Whenever it’s announced that a bona fide drag celebrity will be visiting Japan, the community here starts buzzing.
“Manila Luzon? You know that she is the G.O.A.T.,” one drag devotee, using an acronym that spells out “greatest of all time,” told me three months ago when Luzon's arrival was announced. “I am actually so shaken and excited they are bringing her to Japan.”
Dec. 1 saw the third and most successful installment of Tokyo’s preeminent drag show Opulence, combining some of Japan’s best local drag talent with three of the celebrity drag queens from the hit TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race”: Luzon, Trinity the Tuck and Kylie Sonique Love. All three queens were immensely popular casting choices, but Luzon — one of drag’s first internationally recognized Filipina American celebrities and the award-winning host of the “Drag Den” television series from the Philippines — was the name that seemed to send Shinjuku Ni-chōme (Tokyo’s traditionally LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood) into a spin. And now, the G.O.A.T. herself had arrived.