By Luke Voogt
Friends will become enemies when Geelong’s Ivana Kabab, named for her favourite delicacy, squares off against the nation’s sassiest drag queens this month.
Ivana will show no mercy as she whips out the stilettos in pursuit of the Miss Gay Australia International crystal crown – even against old friends.
“It gets bitchy – everyone is after the crown because it’s so sparkly,” said her Point Lonsdale alter ego Nicholas Gerardi.
The 29-year-old hairdresser described Ivana as “a classic beauty with a touch of trashiness”.
“She just likes to be a crowd-pleaser. She’s Switzerland neutral – she doesn’t get involved in other people’s drama.”
Nick started dressing in drag in 2007 after finishing high school and performs regularly at a Melbourne pub.
“You go from your normal self to this totally different character in the space of a few hours,” he said.
Nick debuted in the pageant in 2016 and will hit the stage again at St Kilda Town Hall on 27 January to entertain 500 spectators.
“I do hair and drag for a living, so there’s more pressure for me to bring my A hair, face and game to the stage,” he said.
He will promote Hair With Heart, which raises funds for needy children, and GASP, which supports young LGBTQI people, during the pageant.
Nick said knowing more about GASP “would have made things a hell of a lot easier” when he was bullied at high school.
“High school (can be) horrible for some people – especially those identifying as gay. Don’t give up!”