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Left to right: Alma de Soul, Shayla007, Alice Wonderland, Coca Boom, Protegida Castro, Nefertiti Goddess and Minerva Anderson. / Migue Fernández

Party

Without drag queens, there is no Torremolinos

Tall, short, elegant or trashy; they all become royalty at night

It feels strange to be going to Eden Copas when the sun has not yet set. The chairs and tables are piled up in a dance hall where many have fallen in love, albeit fleetingly.

The place seems smaller than you imagine when it’s empty, but everything changes when the protagonists of the evening arrive on the scene. Coca Boom, Alma de Soul, Minerva Anderson, Protegida Castro, Lorena Larios, Nefertiti Goddess, Alice Wonderland and Shayla007 are just some of the names who have been lighting up the LGBT community every night for years, and contrary to what you might think, they are friends and companions rather than rivals.

Like any performer, they have all experienced the good, the bad and the ugly, but they remain positive. Nobody asks them if they are sad or happy that day, but they do know that their job is to brighten up the life (and the night) of their clients. Tall, short, elegant, original and fake, they are the Torremolinos royalty. There might not sing and dance (some do, it has to be said) but they are not to be missed.

At the end of the night the lights go out. The make-up, even if it's well applied, begins to smudge in the heat and the wigs are removed. Coca Boom, Alma de Soul, Minerva, Protegida Castro, Lorena Larios, Nefertiti, Alice Wonderland and Shayla007 re not persecuted as they would have been years ago. It is when they’re on stage that they shine, but behind the bright colours of the rainbow, drag queens are starting to feel safer in a gradually more accepting society and in a place where they can be divas and goddesses for all those who have come to see them.