• Maxine Wild

    Proud to the max with Maxine Wild!

    She’s a  proud transgendered woman from Belhar, Cape Town, with a booming career in make-up and hairstyling with her very own makeup studio. She held the title of Miss Gay Western Cape and is one of our finest Drag Queens to date. Today we get to know Maxine Wild.


    Could you tell us more about your journey as a transitioned woman? 

    I’ve always felt as if I’ve been trapped in the wrong body which has prompted the decision to begin hormone replacement therapy – which was the best decision that I’ve made for myself. I feel as if I’m complete and I’m happy with the person that I see in the mirror. My journey started 6 years ago, and I feel that having a really strong support system made the process that much easier for me.


    What do you wish more people understood you?

    I wouldn’t go as far as to put myself in the centre of what needs to be understood, but rather a series of issues relative to the transgender community. All trans-women deserve to be treated as humans and we deserve the love, respect, and equality that would be given to any other woman.


    What has been some of the highlights of your journey?

    Let’s start off with winning Miss Gay Western Cape in 2019. This is a monumental achievement for me as it’s something that I’ve dreamed about for the nine years that I’ve been participating in Drag. Another huge feather in my hat was opening my own hair and make-up studio. It’s my own space, so it’s a real creative outlet. One of the most important parts of my journey was being able to travel and have conversations with people on different levels. While still sharing my story and educating people on the LGBTI community – with a direct focus on issues related to transgender individuals.


    How long have you been doing Drag? What inspired this passion?

    I’ve been doing Drag for 9 years. It’s a real passion of mine. It’s a beautiful art form. We (Drag Queens) have the power to transform ourselves with make-up, costumes, and hair, to become a completely different character. What drives my passion or fuels the fire is seeing the reactions of the audience as they’re overcome with excitement and euphoria.


    What are your first and favourite memories of being a Drag Queen?

    My first and favourite memory of being a Drag Queen is attending the Cape Town Pride Parade and seeing all of these colourful queer people and fabulous Drag Queens that were unapologetically living their truth. These were the people that loved me from day 1 as a new face in the Drag community, which is something that I’ll never forget.


    What has been some of your most fun and favourite Drag looks to execute and how did you conceptualize that style?

    When I entered Miss Gay Western Cape, the theme was Drag Your Horoscope, where I represented my star sign – Taurus. I opted for a half-bull, half-human costume, with the bull representing the Taurus Horoscope and the human representing the bare humanity, which is a characteristic of the Horoscope itself, as we’re not afraid to be vulnerable. I painted my hands black, which symbolizes the nature of Taurus people, as we’re always willing to lend a helping hand; however, we’re usually the ones that are getting burnt in the process. Then there are the eight rings on the horns which is the lucky number of the star sign.


    What would you say are the basics of make-up that everyone needs to know regardless of whether they want to do make-up professionally?

    Where most people go wrong is that they tend to overthink the process while also competing with what they’re seeing instead of finding what works for them. Make-up is meant to be enjoyed and not a mundane chore that causes misery in the process. 


    Can you list 3 makeup and styling items that you cannot live without?

    The three items that I can’t live without are, Derma setting powder from Kyrolan, my GHD Max flat iron, and the most important are a good set of lashes. Lashes can instantly enhance your appearance by giving your eyes a more vibrant look.


    What would you say is your signature look?

    My signature look would be a smokey cut crease with a wing, warm bronzed face, nude lip, and big hair.


    We understand that putting yourself out there can be an incredibly difficult thing to do and yet is so rewarding. What do you have to say about this?

    It’s imperative to understand that you have total control over what you’re putting on social media. As you become more popular, it becomes increasingly difficult as people tend to create their own narrative about things that you have no control over. However, when telling your story, you could help someone feel less lonely, along with potentially providing someone with the strength that they need, along with motivating them to become a better version of themselves – which is incredibly rewarding.


    What advice would you like to give to the people out there who are going through their journeys of finding out who they truly are and how they wish to present themselves?

    Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut in the process of finding oneself. As days go by, there’s always the possibility of you finding out something new about yourself; however, one of the best things that you can do is to surround yourself with positive people. 

    A good support system will be great when it comes to dealing with difficult situations. It also makes it feel more rewarding when it comes to sharing your achievements. Understand that there will always be the looming possibility of making mistakes; however, learning from them is what’s most important.


    Final question, what would you like to be known for and remembered as?

    I’d like to be remembered as a formidable entertainer that perpetually pushed the art of Drag forward. I’d also love to be remembered as having the largest Drag Haus in South Africa. Ultimately, I’d like to be remembered as someone that has always worked as hard as they could to achieve the vision that they had set out for themselves.


    Words: Thuveshnie Govender | Photography: Courtesy Images


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