On Point With: Giardia the Parasite

Coming off strong out of two drag competitions, this drag scientist is infecting us with a fever of fabulousness care of some new weekly and monthly shows… Giardia the Parasite!

Thotyssey: Hello Giardia, how is 2023 treating you so far?

Giardia the Parasite: So far so good! It started with a much needed three week break from drag and my day job, and I went back to my hometown Lima, Peru. Now I’m back and busy, but feeling very refreshed and excited for what’s to come!

That’s a good segue to get right into the origin story: what was life like for you in Lima, and how long did you live there?

I lived in Lima through my teenage years. Life was very different–it is a predominantly Catholic, conservative society, and my environment growing up was no different. So as you can imagine, it took a while for me to find my place there. The LGBTQIA+ community is definitely growing and more visible now, but sadly we’re still very far away from even legalizing same-sex civil union.

Were you always interested in performing or art?

I always wanted to perform; I remember wanting to explore theater in high school, but was discouraged by my family and friends. Fast forward, I ended up performing my favorite songs behind closed doors in my room for years before I even considered doing drag. But honestly, all those years made my love for performing grow even further!

When and where did you actually start drag, and what brought you to New York?

When I lived in Oregon a couple of years back, but that immediately stopped because of the pandemic. I only started doing it more seriously once I moved to the City, and things started opening back up.

However, side note: this past trip I took to Peru, I was able to perform there for the first time! One of my friends opened up a new space for drag in Lima, and it’s truly helping drag grow locally.

Back to your question: I moved to the city for work. I am a scientist during the day!

Wow! I’m guessing that’s where your drag name comes from.

As a scientist who studies microbes, I was learning about intestinal parasites in one of my classes and came across Giardia Lamblia; it transmits in dogs and cats by eating poop and in humans by eating ass–which is a common practice amongst my target audience. So I was like, work, this is it. Besides, Giardia sounds exotic and feminine… but it’s ultimately quite stupid. Which is very much my brand!

Do you make your own wig glue formula!?

Lol, no… but I make my own poppers! Just kidding.

Missleidy Rodriguez is already the horticulture queen… maybe you can collab!

OMG great idea, I love Missleidy! She’s definitely a queen I look up to and would to collab with. I actually wanna incorporate a bit of science into my drag, and I’m still thinking of cool ways to do that. But that will come in the future, so stay tuned!

How else might you describe your drag today, as far as numbers and looks go?

Giardia is very versatile, aesthetically speaking–she can give you colors, camp and glamour. But overall, I love a good, delicate, 60’s housewife look. In terms of performance, I mainly do comedy mixes that tell a cohesive story. For example, I have a Siri (Apple) mix that was very successful in the competition scene last year. I love to tell a good story through my mixes, while also adding some of my limited dance moves, kicks, death drops, splits… I do mixes in English and Spanish. One day I can give you Sex And The City, and the next day I can be your angry tía throwing you a chancla across the room. That’s what I love the most about drag!

In addition to several weekly competition shows across the city, you also partook on a recent one-off of the more involved “BitchFest” competiton care of host La Zavaleta and venue C’mon Everybody! How did you like that experience?

Oh, I loved it! Zavaleta is just an exceptional performer. She is using her platform to help newer drag artists like me grow as entertainers and rise in the scene. I was happy to make Top Two that night, and huge congrats to Martyr on winning that night. I’ll definitely be back for the month-long residency, so stay tuned! It’s such a fun show to both watch and be a part of.

You also partook in this past “Mx. Rockbar,” another very content-heavy drag pageant! I understand you have a show as a result of your strong performance there.

Yes, I also have a show at Rockbar with my beautiful sister Taína La Fina called “BBL” which stands for Bonitas Baratas y Locas (“pretty, cheap and crazy” in Spanish). It’s a Latinx night, and we’re gonna do fun themes for every show. The next date is January 30th at 8pm, and we’re doing a homage to Shakira… be sure to check that out!

And these days, you have a big presence at Phoenix Bar in the East Village! For one thing, you’re hosting a weekly RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party there on Fridays.

I am truly grateful for Phoenix to have given me this opportunity. I’ve always wanted a weekly gig like that where I have the freedom to put on a fun show with my own ideas, and if you add Drag Race on top of that it’s like a dream! The viewing parties are fantastic; it’s been very busy these past couple of weeks, and people end up having a blast watching the episode and the drag show afterwards. Beyond pushing my own creativity to come up with new numbers and surprises each week, I always end up having so much fun with everyone at the bar (staff and customers). I also wanna use this opportunity to book some of the best new talent this city has to offer as my special guests!

Regarding this last episode: the Snatch Game was fun, and offered a healthy spread between really great and really terrible impersonations. And the long-rumored Sugar and Spice lip sync battle finally happened, and it was… weird!

OMG, I think the lip sync was meh and I was expecting it… because they don’t really perform on a regular basis. I thought it was coming later in the season, though. I personally think the winner was right… we love a good Joan Rivers!

Who would you do in a Snatch Game?

I think I would do Siri, lol, because I know her and I’ve done it before. Either her or Sofia Vergara, because she deserves justice!

Remember to come out to Phoenix every single Friday for the viewing parties… we got amazing special guests and surprises.

You also have a monthly event there at Phoenix with another queen in residence, Corma Kelley, called “Drag Me Out!”

Yes! It started because I was actually gonna do pop-up drag numbers one day for DJ Max’s dance party (we love him), and Corma also wanted try this new party idea she and her friend Taylor had of putting volunteers from the audience in full 30 minute drag. I ended up helping her that night, and we got along so well that they decided to include me as a co-host and make it a monthly gig!

It’s always a blast because beyond hosting, performing and partying with Corma who I love, that night is also about having people feel themselves and experience the magic of a drag transformation and performance. We’ve had all kinds of people (including straight males) do it… and you should see their faces! It’s so touching, because you see them having the time of their lives and express themselves through drag.

That is the first Friday of every month, right after my viewing party! You don’t wanna miss it! And stay tuned for more fun shows coming up as me move into the spring, I’m so excited for what’s cooking!

Okay, this is the totally random penultimate question: it was just revealed that George Santos, the gay Republican anti-LGBT Congressman and con artist, was a drag queen in Brazil! How crazy is that!?

I am gooped! My immediate reaction consists of twenty clown emojis, but I don’t know if they’ll make it to the final interview.

Lol! So in closing: what is your current favorite drag cosmetic product that you cannot leave the house without?

Definitely my clown white cream! My favorite part of doing drag makeup is to highlight my eyebrows with white and blend it, it’s so satisfying. Also, I can’t leave the house without setting powder… ’cause her face will melt after the third number!

Thanks, Giardia!

[Photo: Anthony Leo]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Giardia the Parasite’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.

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