A series by Abe Plaut
Beeka Lovelace-Perón (@beeka_lovelace)
Beeka Lovelace-Perón is also a part of the House of Perón here in Bloomington. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Beeka first came to Bloomington for school. Her start into drag was somewhat unconventional compared to the other queens. Salem Massacre, a Michigan based drag queen, is almost singularly responsible for leading Beeka to consider doing drag.
“I started doing drag because I started going to shows with Salem, and Salem was just dragging me out because I was the one who had the car! I started going to shows and I was like ‘Actually, this is pretty f*****g cool! This is actually kind of interesting!’”
Drag has since become very personal for Beeka.
“I needed to fill a void, like a creative void in my life, and drag is such an eclectic thing where you learn how to do makeup and costuming and hair and even doing random other things you wouldn’t even think about doing for other stuff [in your life],” Beeka explained.
In order for her to be confident enough to perform, she had to invest a lot of time and mental energy becoming proficient in many distinct artistic disciplines.
“I had a Summer where I was learning about drag,” Beeka recalled. This was a months long process in 2015 where she “put all the work in to make my [body shaping] pads, learn how to do my makeup… getting a makeup routine and a face down that I actually enjoyed!” Her first performance was later that Fall. Beeka’s name is a reference to her passion for science, making a pun out of the word “beaker”. Out of drag, Beeka is currently pursuing a Masters in science.
While science isn’t always a focus of her drag performances, Beeka tries to “draw it in with nerdy culture and little geeky things here and there.” Lovelace wasn’t always part of Beeka’s drag name. Originally calling herself Beeka Darwin as a nod to Charles Darwin, the evolutionary scientist, she changed it to Lovelace after deciding that she ought to do more to celebrate women in science. Lovelace comes from Ada Lovelace, the 19th century mathematician who is sometimes considered to be the world’s first computer programmer.
Beeka has done performances dressed as a mad scientist, as a school teacher lip syncing to “How to be a Heartbreaker” by Marina and the Diamonds, and once she even performed “The Periodic Table” from the viral YouTube video. Bold monochromatic looks are a staple in Beeka’s drag, sometimes conjuring images of superheroes, cartoons, and sci-fi characters. When you think about it, Beeka is practically the drag queen version of Ms. Frizzle, the cool science teacher everybody wants to go on a fieldtrip with.