We reached out to Alex Mathew to share an interesting journey with us. This is different and that doesn’t mean it is unacceptable. We also find Alex has the support of his mum who has found difficult to accept him but she is making an attempt along the journey and that’s a learning for parents.
Sharing over a brief email interaction with Mums and Stories, Alex Mathews transforms himself to ‘Maya the drag queen’, each time he is on stage. He shares, “ My childhood has been quite bright and cheerful in Cochin. I had a lot of fun when I was a child. I have a sibling who is my sister. She is 4 years younger than me. I always dreamt of being a performer and that’s the very reason why I shifted to Bangalore. Bangalore is known for the music and theatre scenes. I felt that I was stagnated as a performer. That’s when I saw a movie known as ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’. That’s when I realized that even I can do drag. Plus whenever I went for theatre auditions, they used to talk more about my ‘Malayalee’ accent and my ‘feminine quality’. So, I turned these weaknesses into my strengths.”
Talking about common misconceptions on those who choose to do drag performances, Alex shares, “The common misconceptions are that they are cross dressers in life. I understand it is one’s choice. However, not everyone who does drag cross dress in their day to day lives. The other misconception is that we are sex workers. We aren’t. We just love to entertain people and it’s just an act on stage. There is also a misconception that we are out to hurt people. Most of drag queens that I have come across have helped people a lot rather than hurting them.
My family obviously weren’t happy with the decision and they were dead against it. It took a lot of convincing. Now family realized the truth about me, they are ok with me. I took almost 25 years to realize about myself, I am pretty sure they will take the same amount of time.”
Talking on his mum, Alex shares, “My Amma is the inspiration in my life. She has helped me a lot in various ways. I have to admit that certain qualities of my drag persona show the values of my Amma. She was in bit of shock when she found out about my sexuality and that I will be continuing drag as a profession. We had our fights and misunderstandings until she asked me what a drag queen is. When I said that drag queens get paid a lot aboard, she replied saying that you should go abroad too. Now of course she is supportive and slowly understanding about my life.
I am giving her time and space for that.”
“There have been many defining moments in my life. It goes from featuring in many places to performing in most parts of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. Also, getting an opportunity to talk about my art form and that’s my only concern for now, how I convert this art form as a viable profession.
Lastly, all I want to share is that people should learn to love other and treat them like human beings. We have forgotten that in some way or the other.
I also see myself as being a pioneer in my art form and encouraging future Indian drag queens to perform and use me as an example to move forward in their lives.”
Mums and Stories thanks Alex for being confident on being ‘who he chooses to be and does what he wants to do’.