DRAG DEBUT: Local Teen Wins First Runner Up in Wisconsin Drag Pageant
Dylan ‘Diablo’ Vance takes second place in first drag competition, hopes to encourage others
Seventeen-year-old Eau Clairian Dylan Vance, also known as drag queen Diablo, took home the first runner-up award from the Miss Wisconsin Youth Entertainer Pageant on March 4. As a new drag performer, Dylan is hoping to inspire other young drag enthusiasts in the area to chase their passions, no matter what others think.
Like many others, Dylan became interested in drag when he started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race at eight years old. But it wasn’t until the pandemic that Dylan really started to dabble in makeup and started dreaming of having a drag identity of his own, which ultimately formed his alter ego: Diablo.
As Dylan describes, Diablo is a girl from a small town that wants to make a name for herself, and draws a lot of inspiration from old Hollywood glamour icons like Marilyn Monroe and Madonna, but with a twist. Dylan often describes Diablo's personality as a “showgirl from hell," which blossomed into the name “Diablo,” translating as “devil” in Spanish.
Debuting as Diablo for the first time about seven months ago, Dylan has met and performed with many of the Chippewa Valley’s favorite drag performers, even calling Khloe Wold, who won second Best Drag Performer in this year’s Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll, his “drag mom.”
Dylan committed to a ton of preparation before entering the Miss Wisconsin Youth Entertainer Pageant, and while it took a lot of time, hard work, and money, he was incredibly grateful for the experience, and is even more grateful to have been awarded first runner-up.
“I was shocked,” he explained. “I got off stage after doing my talent and didn’t think I would place at all. I just thought, ‘Whatever happens, happens,’ because I’ve only been doing this for seven months, so I think it’s impressive that I did this no matter what I placed. I was shocked and happy.”
To any young performers in the area who want to get into drag but are nervous about outside opinions, Dylan wanted to share this sentiment: “To young performers who want to get out there: just do it,” he said. “See what works for you and if you don’t like it, that’s OK. Always stay true to yourself and don’t compare yourself to others because you are your own person and you are good at your own things. For every negative reaction, you’ll get ten positive ones, so don’t focus on what others say.”