- The Handbasket
- The Daily Santos: Vol. 7
The Daily Santos: Vol. 7
My conversation with Brazilian Drag Queen Eula Rochard
Earlier today I broke the story of Eula Rochard, a Brazilian drag queen who was friends with George Santos when he lived near Rio, and who shared a photo of a young Santos dressed in drag at a 2008 event.
It’s imperative that you understand the news value of this story is not to laugh at someone dressing in drag. No, the value is that George Santos campaigned as a Trump-loving, ultra-conservative candidate and continues to align himself with far right figures who cheer-lead violence at drag events and actively cause harm to a generous and beautiful community.
I can’t tell you what exactly compelled Santos to morph himself into an entirely different person, but I can share with you what Eula had to say about her old friend. I spoke to her Wednesday by phone, along with my very generous friend who translated from Portuguese to English. The responses below are based on her translations.
My conversation with Eula
Eula Rochard and George Santos met when she was already a well-known drag queen in Niterói, a city next to Rio de Janeiro where Santos also lived at the time. She says people often seek out her friendship because she’s “highly respected in town,” and she remembers becoming friends with Santos, who at the time went by Anthony (one of his many aliases) or Kitara, his drag name. “I think I met him when he was around 16 or 17-years-old,” she said. “He used to hang out in my house while his mom was playing Bingo.”
So when she saw Santos on Brazilian TV the other day, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She messaged some friends who were around during the time she knew Santos to say she thought it was him, but they all doubted her. So she dug up an old photo and posted it to her Instagram.
“The picture was taken in 2008 at the Pride Parade at Icaraí Beach in Niterói,” she says. “George had disappeared for a little while, and then returned to Brazil with a lot of money, and that was about the same time when the picture was taken.”
Eula also shared this video from a past Niterói pride parade. She’s in pink around the 2:00 minute mark, and she says Santos is the person interviewed around the 4:19 mark.
Eula says Santos was never a professional drag performer, but did it for fun and enjoyed dressing up. “He did not have what it takes to be a professional. George did not have the glamour for that.”
Santos’ complicated relationship with the truth is nothing new, she says. “George always lied about everything. He used to create stories, usually involving money—like that his dad was rich. But then people wondered why his mom was a cleaning lady. There’s nothing wrong with being a cleaning lady, but if his dad was rich, then why?”
The fact that Santos is in politics now is surprising to her, because he never showed an interest. And she’s particularly shocked by his right-wing politics, because all his friends back home were left-leaning.
“He was a dreamer,” she says, “and the way he figured out how to be famous was by becoming a politician. Republicans deserve someone like him.”
Have a Santos-related tip? Email [email protected]