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Maria Twampson aka Cameron McMechen

Download on Cameron McMechen, a drag queen named Maria Twampson of the Haus of Twampson

When we moved to Reno in 2020, I decided that I wanted to connect with the local drag queens even while in a lock-down. It was a slow process, but once I found one on Facebook, I was able to find many. I’m not even really sure how, as sometimes they include their given name in their social media and sometimes they include their drag name.

But one queen who I picked up along the way was Cameron McMechen. I had the opportunity to see his pictures as he graduated from Paul Mitchell cosmetology school…IN FULL DRAG…IN THE LIGHT OF DAY.

Mamá, come through. You know I love anyone who can stick it out to graduate. Plus, I was like, “Oh, this queen is degree’ed legit.”

Credit: Facebook Cameron McMechen page

Background

Cameron has been in Reno for 3 years. He came from Denver to dance at shows at the Eldorado here in town. He soon met his partner of 3 years after moving. His parter, Ferny Gonzalez, is his drag “sister”, Shania Twampson, both comprising the unstoppable due, The Twampson Sisters.

Cameron said he came out at 14, but he suspects his family already knew. His grandma brought rainbow cupcakes to the dance studio for his birthday in his formative years.

He considers his mom, his partner and his two roommates to be his chosen family these days.

He started doing makeup during the pandemic. During this time, he also started school and now does makeup and hair at BJ’s Hairshop. These Reno drag artists are not disappointing. Here are few examples of Cameron’s mad makeup skills.

Credit: instagram @maria_twampson

Dancing

Most importantly, this queen’s moves are not to be missed. As a trained dancer, you can see Cameron’s work on his instagram dance page. He masterfully takes over the stage, from risers to floor and connects with his audience. His performance is well worth a visit to his next show and throwing down a few dollars.

He said the biggest single tip he has ever received was a $100 bill.

Check out the energy of Ms. Maria Twampson dancing in 8-inch heels to Ballroom Blitz by the British glam rock band, The Sweet.

Cameron said that his favorite part about drag in Reno is his fans. He loves the di-fierce-ity, getting to know the other queens, and being a part of the community.

If you want to learn about his work/life relationship, check out my post from 3/26 to see Maria and Shania Twampson performing We Both Reached for the Gun from the musical, Chicago.

Credit: Erica Pionke at Splash

By Erica Pionke

Erica Pionke moved to Reno/Sparks, Nevada in March 2020 and is finally now getting out into the world and exploring all of its queer offerings with her hilarious and loving partner of 10 years, Debbie.

Erica is an avid outdoorsperson and a self-inflicted seeker of education. She works for the government, in realty, and has a history going back to her earlier years in law school, in real estate, zoning, and land management.

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