I Am The First Person To Graduate My College In Drag

published on July 2, 2020

– Hi everyone, my name is Angel

and today is my draguation ceremony

The last few years of my life,

I've attended the University
of Southern California

And unfortunately, due to the pandemic,

we weren't able to have
an in person graduation

I have this really big
plan on how your girl

was gonna steal the show, I
wasn't like some big secret

All my friends knew, but I
wanted to be the first person

to walk across that stage in drag

I've been doing drag for
the last almost four years

of my life and I really wanted
to walk across that stage,

like a nice wig with my graduation cap

I just really wanted it to be
like a really special moment

So when it didn't get to happen,

my co-workers really just
came together and were like,

we're gonna throw you
your own little ceremony

I'm gonna take you out through everything

I'm gonna take y'all through my closet

I'm getting ready with
Jazzymyne Jay today

We're gonna put on our, you
know, be our little morgz

and get this thing, poppin

And then we're gonna deliver a speech

So lets get started

(bright upbeat music)

These are nail gloves,
these are super pretty

These are from this company
called Unicorn Poops Glitter,

and then you'd just be
talking, you be like this

I love doing that, it's
like a very Cardi B moment

So these are my wigs, I should say,

these are more like, my hair
obviously needs to be styled

before we go on stage, but
we style them every time

I'm a little prone to
like browns and blondes,

but I also love you know
good blue, a good pink

So this was like one of the first things

I ever wore in drag actually

it's like a little cupcake dress

This was like early, like
first time in drag Angel guys

I was very much like a leotard queen

I love embellishments anything
that makes it sparkle

I was enjoying, I like
this outfit a lot more

It's like this holographic money outfit

This outfit was actually
based on Lady Gaga,

Super Bowl outfit

This is enters like a different era

where like I started
wearing ballgowns more often

I'm really into ball gowns,
I'm really into crowns

That's really where I get my
inspiration from my outfits

from, I really love this outfit

This was the first gown that
I ever got made for myself

This outfit is princess peach inspired

This is inspired by
like very like Duchess,

very like English royalty,
this was the first crown

I ever got, I actually
won this one in a pageant

Okay, so that was the closet
that I'm working with

We're gonna be day-viewing, obviously

a very new outfit today

I feel like I'm staying
very true to my aesthetic

Now, I feel like I found
myself more as a person,

as time went on and fashion is all

about just like having fun,
wearing what you're wearing

(bright upbeat music)

– So we're here before
your graduation ceremony

I'm so excited for you

– Yes, I'm so excited

– First and foremost, what
look are we going for today?

– I'm going for like a
very like USC Trojan

Cause that's where I'm graduating

from University of Southern California

and our colors are cardinal
and gold, you know,

I stick true to that, do
some more like red glitters

and gold glitter I kinda like use it

as like kinda my signature look

I always kinda pay homage to my school

So we're just gonna do like
that classically today

– I love it, I'm doing a very simple look

because I want to have to film after this

– Yeah (chuckles)

– We just met this year,
but also we've known

each other before, yes, there
used to be this bar called

Barton West Hollywood
one day, they were like,

Oh my gosh! We gotta
get the VIP table ready,

Miss Jazzymyne J is coming
in ,I was like what!

Ever since then, It was just
like a very special moment

Like I was just like, Oh my gosh!

like I just kind of wanna like follow,

like what you've been doing
and I've been following what

you've been doing for that entire time

And like you've slowly become
like one of my role models

– I remember going to the bar that night

I remember feeling so special,
so it was very mutual

Okay, so why don't you
tell me a little bit

about your home life
before you moved to LA?

– I was born in the Bronx,
but when I was very young,

we moved upstate to Rochester, New York

And so my mom raised me and
my four siblings by herself

So she's just like a little
superhero walking around

– Why don't you tell me about, you know,

doing whatever you
studied, like as a freshman

and how that progressed through the years?

– I originally was not interested in drag

– Wait, so you didn't move out
to LA like doing drag stuff?

– I did drag once before moving to LA

– Oh, so you grew and
found that (beep) here?

– Yeah, pretty much, I
actually decided to start

taking it seriously when I was here

– Now tell me what you're
doing to your face

(laughs)

I'm like watching, like
this is some f(beep) art

What is going on?

– I'm basically a cream
contour of like my forehead

I'm gonna like highlight
the areas that need like,

to be raised with some white in a bit

– Beautiful

– We'll blend it all out, it
looks crazy until it doesn't

This orange I'm using right now

is to block out my beards,

beards actually reflect blue usually

And to cancel those colors out,

you use like an orange or
red photoshop in real life

– And its Like true, like it really works

I just put on a little bit of a bronzer

I did my brow, I did my foundation

I'm gonna put on a little bit of blush

It's gonna be a very natural look today

Let's talk a little bit
about your role models

– Other than you?

– (chuckles) yes

– I feel like it's like
such a cliche to say,

but like Beyonce, I would
say as an entertainer,

like a performer I look up to her

– For sure

– I also look up like Ariana Grande

like I'm very inspired by pop stars

And I said you're one of my role models is

that I aspire to be as confident as you,

it's something I'm still learning to do

and to be comfortable in my skin

And that's why I'm like,
you know, and it's not easy

– No

– It's just really like I want to feel

like beautiful my skin like,

and I feel like sometime
I only feel beautiful

when all the makeup is on
– Yeah

– And I think I'm beautiful as just me

I wanna be that confident

I look at your Instagram
and I'm like so inspired

And I think

– I'm so glad because you
know, like you said, its hard,

there are good days, there are bad days,

there are okay days, so I'm
glad that I can be that for you

as well as you are that for me

what's your dreams after this

– That's a hard question to answer

cause I think I wanna do so many things

I don't think that's a bad
thing, it's just like order

And like what's my priority is something

I need to figure out,
like I would love to have

like a tour of some kind,
like a full, like production

like the whole, like a
very Vegas show almost

– I know you're filming so
much today and doing so much,

but take like two minutes

and just realize you've done so much

And you've just came into a
lot of our lives at BuzzFeed,

but you've been affecting
so many lives in general

and really give yourself that

– Thank you

– Of course you have a beautiful ceremony

– So I really wanted to
mention and shout out

to The Drag Stop, who
donated a wig for this video

for the final look that y'all
are gonna see very soon

It's honestly this like
beautiful brown wig right here

Yeah, We're gonna be wearing

this beautiful finger wave
wig, yeah, look at that

(soft upbeat music)

