A Drag Queen Beauty Pageant in Mazatlan


Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Quinones' story about a drag queen beauty pageant in Mazatlan, Mexico, was one of the 10 stories selected to mark the 50th issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine and its 20-year literary history.

Reason TV interviewed Quinones about drag queens, cults, and corruption in Mexico back in January, 2011.

Here's the original writeup.

Sam Quinones covers immigration, drug trafficking, and gangs as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Quinones is also the award winning author of two books: True Tales from another Mexico and Antonio's Gun & Delfino's Dream. The books are collections of nonfiction stories Quinones wrote while living and working as a freelance writer in Mexico.

Instead of writing stories about the official and bureaucratic Mexico we see on TV, Quinones focuses on "another Mexico," the regular people without influence on the fringes of Mexico's paternalistic political system. These are the independently minded people who dare to live their own lives, start businesses and risk everything to pursue their dreams in the U.S.

Reason TV's Paul Feine sat down with Quinones to talk about popsicle kings, drag queens, cults, corruption, migration, and the future of Mexico.

To purchase the books and learn more about the author, go to:

Approximately 13 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning. Still photography by Sam Quinones.

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  1. A Drag Queen Beauty Pageant in Mazatlan

    With gay marriage “the law of the land” and taxed and regulated marijuana on the march Reason struggles to find cosmotarian-relevant issues.

    1. “he that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression.”

      Thomas Paine

    2. 1.) Velvet tiger paintings are fucking awesome.

      2.) Mexico needs to import some of those Brazilian drag queens. The homegrown ones just ain’t cutting it.

      1. Lady-boys from Thailand, even better still.

        1. Lady-boys from Thailand

          That’s a whole other universe, considering they can pop estrogen at age 11 over there. Not fair to hold the Mexicans to that.

          1. It’d be interesting to look into why estrogen is freely available in Thailand but restricted in Mexico. NIH Grant, possibly? If only I were a scientist.

            1. Things are a little looser with gender-variance is all. Besides its a Buddhist culture rather than Roman Catholic.

            2. You can buy birth control over the counter and Thai pharmacies will still let 7-year-olds come in and buy cartons of cigarettes for their parents.

              Except when they live so far out in the boonies that they have no access to a drug store, the average Thai kathoey can prevent her masculine hormones from shaping her body as soon as she decides that’s what she wants to do.

      2. Velvet Jesus or velvet Elvis ones are better.

        And Brazillian trans-folk are much curvier, LB.

    3. I came here expecting to see either SIV or Notorious G.K.C. write something retarded. I hardly expected it to be the first comment though.

      1. There has been no shortage of retarded at HnR today.

      2. Check out my cool food truck link.

    1. Poor thing. It reminds me of all the Pierce-Arrows and Peerlesses they converted into trucks during the Depression.

    1. I therefore conclude that marriage laws are a necessary and proper exception to the general libertarian philosophy of minimal government laws. But what about gay marriage? Well, unlike regular marriage, gay marriage is not deeply rooted in our traditions. And gay marriage does not help to raise children. In fact, gay marriage is an oxymoron, because the very definition of marriage is that it’s between a man and a woman.


    2. The answer is that the concept of marriage is so deeply rooted in our traditions that the sensible libertarian accepts the laws codifying marriage as a necessary exception to general libertarian principles.

      Oh. A libertarian who argues he’s a libertarian by making exceptions to libertarian principles on issues where he disagrees with libertarian principles.

      Got it.

      He’s about as libertarian as Rick Santorum.

      1. TRADITION!!1! That’s why we still practice trepanation, live in trees and wear only wooden shoes.

        1. I wear animal skins on my feet! You heathen!

    3. “The answer is that the concept of marriage is so deeply rooted in our traditions that the sensible libertarian accepts the laws codifying marriage as a necessary exception to general libertarian principles.”

      IOW, asshole, you’d rather avoid anything to do with being a libertarian when your bigotry is involved.
      Fuck off.

  2. The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonourable belief against the character of the divinity, the most destructive to morality, and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist. It is better, far better, that we admitted, if it were possible, a thousand devils to roam at large, and to preach publicly the doctrine of devils, if there were any such, than that we permitted one such impostor and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God in his mouth, and have credit among us.

    Thomas Paine

    1. This sounds like the sort of hard-hitting stuff that would really upset Erik Eriksson over at Redstate. Why don’t you spend the next six months finding out and get back to us?

    2. Palin’s Buttplug|3.15.14 @ 8:05PM|#
      “The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race, have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion….”

      Yeah, shitpile, TP wasn’t around when your fave dictators murdered millions.

    3. Thomas Paine a bona fide Deist. Christians didn’t like him, but he’s hardly a patron saint for modern atheists:

      ” RELIGION has two principal enemies, Fanaticism and Infidelity, or that which is called Atheism. The first requires to be combated by reason and morality, the other by natural philosophy…

      “Contemplating the universe, the whole system of creation, in this point of light, we shall discover, that all that which is called natural philosophy is properly a divine study. It is the study of God through his works. It is the best study, by which we can arrive at a knowledge of his existence, and the only one by which we can gain a glimpse of his perfection.

      “Do we want to contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of the Creation. Do we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible WHOLE is governed. Do we want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his mercy? We see it in his not withholding that abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what GOD is? Search not written or printed books, but the Scripture called the Creation.”

      1. PS, “natural philosophy” = science

        1. I wouldn’t go that far. Natural philosophy was the empirical study of the natural world that was conducted before the application of the scientific method was widely accepted in this manner of inquiry. What you can say is that natural philosophy = pre-science.

    4. Statism is a revealed religion, and has resulted in the death of hundreds of millions of people.

  3. Alternative driving days are being introduced in the French capital, Paris, in an attempt to tackle dangerous levels of air pollution.

    The capital’s air quality has been one of the worst on record, French environmental agencies say, rivalling the Chinese capital, Beijing, one of the world’s most polluted cities.

    1. O M G! Do these people *ever* look to see if their ideas have been tried before.

      Funny, but then people just went an bought *2* cars.

  4. Really interesting points about the vibrancy of local institutions and government and effective law and order vs. central control and nonexistent local institutions and lawlessness.

    1. Unfortunately, Mexico has had folks like the Zapatistas fill the void.

  5. A NYT article on private philanthropists funding scientific researc. By NYT standards, it is interesting – highlighting some of the potential good parts of the new trend.…..times&_r=0

  6. Rand Paul beats the RINOs on their own turf

    Rand even threw Chris “Haystacks” Christie over the top rope in the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference Battle Royale.

    1. 1. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ? 15%
      2. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) ? 13%
      3. Dr. Ben Carson ? 11%
      3. Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) ? 11%
      3. Fmr. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) ? 11%

      I’m rooting for Paul, but where the hell is the margin of error? And to be honest, a 2 percentage lead over 2nd place and a 4 point lead over a three-way tie for third still means its anyone’s game.

      1. It’s a straw poll. There is no “margin of error”. It is merely the measure of who shows up at the conference and then participates in the poll. One vote more than second is a clear win.

        Paul won in moderate-Yankeeville, probably from the heavy participation of a New Hampshire delegation.

        1. It’s a straw poll

          Ah, I see. And yes, it’s encouraging that Paul came in first, though again, that might change come the NH primary. Ron Paul came in 2nd after the Romney money machine came in and swooped up the “serious candidate” votes.

          People are fickle creatures is what I’m saying.

      2. Disconcerting that Santorum got 11%.

        1. If only 11% of the participants were willing to go full retard I’d take it as a positive sign for the red team.

        2. It is the NE. Conservative Catholic statists gonna state.

          CPAC is a movement conservative national event.

          The NRLC is a blue state-regional event with a mixture of Rockefeller-establishment types and Catholic-cons.

          The Big News is that RINO Scott Walker is going to run for the Senate from New Hampshire.It’s that kind of event.

          1. Scott Walker

            Still better than Ayotte, and hell of a lot better than Shaheen.

            1. I think you both mean Scott Brown…

              1. Yea, Scott Brown. All those Yankee RINO Scott-guys look alike.

    2. I hope he lifted with his legs.


    St. Patrick awoke with a splitting headache. Last he remembered, he was at a good friend’s wake, and now he was lying on a grassy field.

    “I thought I expelled all the snakes from Ireland!” Patrick exclaimed as he saw the crawling masses of reptiles around him. But on rubbing his eyes and reorienting himself through prayer, he saw the snakes had vanished, the product of last night’s festivities.

    “Hey, man, can I have some spare change for bus fare?” a voice broke in on Patrick’s reveries. It was a man in strange attire and accent.

    “Here you are,” said the Saint, giving the man a gold piece. “I hope this will suffice.”

    The man grabbed the gold piece and ran off, as if afraid Patrick would change his mind.

    1. Trying to ascertain where he was, Patrick walked toward a noise which he thought at first was the sea. But when he came closer, he saw the cacaphonous sound was made by strange carriages, rushing back and forth on a road at enormous speeds and apparently powered by infernal engines.

      “I don’t think I’m in Ireland any more,” said Patrick. “How long was I asleep?”

      Then men in uniforms – some kind of soldiers? – began putting barriers across the street and blocking the carriages. Then as vast mob of people began marching down the street where the carriages had formerly passed.

      Patrick went up to one of the uniformed men and asked, “pardon me, good sir,” he said, “could you tell me what city and country this is?”

      “I see you started celebrating early,” said the uniformed man. “It’s a good thing everyone’s out having fun for St. Patrick’s Day, or I would stop and frisk you.”

      1. “St. Patrick’s Day?” Patrick exclaimed. And looking at a badge on the man’s uniform he saw that it said “O’Hennesy.”

        “So I must be in Ireland!” exclaimed Patrick. “But who is this saint you are celebrating? And do those marching people have anything to do with it?”

        “Oh, a comedian!” said the man. “Go and join the march, I’m sure your friends are waiting for you.”

        Patrick did as requested and joined the marching people. He went up to two guys holding hands.

        “Hi,” said the men. “We’re Patrick Fitzgerald and Gerald Fitzpatrick. Welcome to the St. Patrick’s parade!”

        “Thank you,” said Patrick. “And what is the occasion for this demonstration?”

        “We commemorate the patron saint of Ireland,” said the men. “He brought tolerance and justice to the world, so we celebrate him!”

        1. We’re Patrick Fitzgerald and Gerald Fitzpatrick.

          Really, dude?

        2. Patrick saw a marcher dressed all in green – green coat, green pants, green shoes, green tie, and green top hat.

          “Greetings, good sir,” said Patrick. “What brings you here?”

          “I’m just so nostalgic for the Emerald Isle,” said the green man, “the beautiful colleens, the Blarney Stone, the leprechauns, Danny Boy, and all of that!”

          “My name is Patrick,” said Patrick.

          “Pleased to meet you Patrick, I’m Abe Levinson, from the City Council. I hope I can rely on your vote this year?”

          1. Next came a severe-looking man in a business suit.

            “Hello,” said the man, “I hope I can rely on you in the fight against terrorism. You know, the world is menaced by terrorists of all kinds, we’re surrounded by them – and we must be constantly vigilant.”

            “So it’s a lot like my own time,” said Patrick. “And what is an irrah?” looking at the man’s IRA button.

            “Oh,” said the man, “they’re a band of patriots who fought to free Ireland of British rule. Unfortunately, they wussed out and dropped the struggle, but I’ll renew that war or my name isn’t Congressman Peter King!”

            1. Then Patrick woke up with a start. He was back in Ireland, and his friend’s wake had broken up.

              “So it was all a dream!” Patrick exclaimed. “That’s all for the best – I thought the world had fallen into the hands of outright lunatics!”

              So Patrick took a glass of the Water of Life to wash the bad dream away.

  8. More than 70 per cent of the French feel taxes are “excessive”, and 80 per cent believe the president’s economic policy is “misguided” and “inefficient”

  9. ‘It’s against all principles of scientific reporting’: Thousands of medical papers cite Wikipedia, study says

    1. The problem is not only the accuracy of the information ? which has actually been rated surprisingly high ? but that Wikipedia articles are constantly changing, and tend to only summarize primary or secondary information sources, rather than containing original research themselves, the authors say.

      “Constantly changing” = refined,corrected, updated

      They’re making it sound like these papers are nothing but a bunch of C&P from wiki entries.

      1. “Constantly changing” = refined,corrected, updated

        Assuming no one is wiki-trolling that particular page.

        1. I’ve seen that in a few botany, zoology, geology, geography pages but I assume the writer can recognize it in his own field.

          1. I’d hope. Still, we’re talking medicine here. A psychopathic troll could replace the description of a drug with a stereoisomer that could have deadly results, depending on the particular chemical.
            In this case, citing Wiki is not a practice I’d support.

    2. Wiki is a testament to libertarianism. See what may be accomplished without any government regulation whatsoever. Simply people voluntarily cooperating towards a desired end. Pretty fucking cool.

  10. Like a bumbling moron I actually waded into the morass of comments in this article that one of you guys put up earlier:…..1286486643

    Now I’m stuck rebutting gems like this:
    If I ruled the world, I would actually design a program that made it so that something like once every 5 years, NOBODY could have a child. It would cause a dramatic decline in population growth. We need it. The whole entire abortion debate is irrational, for the reason of overpopulation. Period.

    u got the derp part right as far as you are concerned but missed the larger point which was not some inadvertent statement of selfish entitlement you reading your own hateful shit into that. This is a simple allegory she doesn’t get pregnant carry to term and go through giving birth so that someone else can enjoy the fruits of her labor. So go fuck yourself and the sperm you rode in on.

