BECOMING RAQUEL

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“I always knew there was a different side of me, but I never knew what it was until I started drag. It came out and I felt free.”

Dustin Villa, 23, began performing as Raquel Blanco nearly two years ago as a way to express himself creatively and give back to the LGBTQ community.

Raquel describes her style as "high-fashion glamour," inspired by luxuries Dustin didn't have while growing up.

“I want her to advance to the highest level and hopefully win a national title and a few pageants. Maybe one day, RuPaul’s Drag Race, but that’s everyone’s dream. I definitely want to be a star.”

 
 
 Dustin Villa begins transforming into Raquel Blanco. “I like to take my time and know exactly what face I have and what face I want.”

Dustin Villa begins transforming into Raquel Blanco. “I like to take my time and know exactly what face I have and what face I want.”

 After finishing the foundation process, Dustin Villa applies a dramatic-winged eyeliner.

After finishing the foundation process, Dustin Villa applies a dramatic-winged eyeliner.

 To tightly secure her wig, Raquel uses pins and hairspray among other tools. Her process of getting ready generally takes an hour and 30 minutes.

To tightly secure her wig, Raquel uses pins and hairspray among other tools. Her process of getting ready generally takes an hour and 30 minutes.

 According to Raquel, voluminous lashes are the most important aspect of her makeup look. "Drag is such an extension of artistry for me. I can literally be someone new every time I do it."

According to Raquel, voluminous lashes are the most important aspect of her makeup look. "Drag is such an extension of artistry for me. I can literally be someone new every time I do it."

 Raquel Blanco, left, brushes out her wig before applying. Raquel's drag mother Tatiana Blanco, right, stands outside minutes before she takes the stage.

Raquel Blanco, left, brushes out her wig before applying. Raquel's drag mother Tatiana Blanco, right, stands outside minutes before she takes the stage.

 Raquel Blanco takes one last look in the mirror with boyfriend David before her performance. "I always get anxiety before a show, but as soon as I open the curtain my eyes get a little lower, I just become a whole different person."

Raquel Blanco takes one last look in the mirror with boyfriend David before her performance. "I always get anxiety before a show, but as soon as I open the curtain my eyes get a little lower, I just become a whole different person."

 Raquel Blanco poses in her finished look before taking the stage at the Divas in the Desert annual drag show Nov. 3, 2017, hosted by the Omega Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi at the University of Arizona.

Raquel Blanco poses in her finished look before taking the stage at the Divas in the Desert annual drag show Nov. 3, 2017, hosted by the Omega Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi at the University of Arizona.

 Raquel Blanco dances to Iggy Azalea's song "Fuck Love" during her performance at the Divas in the Desert annual drag show Nov. 3, 2017, hosted by the Omega Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi at the University of Arizona.

Raquel Blanco dances to Iggy Azalea's song "Fuck Love" during her performance at the Divas in the Desert annual drag show Nov. 3, 2017, hosted by the Omega Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi at the University of Arizona.