RuPaul's Drag Race has brought the art of performance drag into many American households. Well, American households that carry Logo, the gay community's version of MTV. But before RuPaul was making a name for Ongina and Nina Flowers, there was Tranz Martinez.
Back in 1996, Martinez became an underground sensation after releasing This Is Me, a mix of dance tunes with awful pop sensibility that went on to be part of practically every movie soundtrack released between 1996 and 1998. She went by the stage name of Tranzition Martinez and became the first female impersonator to pass as a woman. She didn't even have to sleep with Hugh Grant.
Four bad albums later and a surgery that has officially made her a woman, Martinez is back with a new album that screams "I-really-want-to-be-Lady-Gaga-pretending-to-be-Madonna-but-like-original-and-stuff."
Though some of the songs in Tranzition 4.0 are bound to be overplayed in gay clubs across the country, the surprisingly sweet ballad "My Heart Is Yours" should be an instant classic in radio stations that get hard ons for Celine Dion and Whitney Houston circa 1990s.
Martinez has definitely paved the way for up and coming Latina drag queens like Nina Flowers, but not even RuPaul has had the arena success that Martinez has had. We only hope that she stops making crappy radio-ready hits and starts working with the underground talent that she once called co-workers.