that Puerto Rico is one of the best scenes in the world for me: competitive, classy and elevated. Everybody has to go and see Puerto Rico’s drag scene in person; it’s another level experience!
There are a number of young PR-born queens here in NY like Vena Cava, Victoria Holiday and Warhola Pop! Did you know any of them back in Puerto Rico?
Oh yes! They are icons on the island!
Have you found that your own drag has changed at all since you came to New York?
Completely! First of all, to start doing my own makeup… that was a nightmare! But finally I woke up, and now every day is opportunity to get better. When I saw how competitive and good drag is in NYC, I got completely mesmerized!
How might you describe your drag today, for anyone who has never seen you perform before? And have you had a favorite venue for doing it here in NYC?
I will say that everyone has to come to my show and watch it! My drag is very spicy, high energy — I’m a dancer, and also I love to do very dramatic ballads. I don’t have one favorite venue to perform in, because every single one that gives me the opportunity to express myself becomes my favorite! A huge thanks to all the persons in the city (Manu, The Q, my sister Freeda Kulo, Kween, Pedro Alvarado, Icon, Polish The Queen, Phil Chanel and all the venues and persons that trust in my work… thank You so much!
We’re all gonna get a chance to see you turn out for a pageant sister pretty soon: this Saturday at the Wow Cafe for Shawntel K. Bonet’s Continental pageant fundraiser! Jasmin Van Wales is hosting, and many great queens including yourself will be performing!
Yes! I’m excited to share the stage with amazing performance like Jasmin Van Wales! This is going to be great because we’re gonna help one of the girls of the city to fulfill her dream to compete on that big Continental stage. It’s going to be great, and everyone is invited!
What else are you up to these days?
Now I’m working on a lot of projects…. On August 1st I will be in Guatemala judging an international pageant. And I’m still working with prevention of STI, HIV and PReP for your community with the Hispanic Aids Forum and Latino Pride Center.
Soon I will be back to my country Puerto Rico… and if you don’t see the reality show that I’m hosting, go now to YouTube and type “La Batalla Lipstick Drag” because next season is gonna be in Cali, Colombia. This is the third season, and it’s my second season being part of it. It’s a Latin drag competition where we challenge our contestants on makeup, design, lip sync and talent. It’s a safety space for baby drag queens that want the opportunity to showcase their talent.
Amazing, congrats on the show and everything else!
Thank you Thotyssey, I really appreciate the opportunity to be in your spotlight, and to reach more people that get to know me and my work!
Last question: Drag Race All Stars! Whose team are you on!?
OMG, I have my top five favorites — these All Stars are carrying icons — Raja, Trinity, Shea, Jaida and Jinkx.
Thank you, Sophya!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Sophya Medina’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.