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Clarissa Lagartera
(1975 - living) Canada

Clarissa Lagartera

Transgender activist, entertainer, Swerve writer, and drag king


Clarissa "CJ" Lagartera is a student at the University of Winnipeg, majoring in sociology and political science. As a noted activist in Manitoba's queer community and advocate on several social justice movements, Clarissa was recognized in 1997 as a Lambda Magic Award recipient.

Clarissa Lagartera, a.k.a. Carlos Las Vegas, a.k.a. Karmalita Las Vegas, a.k.a. Reece Lagartera-Manning, is a queer activist, Drag King, whose gender-bending performances draw out the thinly veiled spectrum of male to female.

He is the co-founder of the drag king magazine Kingdom; former co-director of the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Collective of the University of Winnipeg and former president of the University of Winnipeg Students Association; recipient of the Lambda Magic Award (1997).

He is known as the "absolute" ultra-flamboyant drag king/gender bender illusionist. Decorated in bizarre sequin, rhinestone and bugle beaded costumes and with unmistakable side burns, Carlos Las Vegas has been tooted as the "Dom Perignon" of drag king entertainment.

Provocative and outspoken with several charasmatic personalities on stage, Carlos Las Vegas combines swing, jazz, R&B, hip hop, rumba and salsa for a complete "total package" performance. Since 1994, and from a relatively small community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Carlos Las Vegas has caught the eye of many throughout Canada and the United States which included a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated Maury Povich Show.

Gender illusion enthusiasts have also been delighted with Carlos Las Vegas's gender-bending transformation burlesque presentation from the flamboyant showman Mr. Las Vegas, to the showgirl, Karmalita Las Vegas. "Gender fluidity as a performance piece transgress our inherent masculinity, and feminity." says, Carlos.

Carlos Las Vegas founded the Snowy Owl Monarchist Society Community Development Award. This award funds students who are either enrolled in, or entering a post-secondary institution and recognizes their efforts and contributions for the betterment of the LBGT and two spirited communities in Manitoba.


Photo: Kevin Kelly (2000) Toronto, ON

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