OPI Celebrates Pride 2020: Athena Dion
How long have you been doing drag?
Due to social distancing, this pride month is different than one’s before. What are you doing to celebrate?
I’ve teamed up with local pride organizations in South Florida to host a virtual pride! So far I have worked with an organization called South Florida pride collective which is a collaboration between the various Pride’s in South Florida… And just recently we wrapped up Wynwood Pride… Both were done virtually with different artists performers and entertainers donating their time and talents for pride month
How has the LGBTQ community empowered you?
The LGBTQ community has empowered me so much. Without them I wouldn’t have a career I wouldn’t have a support system. Some families you’re born into another family you choose I do believe that the LGBTQ community is my chosen Pham. I have succeeded with their support and have given back every chance I can.
Tell us about your earliest influence with a drag queen.
I remember watching the movie the birdcage which took place in Miami Beach and I was enamored by the Drag Show that was featured in the film. Then I remember watching the Rupaul show on VH1 where she had her own talk show. I didn’t meet my first real drag queen until I was in my teens and I went to my first gay club I remember once I saw them on stage and the power they commanded and the platform that they had something inside of me ignited and I knew that I had to pursue this. I got my first job as a hostess in a nightclub and from then on I realized my potential in this field and I’ve learned so much and I’ve learned how to do so much with it.
Can you tell us what the word “drag” means to you?
To me and Drag is an expression… Personally, it’s an expression of a very powerful fabulous over the top ultra-glam woman… I love to have fun with my aesthetic I left a dress beautifully and Adore and myself and things you wouldn’t see every day… But more importantly, I love to entertain an audience I love to make sure anybody that comes to see my show is having an amazing time and forgetting their worries at home at least just for the time we spent together… Drag is not only a transformation of myself that’s how I transform the room and transform peoples lives
How did you come up with your drag name?
Athena is the Greek goddess of war and wisdom she’s always been my favorite goddess so I decided to name myself after her. Also, I’m 100% Greek and it was very important that I had my culture in my Drag aesthetic and my drag name so now I am the living breathing Greek Glamazon Athena Dion
What advice would you give to the next generation of drag queens?
I would say do it because you love to do it… The best advice is to think of something you love to do and find a way to make money while you do it and you’ll never work a day in your life… Drag does not have to be your career it can be your hobby it could be your passion just remember the minute you stop having fun you’re doing it wrong.
Do you believe that dressing in drag has an influence on culture today? (fashion, beauty, etc.)
I feel like Drag is always influencing culture and fashion… I feel like the creators behind all the amazing fashion labels get their inspiration from the underground drag scene and from the queer culture in general… Now if you see a queen wearing it on RuPaul’s drag race I guarantee you’ll see countless different designers taking pieces of that and adding into their own collections.
How important is your manicure for your overall look? Why or why not?
I believe our hands tell a story… When we are on stage not only are we lip-syncing with our faces and our expressions but we tell a story with our hands. Hands paint the picture of the performance and having a finely manicured hand it’s just like having a brand new set of paintbrushes to convey that beautiful message to your audience.
If you were an OPI shade, which one would you be? Why?
I definitely would be Big Apple Red because nothing beats a beautiful red manicure it’s classy and she means business!
In light of recent events with the Black Lives Matter movement, what does Black Lives Matter and Pride mean to you?
All lives cannot matter until black lives matter…
What’s happening in the world today can be seen either as something terrible and destructive or like a phoenix emerging from ashes. WAKE UP AMERICA!
I woke up this morning and began to check on the riots in Miami. After a simple google search, I found results of riots dating back farther and farther through the decades for the exact same thing. Racial injustice and police brutality. I feel like I am an educated person, a socially aware person, a “woke” person. But the reality is I will never be aware of the injustice, racism, or struggles of a black person. I will never understand what it is to fear to leave my house for any reason, the terror of getting pulled over for something as simple as a speeding ticket, the idea of regardless of my qualifications I may “just not be right “ for a job. The list goes on and on of things I will never understand, life experiences I will never have to endure but that doesn’t make them any less REAL! What we are watching unfold is a product of centuries of abuse of power. Take some time and do a simple google search and educate yourselves on the struggle of black people in this country, and then ask yourself, are you surprised by this outcry, are you surprised they are angry their voices haven’t been heard, or have been ignored for CENTURIES! The question is how long with these flames rage on, eventually they will simmer down to a gentle ember until the next injustice reignites them. It’s our job never to let these fires go out, we have to keep adding fuel to set the world ablaze until the message is heard and change is made. Until then it will just Remain another incident in a google search or history book! Spread the awareness, end the racism, defend our black brothers and sisters. There is no other option!