Proclaimed in 2011 by UNESCO Member States, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day (WRD – World Radio Day).
In 2020, on World Radio Day, UNESCO called on all radio stations to defend diversity, both in their newsrooms and on the radio waves.
What better way to celebrate this proclamation of “World Radio Day” with this different visit to a radio station.
Report & interview: Martín Butera
Photographs: Ligia Katze
Photo Editing: Mark Melzi
Table of Contents
- Brief review on the meaning of Drag Queen
- Interview with Alexandre Loyola (Allice Bombom)
- Life of the film
- Study of Photos and Technical Control of Radio JK FM 102.7 MHz
- Video of the radio program in action
- Second part of the interview, Alexandre Loyola (Allice Bombom) as a reference LGBT activist Brazil
- Final conclusions
- About the author
Today I present you a different and very special report, from Brazil, to know the story of Alexandre Loyola, who with a lot of effort, dedication and creativity earned a place on the radio stations of the Brazilian capital.
He conducts “Programa Show”, which is broadcast in one of the central times of the JK 102.7 Mhz radio station, from Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 12:00.
Rádio JK with prefix ZYH 803 is a Brazilian radio station, based in Brasilia capital that belongs to the prestigious Brazilian businessman Paulo Octávio, who owns a successful multimedia that other radios make up, called “Sistema PaulOOctavio de Radios”.
JK FM 102.7 Mhz is located at the top of a modern shopping center in the capital called: “Edifício do Terraço Shopping”. His studies are extremely modern.
Alexandre Loyola, with more than 25 years in the Drag Queen scene, became a cultural icon of the city, creating the character of Allice Bombom.
Trained in Bachelor of Performing Arts from the Brazilian arts faculty “Dulcina de Moraes”, he defines himself as a theater actress and Drag Queen presenter.
With a radio experience of more than 10 years, which has already led him to transit through several recognized FMs in the capital such as: Radio Jovem Pan 106.3 FM, radio 105 FM, Clube FM, Radio Atividade, among others.
I invite you to read this report and learn more about the Brazilian artist and broadcaster Drag Queen, to break down any prejudice.
Brief review on the meaning of Drag Queen
Drag emerged as a dramatic element during the second half of the nineteenth century, destined to make a comic projection of social notions about social behavior, aristocracy, political organization, gender roles, social etiquette and social conventions. Drag was appreciated in various forms in the variety theater of the 19th century, in which the presentation of skits and one-act plays in which social or cultural elements were burlesque was common, often with the participation of actors disguised as characters of the opposite gender to intensify the humor.
Drag as a dramatic element appeared in the United Kingdom during the second half of the 19th century, derived from the transvestite and appreciated in shows such as Victorian burlesque and British pantomime.6 The exploitation of drag as a comic element began with the introduction of the theater. of varieties within American culture in the Civil War. Drag became a common element in shows such as vaudeville and American burlesque.
Variety theater lost popularity in the 1920s due to the massive and domestic introduction of radio and television. Drag resumed its popularity in American-style cabaret during the 1930s, continuing into the 1960s as a primarily histrionic element. Drag was part of live comedy and imitation between the 1940s as a main element of drag shows that were presented in establishments dedicated to cabaret and the new variety theater.
In the 1950s, in the period of the closet culture (the period before the sexual revolution and the Stonewall riots), drag shows became popular in establishments with a gay clientele, such as gay bars. Camp aesthetics began to resort to drag for the embodiment of irony in the arts, using the effeminate and motley costumes of male figures to formulate a comic intention within mass culture and its media. Soon the themes of camp and drag became common as an element of filmic exploitation, with drag becoming an element associated with gay culture due to its recurrence in the camp aesthetic.
After the closet culture and the formation of the LGBT social movement, drag became common as a gender expression totally focused on transgender identity, forming part of the expression of LGBT pride. In their histrionic intention, they currently dedicate themselves to singing, dancing, playback, participating in Gay Prides, beauty contests and drag shows, Divine and RuPaul are among the best known Drag Queens in the show, having participation not only in the LGBT world.
Interview with Alexandre Loyola (Allice Bombom)
Alexandre Loyola was born in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, his Drag Queen character is famous in the bars of Brasília, where he sells his homemade chocolates, hence his artistic name.
The interview with Alexandre Loyola takes place in two very different environments, the first in his home, in front of the mirror, while he prepares his character and the second in one of the most important radio stations in the Brazilian capital JK FM 102.7 Mhz.
There are more than 78 minutes of interview in Portuguese, of which here is a summary, an adaptation of this interesting interview.
How did you start your radio career as Drag Queen?
It was by chance, I was going through the night of Brasilia, parties, clubs, I was always surrounded by DJs and there I met a radio producer who invited me to her radio show one Saturday night. And that’s how it was when I realized I never left the radio again and here I am until now in front of a microphone.