    1. the fruits of her labor.

      Applied to any potential Marcotte spawn, that phrase is hilarious.

      1. Jesus Christ my brain hurts. I’m going to overdose on aspirin before I get done responding to these fools.

    2. “We need it. The whole entire abortion debate is irrational, for the reason of overpopulation. Period.”

      Sadly, I suspect that line was typed with neither a shred of irony, nor the barrel of a revolver in the mouth of the author…

      1. Further discussion ensued:

        urpaul Tamara ? an hour ago
        “I would actually design a program that made it so that something like once every 5 years, NOBODY could have a child.” Holy Jesus you guys really are a bunch of psychopathic totalitarian despots.

        “I’d never say we must forbid people from having a child…something like once every 5 years, NOBODY could have a child.” Wait just a minute here…

        “It would cause a dramatic decline in population growth. We need it. The whole entire abortion debate is irrational, for the reason of overpopulation.” Understanding history and economics has never been a strong suit for progressives. Either that, or Malthusianism is just trotted out every once in a while as another convenient excuse to control people.
        ? Edit? Reply?Share ?

        King Rat urpaul ? an hour ago
        And while you are at it, explain how people won’t be affected by drought, famine and climate change. Oh, and depleted fish stocks from acidification of the ocean and overfishing.

        Solve that, will ya, pumpkin.
        2 ? Reply?Share ?

        1. urpaul King Rat ? 17 minutes ago
          Is very simple solution: technology. It will be solved the same way similar problems have always been solved.

          People exactly like you made these same predictions in the 1960s, only to be proven wrong by the agricultural revolution of the 70’s. See “The Population Bomb”. We were told to expect mass starvations throughout the world during the 70s and 80s yet the only ones to materialize were in countries run by communists/socialists following ideology eerily similar to that which I hear reverently repeated on this blog on a daily basis.

          But as I’ve already said, history and economics aren’t the strong suit of progressives, control is.

        2. God, progs are insufferable. The guy didn’t actually make an argument, he just hurled smug at his computer screen and hoped his condescending stupidity would overwhelm any opposition.

          1. I thought I’ve dealt with some seriously deranged progs before, but that site may just take the cake.

            Those people are way beyond assistance. Just so much pretentious posturing accompanied by so feeble a grasp of the issues.

            1. Like these delicate little flowers:

              Ella Warnock urpaul ? 2 hours ago
              Why would she specifically owe any “resources” to couples looking for kids to adopt? There aren’t any appropriate resources for them to utilize?
              ? Reply?Share ?

              urpaul Ella Warnock ? an hour ago
              Exactly. Why do I specifically owe resources to soldiers in Afghanistan? Why do you specifically owe resources to millionaire old people you’ve never met in another state? Why does some guy in N Dakota specifically own resources to purchase birth control for women in San Francisco who may be wealthier than him? Aren’t there any appropriate resources they can use their own labor to utilize?

              If you’re going to believe in collectivist derby derp then at least be consistent about it. If you’re going to say I owe stuff to all kinds of random people around the country for God knows what, don’t cry when someone shows up at your pad expecting a free couch on which to lay their head.
              ? Edit? Reply?Share ?

              1. Ella Warnock urpaul ? an hour ago
                Ah, I believe it was Amanda that you claim believes in herpaderpaderpdederpydoo collectivist whatever. I don’t subscribe to any of that herpadeederp collectivist bullshit, so don’t tell me what I owe anybody. And no, you don’t owe me anything, either. derp derp
                ? Reply?Share ?

                urpaul Ella Warnock ? 35 minutes ago
                Settle down sparky. I was using the general you, as in referencing anyone who does believe in collectivist herby derp. If you don’t, congratulations on not being a moron.
                ? Edit? Reply?Share ?

                Ella Warnock urpaul ? 33 minutes ago
                Oooh, well thanky so much for your congrats on my lack of moronity. Means a lot coming from you. I really mean that.

                Lindsay urpaul ? 2 hours ago
                A serious use of ‘feminazi’. *points and laughs*
                2 ? Reply?Share ?

                Ella Warnock Lindsay ? 2 hours ago
                Yabbut he forgot the “derp derp” at the end of his screed. That’s what ties it all together and how we know he’s rilly rilly smart and stuff and we’re not.
                ? Reply?Share ?

                urpaul Ella Warnock ? an hour ago
                derp derp.
                ? Edit? Reply?Share ?

                Ella Warnock urpaul ? 39 minutes ago
                I know. Such thoughty thoughts. So amaze. Wow. Much impressed. No, really.
                1 ? Reply?Share ?

                1. Yeaah! Stick that hominem in your pipe and smoke it, urpaul…

                  1. Clearly they have slain me with their uber fema-snark.

                    1. I don’t get it… she’s the one that introduced derp derp. And then accuses you of using that slur to prove how much smarter you are. What is wrong with these people?

    1. We have better spammers than you.

    1. Yes, we watched The Independents.

  11. I assume this has been posted already, but this Salon article on the Irish is the funniest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen.

    I inherited some of my Irish-raised dad’s snobbery about the hopelessly Americanized character of St. Patrick’s Day, which a serious alcoholic like him could only view as amateur hour. I don’t miss Irish-America’s dishonest relationship to Irish violence (although the worst offenders in that department were almost always the racist and homophobic old guard). But I’d put up with many choruses of “Danny Boy,” and many rounds of green-label Budweiser, to get back that feeling we briefly had of being an immigrant group that was trying to confront its history, and to see the prison of whiteness for what it really is.

    “Sure we used to be drunken wife beaters, but at least we didn’t vote Republican.

    1. Have a Guiness!

    2. “The prison of whiteness?” This is why I’ve always said that the Irish are all the people who tried out for Scottish and didn’t make the cut.

  12. Mary has surfaced in the Raw Story comments. Behold:

    Kizone Kaprow ? 17 hours ago
    Reason’s anarcho-poodle readership still butthurt over tribe member’s thrashing, concoct a revenge fantasy:

    Nope, Ken. It’s still the same 17 white males who have been commenting there for years, sharing their daily frustrations with angry and paranoid fellow gossipers, bitterly railing against a world that refuses to take them seriously, repeating the same stale memes and violence fantasies over and over again, creating a cynical, sarcastic and nihilistic echo chamber of emotionally stunted, misanthropic, comically impotent narcissists. But a libertarian can dream. Can’t he?

    Kizone Kaprow George Nix ? a day ago
    The point of the article is that a writer at made sleazy and wholly unsubstantiated assertions about welfare recipients and used the buzzword “EBT” as red meat for her adoring fanboys, inferring that EBT benefits were being used to purchase “toys and novelties” of a sexual nature. Brown helpfully attached photos of bras, panties and penises to her article, just in case her Neanderthal readership still didn’t get it. And if you still don’t get it, you never will.

    1. 17 old timers seems kinda high but I’m not gonna argue with an obsessive stalker. She likely has everything well documented.

      1. +1 skin-suit

    2. It’s still the same 17 white males who have been commenting there for years

      Used to be 17 white males and one crazy fucking cunt…but not any more.


      1. Used to be 17 white males Indians, and one crazy fucking cunt…but not any more.


    1. I am not putting a lot of stock in that. I notice the jet that ‘disappeared’ in ’85 discovered in 2006 on Illimani.

      I was there when it happened and everyone knew about it when it crashed. On a clear day you could see the tail of the thing sticking out of the snowcap from downtown La Paz. Everyone was puzzling over how to get up there and try a rescue until someone suggesting sending an Aymara Indian. Those guys are about 4 feet tall, have the lung capacity of a baleen whale and about 4x the number of red blood cells we do.

      The one they recruited pulled his cap down, pulled his alpaca boots up and just trotted up there. He wiped the ice off of one of the windows, peered inside and trotted back down. He reported no survivors.

  13. How’s the Strongbow?


      I saw this on the TeeVee when it first aired.


          USA! USA! USA!

              1. OH

  14. One more Raw Story comment for the road:

    SailorRet ? 3 hours ago
    Libertarians are just selfish and greedy people. Blow away the smoke and everything boils down to “me – me – me.” They try to fool people with a bunch of BS but greed and selfishness is the core of all their beliefs.

    It’s English, but is there any coherent meaning in that string of words?

    1. but is there any coherent meaning in that string of words?

      Yes. It means Sailor is a prog.

    2. “It’s English, but is there any coherent meaning in that string of words?”

      It simply means that SailorRet is just a better person than you and your ilk, and light years ahead of you in the ethics and humanity departments, because he/she/it cares.. more.. with feeling and conviction.. That post assures me so, and I, for one, will rest easier knowing that..

    3. It’s SailorRet describing him/herself, but substituting “Libertarians” for “I.”

  15. Time for lights out at the Australian GP.
    smell ya later.

  16. Jack Frappy Jojo is not going to like that.

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