– Every year, another class
full of people like Angel,

like you and me graduate and move on

We are the concrete, so pick a hole

little by little, we
work to make it better

for the next that come a
small little known artist

from the Third Ward of Houston, once said,

"mission one, I'ma to put this on

and when you see me in a
dress, I'ma get me some, hey"

And I don't know about
y'all, preety clearly

she wrote this about Angel,
cause you be getting it

But Beyonce also said

"I've accomplished nothing
without a little taste

of fear in my mouth" I
donno about everyone else,

but my whole mouth tastes like fear

But that means now is the time

for accomplishing great things

So I thank God for
filling the class of 2020

with people like Angel,
people that remind you

that hope is always an option

and possibly that's what
2020 vision is all about

If there's one request
I can make of all of us,

it is to remember that we
were created to be light,

light illuminates,
light lifts our spirits,

light pulls people out of
dark spaces, it's infectious

Everyone be blessed, wash
your hands and Angel,

thank you for inspiring, all of this

– I do wanna say to the class of 2020,

you have always been the baddest bitches

around the block after the class of 2013,

everything that you guys have worked for,

everything that you guys have
put your energy, your dreams,

your blood, your sweat,
the cheap 99 cent vodka

every afternoon before
your finals, class of 2020

you are a bad b and I
praise and salute everything

that you've done, Angel, you know,

I only met you for two weeks,

but you have definitely been someone

who I knew has boss
energy, who works hard,

who dreams hard, who dreams big

I am here to say that I am proud of you

and that everything that you've done

is working towards a
bigger goal to your dreams

And there's nothing that can stop you

The outside world is intense,
you will make mistakes,

but look at what you've
already gone through

Look at what you're
going through right now

So let's introduce the graduates

– I'm excited, let's go, Angel

– His motherfucking self, Angel

– Hello everyone, first
of all, and thank you all

for coming, welcome to the
Everett Diligent-class of 2020

– Oh my God! Why is he
literally the cutest person

to grace us on God's
green earth? I can't even

– I know we all said
this turn of the decade

was going to be our year

And I'm here today to remind you all

that it still is,
whether you are receiving

your high school diploma, your GED,

your associate's degree,
your bachelor's degree,

master's degree, or you
decided to celebrate

just this moment together

I wanna have this moment to celebrate

your accomplishments, I
personally came to college

to get an MRS, a Mrs so
some man can marry me

– I was like, what's MRS?

– Unfortunately, that
has not happened yet

So I'ma set this
bachelor's degree right now

in the meantime, I'm not bitter at all

No but seriously, there
is nothing on this earth

that can take away how proud
the people in your life are

of you for graduating and if
you have no one in your life,

please allow me to be proud
of you in this moment

As a queer person, I've learned in my life

that finding your chosen
family is something

that we all aspire towards

Your chosen family are those
that accept and love you

as you are and make you feel at home,

regardless of your sexuality,
your race, your religion,

gender identity, physical
ability, body shape,

or any of those things
that make you so amazing

They're always there to
celebrate who you are

and who you are becoming, but
I'd like to invite you all

into my own chosen family,
we are a family now

And that does mean my
birthday is Christmas Eve

and I do enjoy gift cards,
the Cheesecake Factory,

and also the Taco Bell

If you had told me a year
ago that I'd have a job

fresh out of college, at a place
I've always wanted to work

I might've laughed in your face,

a theater major with a job in their field,

fiction, fairy tales, but
being part of BuzzFeed

has been my own fairy tale

I've never felt so blessed in my life

that so many people would come together

to celebrate the accomplishments
of a guy who out of drag

looks like the love child
of Lizzo and Bad Bunny

(laughs)

and who in drag looks like the
love child of Raini Rodriguez

in a scoop of KFC, mashed potatoes

(Laughs)

We are the class, many of
us didn't get to say goodbye

to our close friends, have
that perfect night at prom,

or just walk across that stage

But this is not the end

This is the beginning of a new chapter

The choice is yours and
you are now incharge

of your own destiny, so I
ask you all to remain hopeful

and live out your dreams fiercely

I believe it was Beyonce,

in her 2014 VMA's Vanguard performance

where she changed the
words in her song, "xo ever

so slightly" and said "I'm
gonna give you everything"

– Yes I'm gonna give you
everything, yes Angel

– These words have pushed me
to become the first person

in my family to receive a four year degree

and out as a man who is
Latin next queer drag queen,

who someone should
seriously wife immediately

I'm not joking, but that's not the point

I encourage you all to
give them everything,

to give them all your
differences, all your love,

all your passion, all your
drive and everything else,

because we are all capable
of saving the world

and you get to in any way
you choose starting today

Thank you so much for coming

– Angel, oh! You look stunning

– (claps) Congratulations, Angel

– Just wanted to say
that speech was so good,

but not as good as the good

that you're about to do for the world

Cause you bout to shake it up

(bright upbeat music)

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