When you’re on the radio, does your Drag Queen character always speak into the microphone?
If it is always Allice, although I really need to have accessories to feel more in character, but of course at 9 in the morning it is a bit difficult to be 100% characterized, I know that I am not going to be the perfect Drag Queen, but well it is even a psychological question, be dressed as Allice Bombom.
And on the radio, how do your colleagues treat you in relation to your sexual gender?
On the radio I consider myself as a female gender and I treat myself as a woman, not a man, so much so that the announcers, the entire radio team, know that I am Allice the Drag Queen, there is no Alexandre on the radio, it is Bombom the woman.
Alexandre only exists clearly when they see me entering the radio, I enter without being a transvestite. Even if they see me as Alexandre, they treat me as a woman, I know that it is also a half compliment to the other people on the radio, but luckily at JK FM everyone has a very open mind and treats me with respect.
Just as persistent that you would have no problem if they treat you as Alexandre the man or Allice Bombom the woman, can you have that resolved?
I already went through a process that did not accept that if they saw me from Allice they would call me from Alexandre, but there came a time when I was an artist, where I did not stress anymore with that, because I have friends who know me for selling chocolates on the street as Alexander and others only know Allice and they even call me by that name without being transformed, I already accepted that.
Now Allice doesn’t like to be called Alexander, she makes an ugly face, she doesn’t hit, just because she’s peaceful (laughs).
How is Brazil seeing today, with President Bolsonaro, who had many homophobic attitudes?
That Bolsonaro question is a bit complicated, because he offends a lot, not only the group of LGBT people, but also several people, of various kinds, I think he does not think about what he talks about and offends everyone, particularly to minorities, although in the case of Drag we are already growing.
And do you feel any pressure or fear today?
Not I live peacefully, nobody needs to feel fear, we are united, people have to unite, so as not to feel fragile, more now in these black clouds, people have to be strong.
Does the Drag Queen necessarily have to be a political act all the time?
Yes, of course, it is good to be and talk about politics, to create public policies mainly for trans women, who I think suffer more than the Drag Queen themselves.
Explain to me better why the difference from Trans to Drag?
For example, the Drag Queen manages to travel anywhere because we are seen more as an artistic fact, now the trans is more exposed to transphobia and attacks of all kinds.
And on the radio do you find how to do politics?
Not on the radio I avoid that, for me it is not a good thing to talk there, because it complicates everything, sometimes something very small can become a bomb so I avoid talking about politics, I do not touch on issues of preconceptions, I know that by being on the radio , the prejudice in the company does not exist, because they know that I am gay, that I am Drag, that I am an artist, they treat me with great respect.
Did you find any way to talk politics anyway?
Yes, of course, although very carefully, the problem with the radio is that it is very fast, what you are talking about is already out. I repeat the fact that occupying a place on the radio is already a conquest. I try to use other places to generate politics, for example, at gay pride marches.
Why did you choose Brasilia DF to live?
I arrived in Brasilia DF, because one of my sisters lived here and I received news that she was ill and I traveled to take care of her and I did not leave anymore. I was enlisted in the Navy of Rio de Janeiro, I asked for the pass to Brasilia DF and then I continued in the Navy for a couple of years more.
And how did Allice the Drag Queen emerge in Brasilia DF?
I was invited to a party, here in the neighborhood where I still live, which is called Taguatinga, the slogan was whoever was characterized as Drag Queen would not pay admission. And so it was never again let be Drag Queen.
I love all this, it is a whole process, of course 25 years ago, there was not the rise of the internet and social networks, now here in Brazil we have a Drag Queen who is a singer named Pablo Vittar and it is good to cite the case of him, because I do not know if he stopped to think, that today he is in the media, beyond his own talent, he may be in the media today, because many Drag Queen like me, we made a path before, they I fight a lot, against prejudice, so that today the Drag Queen were considered.
Palo Vittar today is even more recognized worldwide than the famous Drag Queen, Paul. ruPaul and that visibility is good not only for the Drag Queen movement but for all classes of the LGBT movement.
Today Pablo Vittar is the most followed Drag on Instagram and his songs on Spotify are the most listened to.
What do you like to listen to on the radio?
I am very eclectic when I listen to the radio, being a bit related to the night, I listen to a lot of electronic music, I try to find sets of different DJs on the radio. I generally like international music shows.
When it comes to listening to information, I like to tune in to shortwave and see what is happening in other countries, I like to listen to radio in other languages, I always have a small radio near my makeup that has several bands, where I pick up several stations, I like listening to Radio Martí, which broadcasts entirely in Spanish and is directed to Cuba to
promote democracy and capitalism.
And how do you produce your radio show?
Basically I try to bring a lot of humor, I produce almost 100% with material that I find online, the idea is still confusing, I’m not on the radio to explain anything (laughs)
I am thinking that you conquered a place that is not visual like the radio, because you think that happened?
