Diamond Duo of Faces Nightclub makes Sac State drag show debut


Damien Mariscal / Courtesy of Adriana Diamond

Tatianna, left, and Adriana Diamond, right, don matching red ensembles for a Christmas Day show at Faces Nightclub in 2016. The event was a benefit held for LGBTQ+ families in the community who did not have a place to go to during the holiday.

Sharlene Phou

Sacramento State fraternity Delta Lambda Phi will present its semi-annual “Life is a Drag” show that will feature seven drag queens, including Sacramento’s own “Diamond Duo” Tatianna and Adriana Diamond.

Those familiar with the local drag community may recognize the two Diamonds from their six-year residency at Faces Nightclub in Midtown. The pair host variety and competition shows every second and fourth Sunday of the month.

Competitions at Faces called “The Gig,” welcomes drag queens in the community to show off their individual talents. The queen who receives the loudest applause from the audience wins a $300 grand prize.

DLP member Brian Ratto said that drag is the art of illusion and drag queens are typically males who create the illusion of a woman with help from makeup, wigs and an elaborate wardrobe. Some drag performances include lip syncing, dancing and acrobatic movements.

“(Drag is) the act of any male, female or non-binary (person) giving off the illusion of a gender they are not typically defining themselves as,” Ratto said.

Not only are they partners on stage, Tatianna and Adriana are also a real-life couple of eight years. The two became the Diamonds after discovering they both shared a love of drag.

“I was just getting out there in the Sacramento community, doing little shows and auditions every now and again,” Adrianna said. “Then I found Tatianna and I just fell in love with her. We just brought up, ‘Do you do drag?’ Ever since then, I was just really open about (drag). I was really comfortable about it and we became the Diamonds.”

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Adriana Diamond previously danced in high school and spent five years as a color guard in the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. Diamond said that drag is another way to express herself as a performer, something she has been doing most of her life.

Tatianna Diamond, known off stage as Tati Garza, started dressing in drag when she was 19 and has been performing in shows ever since. Garza described herself as a very quiet person and prefers to keep to herself when she is not performing in drag shows.

Garza said that her alter ego, Tatianna, is a more outgoing and glamourous girl. Garza fully embodies that character in her mind to go along with her appearance when she is on stage. She prefers not to mix her two identities together.

“It’s literally like a switch,” Garza said. “If you have anything bad or going on in your life, you have to shut that off and you have to completely take on a different mentality to get through the show. That’s how I do it. ”

The Diamonds design their own clothes for drag events and find most of their materials at thrift shops and fabric stores. Clothes, wigs, makeup, shoes, and other drag accessories are stored away in just two closets of their shared home. A signature of the Diamonds is their trademark sparkle, something they incorporate into their outfits by using rhinestones or crystals.

“When you see me, I want you to be blinded by all the diamonds,” Diamond said. “Just showgirl, big hair, glamorous, queen diva is here ready to destroy the stage and perform for everyone.”

Both Diamonds are scheduled to perform for “Life is a Drag” that will take place on Sept. 19 in the University Union Ballroom where Garza will also serve as the host of the show. Tickets will be $10 at the door and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Sacramento Gender Health Center.

“I think people should just enjoy (the show) and have fun because that’s what drag started out as,” Garza said. “It started out as entertainment. I think people have taken it a little too seriously to the point where there’s a lot of misconceptions as to what drag really is, when it’s just supposed to be enjoyment for the people watching and the people performing.”

(Editor’s note: Brian Ratto was once a member of The State Hornet staff.)