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Art Beauty Dance Drag Queen Event Hair LGBTQ Makeup Mom Place

Maria Twampson aka Cameron McMechen

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

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Art Beauty Comedy Dance Drag Queen Event Hair LGBTQ Place

Brunching with The Twampson Sisters

Credit: Eventbrite

I had the opportunity to interview Maria and Shania Twampson, aka the Twampson Sisters, this past week. They are a powerhouse couple.

The Twampson sisters are comprised of Ferny Gonzalez and Cameron McMechon. They prefer male pronouns, both in drag and out.

They met on Grindr about 4 years ago. In a Grindr twist, they decided they wanted to get to know each other before they became too involved.

When I asked about how they got their drag name, they told me that the their roommate was talking about having “swamp ass” and when Ferny asked if his roommate said, “Twamp-ass,” a drag family name was born.

They are a powerhouse couple with Cameron the dancer and Ferny the hostess. Cameron cuts hair for a living, and Ferny isn’t working right now, so he has more time for publicizing their events, like their monthly drag brunches at The Arch Boutique Bar, Bites & Bowling at 111 North Virginia Street in Reno, Nevada.

I have not yet been been to the drag brunch, but it is every last Sunday of the month (TOMORROW!) from 1 to 4. Doors open at noon. They tell me that the event will always be an amazing mix of queens which, of course, include them, but also other talented queens from the area.

The tickets are only $20, or $30 for a meet and greet after. They have a bar, bowling, food, and a raffle prize. It sounds like a pretty low cover charge to me. But be sure to bring your dollars for drinks and to tip the queens as they dip, split, and shablam for you.

They can also be found performing around Reno every weekend. I caught them two weekends ago at Splash, for Cotton the Act’s return to the stage after, literally, breaking a leg. They performed We Both Reached for the Gun from the musical, Chicago.

Credit: Erica Pionke @ Splash

They tell me that they have a new addition to the drag family as of late named Sabrina Twampson. She is their drag daughter, but she’s more like a sister.

They will be performing soon in Napa, Fresno, and starring in the “Twampson Takeover” in Santa Rosa.  They would like to travel more and are hoping to get to Texas, Phoenix, and Santa Barbara soon. They’ve only been performing for one year, but are already in demand. They also hope to keep giving back to their community and finding philanthropic endeavors in which to engage.

Get your tickets NOW for their drag brunch tomorrow. Find them on twitter @TheTwampsons.

Photos Credit: @maria_twampson on instagram

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Beauty Debbie Hair LGBTQ Place

Non-Bin-HAIR-y: Lana Taylor Hair

Credit: Erica Pionke

93% of the LGBTQ+ community has been misgendered during an appointment at a salon or barbershop. 65% feel that their hair is an important part of how they choose to express themselves (www.dresscodeproject.com accessed March 5, 2022). This is why my nonbinary friend, Cas, gushed to me about Lana Taylor Hair on pinterest as a queer-friendly hair stylist who specializes in non-binary cuts (and vintage roller styles).

Well, Debbie’s hair has been getting long around the ears and didn’t know where she was going to go if not all the way down to Las Vegas, to her favorite barber. Debbie agreed to make an appointment online with Lana.

Her appointment website shows the following services, along with perms, colors, conditioning, treatments, and styling:

Genderless Haircuts –

– Long Haircut

$50 and up for 90 minutes

Haircuts have no gender! This is the price for a haircut that requires shears and a blow dry and style

– Short Cut

$30 and up for 75 minutes

Haircuts have no gender! This service is for any short haircuts that require clippers. There is no blow out or style.

****

Setting the appointment was very easy. We had to add a debit card to the account for $1 to reserve the appointment. But when the appointment was over, Lana was able to charge to the card to save time as we were running to an evening meeting.

Her salon space sits among other salons, but she has a fully contained space and chair. Her approximate 200 square foot space contains a door, a glass wall, a wall with sink and mirror and then a fourth wall, making it a completely private space that does not seems as small as it actually is. She also carries products for sale in her little space.

The importance of the privacy of the space is because her clients are 30% transgender and even more who prefer cuts outside their assigned gender. The privacy allows her clients to be able to discuss their needs openly with her, like a transgender female with a receded hairline or a transgender male who is learning he has the receding hairline gene.

She took a solid hour or so to cut Debbie’s hair, and it looked adorable/handsome when Lana was done. Here are some pictures to show the final product. Be sure to check out her portfolio on pinterest.