What happens that my training is theater, I think there is something of that. This year 2020, I hope to be trained in theater degree, not to teach, but as something personal.
What dream do you have?
Traveling to New York is a dream, it is not very new, surely it must be the dream of most artists, seeing the shows on Broadway and of course walking from Drag Queen in the middle of the avenue.
Do you feel that dream is close?
No, today is far …
Mainly financially, today I am no more than 20 years old, if I travel today I want to go with something more stabilized.
ALLICE is a feature film documentary directed by the director and scriptwriter Fernanda Carvalho. The film shows the fine line between the person of Alexandre Loyola and his Drag Queen Allice Bonbon. “ALLICE” was selected to participate in the festivals: Korea Queer Film Festival (2018), Viradão Film and Video (2018), CineClube Lighthouse – Director (2017), Cineme (2017), LGBTI Diversity Week – SESC (2017)), CinemaQ SHQFF Shanghai
(2017), KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival (2017), Toronto Queer Film Festival (2017), 3rd Three Step Film Festival (2016).
Study of the radio in photos and the technical control of Radio JK FM 102.7 MHz
The Studio is very large, where you can see the microphones, console, computers and the most modern digital sound and all high technology.
Note: observe the technical operator, he works standing, that way his operation is agile and faster.
Video of the radio program in action
Second part of the interview, Alexandre Loyola (Allice Bombom) as a reference LGBT activist Brazil
Allice is a very powerful antitoxic, which spreads with his voice, over the airwaves of JK FM 102.7 MHz, against any homophobia or sexual rejection.
LGBT is the acronym made up of the initials of the words Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Strictly speaking, it groups together people with sexual orientations and gender identities related to those four words, as well as the communities formed by them. The expression originated in the English language in the 1990s, but these initials coincide in several languages, including Spanish. The term has been the result of an evolution in which letters were added in order to include various communities discriminated against because of their sexual identity. Initially, the expression “homosexual” or “gay” was used, but some lesbian and bisexual organizations questioned it as insufficient, leading to the creation of the
acronym “LGB”. Later, transsexuals made a similar criticism, giving rise to the acronym “LGBT.”
In recent years, new extensions to the acronym have emerged to include other communities, such as intersex (LGBTI), queer (LGBTQ) and asexual (LGBTA) people, giving rise to the acronym LGBTQIA, among others.
As an LGBT activist, have you already participated in politics, although you were a little disappointed and gave up being a candidate for district deputy, why?
I think the fight must continue to be given in the street, every day.
What about world famous marches like “the gay pride march”, what do you think?
Now, the LGBT class itself, it seems that it is not understood, that happened mainly when I entered the economic, there are fights in other cities, who organize marches and whoever organizes a march, later does not militate in others, there was a time when there was political funding for organize those marches, later when that money was short and we had to go to find sponsors, it ended up being a business.
Did you lose your sense of struggle?
In some moments if you lose consciousness, when money comes in, but that happens in any movement not only in LGBT.
Your message last?
My message is that you have to like being a Drag Queen, money is not everything, you have to love this, many artists build a Drag Queen character in any way and that is complicated, because do not take it seriously, with heart, there is feelings here …
I thought it was easy, but it is difficult to leave a legacy, there is a lot of heart in Allice Bombom.
For Alexandre Loyola, being a Drag Queen is an inner demand, for him it is not just mounting a character.
Allice Bombom is a requirement of every day and expresses it in the microphones, like a scream that comes from the depths of her being.
This is how Allice Bombom comes to life every day and shares her experiences and lots of laughs, through the JK FM microphones.
You can listen to Allice Bombom online anywhere on the planet from https://jkfm.com.br/ (Portuguese language)
To the kind Alexandre Loyola, for sharing his life experience and to the lovely Allice Bombom, for his good disposition for this interview,
To “Organizações PaulOOctavio”, Mr. Paulo Octavio, for letting me work freely on his radio, for this interview,
To the other members of the “Show Program”, Dodô and Leninha, for receiving me on the Radio,
To my dear wife Ligia Katze (photography),
To my friend Mark Mezli (photo editing).
About the author
Martín Butera is a shortwave radio listener and has been a radio amateur since 1992. Martin has participated in DXpeditions throughout South and Central America, with the Argentine radio call sign LU9EFO and the Brazilian call sign PT2ZDX.
Martin is a correspondent journalist in South America for various newsletters on world radio issues.
Martin is the founder of CREW called 15 point 61 (15.61), São Paulo – Brazil.
Martín Butera is a journalist, documentary maker and founding member of Radio Atomika 106.1 MHz (Buenos Aires, Argentina) www.radioatomika.com.ar
He currently lives in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) 2019, World Radio Day. Available https://es.unesco.org/commemorations/worldradioday
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2020 [Dec 11, 2019 History]. Available https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_queen
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2020 [Jan 17, 2020]. Available https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT