Paloma Marquez (aka Collin Graham) is Thunder Bay drag royalty. She’s been around the block more than a few times and continues to amaze her audiences with her performance. Her shows are a high-energy rollercoaster full of fun, excitement and flawless makeup. She is a true pioneer of the art of drag in Thunder Bay, being the last of the old school TBay queens still going strong. Paloma Marquez got her start fresh out of high school around 18 years old when her family left Thunder Bay. She was determined to do everything on her own but getting involved in drag was the furthest thing from her mind. “I was working part-time doing little things here and there but I was really bad with money”, explains Marquez, “I was short on rent so my mom sent me money. Instead of being responsible, I ended up going to the salon to get my hair done and spent the money. About halfway through getting my hair done, I realized I was in a heap of trouble”. Paloma anxiously confessed what she had done to her hairdresser whose response would change her life forever. On top of working in a salon, her hairdresser was a local drag queen by the name of Julia Coco Mango who told young Paloma she had a face for drag and should consider getting involved. “She told me I had great bone structure and that I should think about doing drag. I remember laughing and thinking it was ridiculous until Julia told me there was a cash prize involved. Of coarse I was all on that because I needed to make rent,” explains Marquez, “Julia took me to her house and let me go through her closet”. She entered the competition, never having performed in drag in her life, and won. Shortly after, the bar owner offered her a job. What many people don’t know or don’t understand is that when someone is in drag, they’re living out a character that let’s them express themselves in a way that they may not be able to in their day-to-day clothing. “When I’m in full character, Paloma does things or says things that I could never get away with doing or saying which says a lot,” explains Marquez, “as Collin, I’m pretty out there myself. It’s kind of like a wrecking ball of revenge when Paloma comes out but in a fun, campy way”. Paloma has gone from a small club queen to performing with the best of the best of the Toronto and Ottawa drag world as well as across the US border. She’s tackled the Vancouver drag scene and performed at the Toronto Pride celebration. Paloma holds several titles under her garter belt, including current Wig Wars Champion, Queen of the North (10+ years), Miss Pride of the North and Queen of the Voodoo among many others.