Rio Carnival 2012: The hottest drag queen costumes


At Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, it was common to come across fully made-up men who had traded their Havaianas for high heels. Though some were experienced cross dressers and drag queens, others saw the holiday as an opportunity to get in touch with their more feminine sides. Costumes ranged from the elaborate (Sambadrome-style feathers, stilettos, fake lashes) to the scrappy (tiny skirt, hastily smeared lipstick).

Regardless of the intensity of their get-ups, you had to give it up to the cross dressers of Rio Carnival. I certainly couldn’t do a bloco in heels that high. The photo gallery below showcases ten of the hottest drag queen costumes that I encountered.

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Check out Gadling’s full range of Rio Carnival 2012 coverage here.

Tickets for Richard Branson cross-dressing flight now on sale

richard branson

Sometimes we make bets that we that regret. While losing money makes for a hum-drum story, tales of the wealthy gambling away dignity at 38,000 feet provides a new level of intrigue. Virgin’s Richard Branson and AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes made such a bet last year over Formula 1 racing. Since both individuals not only captain airlines but also back F1 teams, the wager pitted Branson’s Virgin Racing against the Fernandes owned Lotus Racing. The loser would have to cross-dress and serve as a flight attendant on the winner’s airline for one flight.

While both teams performed horribly as new entrants into the ultra-competitive Formula 1 field and tied each-other with 0 points, Lotus Racing placed higher than Virgin Racing overall. Since Branson lost, he would be the one to slip on heels and a dress for an AirAsia flight from London to Kuala Lumpur. But that is not all, the strangeness flutters away to a loonier place from there.Before the flight boards, passengers will have the opportunity to bid on shaving Richard Branson’s legs. Since AirAsia has a requirement for its flight attendants to have shaved legs, Branson will be required to make the necessary adjustments to get up to code. The proceeds of the leg shaving auction will benefit Branson’s non-profit organization Virgin Unite.

If witnessing a leg shaving auction and being served beverages by a cross-dressing billionaire is not surreal enough, the flight will also provide in air entertainment in the form of magic shows and a live band.

The flight departs London’s Stansted airport on May 1, and tickets are roughly $7,500 each. All proceeds will go towards Virgin Unite. Tickets for the 13 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur can be purchased online through AirAsia’s website.

Photography by Justin Delaney

Cross-dressing employee gets Hyatt sued

Daynara Fernandez got back to her hotel room at a Hyatt and found, to her obvious surprise, a male employee clad in her skirt, underwear and … of course … high heels. So, is it all that shocking that she’s suing the hotel chain?

When she got back to her room, after having attended a wedding, her door was blocked by a cleaning cart. Getting past it, she saw, according to Gawker, that “her luggage had been opened and her belongings strewn about.” There was only one way the situation could have been made worse, I suspect, by one thing: finding a man wearing some of her clothes.

And, yep, that’s what she saw. Oscar Garcia-Franco, an employee of the Deerfield, Illinois Hyatt, denied t at first, claiming he was cleaning the room … yeah, that old line (get the blow-by-blow in the police report). Interestingly, despite wearing Fernandez’s skirt and shoes, kept his Hyatt shirt on! Now that’s company loyalty!

When he got busted by the guest, Garcia-Franco shouted at her, “Don’t tell, don’t tell,” a sure way to make sure your name and mug shot winds up on The Smoking Gun and Gawker.

[Via Gawker, photo by Markusram via Flickr]

Is the Mona Lisa really Da Vinci in drag?

When Marcel Duchamp put a mustache and goatee on the Mona Lisa, he might have guessed more than he knew.

Italian researchers are requesting permission to dig up Leonardo Da Vinci’s grave to prove their theory that his most famous painting is actually a self-portrait. Anthropologist Giorgio Gruppione wants to examine Da Vinci’s skull to see if it has structural similarities to the mysterious woman in the portrait. This process of facial reconstruction is usually reserved for murder victims, but could give evidence to support or refute the theory and add a new possibility for the origins of that enigmatic smile.

There’s been a great deal of discussion among historians as to Da Vinci’s sexuality. In 1476 he was brought before a judge in Florence on charges of sodomy with a male prostitute. Da Vinci claimed the young man was merely his model. They were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Da Vinci never married and claimed the act of reproduction was “disgusting”. He had a serious of close relationships with young men throughout his life but was never charged with sodomy again, perhaps because that close call in Florence taught him caution.

It’s doubtful that authorities in France, where Da Vinci is buried, will give permission to desecrate the grave of one of the world’s most famous artists just to prove he was a cross dresser, so probably we’ll just have to settle for the Transsexual Jesus.