Meet the first ever Kenyan man to compete on an American drag queen show (Photos)


Mercedes Iman Diamond (Instagram)

As Kenya seeks to get rid of Section 162 of our Penal Code which criminalizes ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’, the Kenyan LGBTQ community is celebrating another major milestone, that of a Kenyan joining the RuPaul Drag Race.

Mercedes Iman Diamond will be the first Kenyan to ever compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race, a wildly-popular American reality television series.

The Mombasa-born and Minneapolis-raised drag queen has just been announced as a contestant on the 11th season of the Drag Race. This moment is iconic as he is not only the first ever Kenyan drag queen contestant but also the first Muslim drag queen on the show.

“I am Mercedes Iman Diamond and I am the African princess. I am from Mombasa Kenya and I moved to America when I was 11. My drag is all about the body, audi and jewels, bling bling, honey!” she said as she made her debut into the RuPaul Drag race.

In a separate clip on VH1 which airs the drag race, Mercedes said “Mercedes is fun, outgoing and energized like alililili! Everyone knows that the African princess has arrived. I look up to Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rihanna and Beyonce. I love showbiz especially just being sexy. I don’t like to wear a lot of clothes on stage.”

First Muslim drag queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race

As the first Muslim drag queen on national television, Mercedes hopes to make an impact. “Being on this show is a dream come true. I am open about my religion, I am a Muslim queen and to be the first Muslim queen on national TV I am so honoured, happy and blessed and I know I will touch someone’s heart. I know there are people who are out there that are Muslim but are scared to come out, at the end of the day you should live your life.”

Watch her debut below:


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