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The Face of Growth and Freedom: Naia Black as the first ever Drag Supreme

The Face of Growth and Freedom: Naia Black as the first ever Drag Supreme

After eight episodes of Dragdagulan and showdowns. Weeks of thinking about what to show the judges as well as the viewers. Conflicts and of course, reconciliation, Naia emerges from the bottom to the top.

With perseverance, courage, charm, beauty, and well, talent and wit, Naia emerged as the first Drag Supreme of Drag Den Philippines. But becoming a Drag Supreme was never easy for the young queer performer with only two years of experience. 

Photo: Prime Video

There’s a lot of turbulence, challenges, and fears that she has to face and overcome. And with the desire to learn and improve, coupled with her creativity, talent, and wit, what do you expect? Being the Drag Supreme is the only fabulous way to end her journey in the competition.  

Drag Supreme Naia is a face of growth and freedom. Here’s why

Recognizing and Accepting her True Identity

While it’s not new to the fans of Drag Den as well as to the Terminals that the young queer performer is a risk taker and diligent. It’s quite new to a beginner audience like me to know that, behind her smiles and jolly punchlines lies a very courageous queen with a challenging beginning. 

Just like any other artists and people from the LGBTQIA+ community, Naia or Brian Black has undergone the same confusion and fear of being out there. Well, who would not get afraid of being in the open with people whose eyes are easy to judge, right? 

Photo: Prime Video

But as I watched one of her interviews, one thing that she said stuck with me. Explore yourself, there’s nothing wrong with recognizing the inner you and accepting its true form. Whether it is a descendant of Adam or a beauty that emerges from Eve and Aphrodite. 

Who knows, knowing, recognizing yourself, and accepting it might be your first step to your victory.

Learning from the mistakes 

After Naia performed wearing a basketball jersey and flip-flops, everyone would admit that she has been consistent with her drag ever since. Whether owning up the stage with her quirky and jolly personality or surprising the audience as well as her drag sister with a change in her behavior and aura. 

Just like what the Drag Supreme said, it is okay to make mistakes, well who doesn’t, right? But owning up to your mistakes and learning from them is part of becoming a queen. Especially a drag supreme. 

Personally, when I saw Naia coming out wearing a basketball jersey and flip-flops with no make-up in the beginning, I was surprised. As a new audience to Drag, I may know little compared to others, but doing drag wearing something so simple, is that even a drag? 

But then Naia proved that making mistakes is just a part of learning and improving. As we saw in the later episodes as well as the finale, Naia showed that mistakes are as normal as they can be. While mistakes could be rooted in a lack of experience, it is part of the changes that you have to go through to be better at your craft. 

Naia never won any challenges. Struggles a lot while being in the competition and sometimes experiences defeat and the thought that she deserves to go home. But despite all of that, she perseveres and emerges.

Never give up on yourself

Never give up on yourself. This is what the young queer artist emphasized in her message at the grand coronation night of Drag Den Philippines. Especially to the young queer artists and drag queens who are relatively new to the scene. 

Drag Supreme said that in doing Drag, she as well as the other local Drag Queens have the voice to empower other people. The power to lift the spirits of the new young queer artists who are still afraid to be out there. 

While Drag is and will always be political in a sense, being a drag queen is just like becoming a beauty queen. Drag Queens used fabulous gowns and make-ups, they wore extraordinary wigs and performed. As they draw the attention of the people to their performance, they also have the advantage of stepping up and voicing out their opinions on what’s happening in our country. 

Photo: Drag Den Philippines

Just like beauty queens, they also have their advocacy. How they could inspire other queer artists to come out and not be afraid of the outside space. Or how they could use Drag as a platform to bring awareness to people, regardless of their status and gender. 

But before becoming a full-pledge icon, queen, king, or maybe a drag queen too, one should never give up in the face of struggles and challenges. Just like the first ever Drag Supreme, start from the bottom, learn while exploring and finish the journey with a crown on your head. 

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A Mixture of Brain and Heart

In the last episode of Drag Den, the final three; Shawarma, Maria Christina and Naia walked in their beautiful long gowns. 

MC opens the final round with her Kalupaan long gown and her big dramatic hair. Shawarma with her gorgeous phoenix-inspired long gown that graced the stage of Drag Den and with her massive red hair that completes the look. Serving the contrast of the first two queens, Naia walked the stage with her ankle-cut dress that looks like a painting. With a framed accent around her neck, Naia indeed walked the stage as a work of art. 

Aiming to serve the part of a pageant that the Filipino audience loves the most, the three queens have to answer the same question.  

“What is the one, and only one, a quality that makes you the true drag supreme?”

Being a queen, having either intelligence or a heart for the competition is not enough. You need to have the brain to understand, to think of a way to reach the people, and of course the heart to feel their struggles. For me, that would make a queen different from others. A right mixture of brain and heart. Understanding and feeling the struggles and pain of other people. That’s what a true drag supreme is.

Growth and Freedom. That’s what form a Drag Supreme

As Naia answered the question, she elaborated that growth is the number one ingredient to being the Drag Supreme. We can all agree. Naia was never the best among the other drag queens. Aside from the fact that she has never won any challenges throughout the competition. She was among those who lacked experience. But despite that, she also proved that learning could make a path for you to reach your dreams. 

And not only that, Naia put herself as a role model, as Nicole said in their deliberation. She wanted to be a role model for the other young queer artists that are afraid to be out there. Those who have experienced being judged for the way they express themselves. Those who receive a cruel response from society for something they have little understanding of. She is the representative of the underdogs. The voice of those who are afraid to speak up. 

Drag is a platform to have the freedom to express yourself. And that’s what she realized while being part of Drag Den. A queen needs to grow to be better in all aspects. But she also needs the freedom to see the things around her, to understand everything that is going on. Combining growth and freedom, Naia proved to everyone that she is indeed destined to be the Drag Supreme.

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