• Logan has found community in drag. (Supplied, SBS)Source: Supplied, SBS
The story of Taboo, a regular drag show which revitalised a struggling bowls club in Ipswich, is the focus of a new Untold Australia documentary on SBS, Bowled Over.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

18 Dec 2020 - 1:11 PM  UPDATED 19 Jan 2021 - 9:54 AM

When Ipswich mum Katrina took her then 11-year-old son along to a drag show at their local community bowls club, she had no way of knowing the lasting impact it would have.

"There was a whole group of us," Katrina tells SBS Pride. "He was 11 and had no idea what a drag queen was, but he loves any kind of show, any kind of performance. He came with me and loved it. He got photos with all the girls and ended up on the stage."

The story of Taboo, a regular drag show which revitalised a struggling bowls club in Ipswich, is the focus of a new Untold Australia documentary on SBS, Bowled Over. It's a story of heart, community and the art of drag not only offering a lifeline to local business, but bridging the gap between generations.

"They always have a raffle," Katrina explains. "The queens normally get kids in the audience to draw the ticket. Crystal (the drag persona of Katrina's colleague, Carl) was having a bit of a bleat about walking in heels, and Logan made a comment about it not being that hard.

"That sparked a bit of banter and eventually Logan was invited to participate in a strut-off at the next show."

Logan, a dancer, performer, football player and black belt in martial arts, was more than up for the challenge.

"They thought he would just rock up in a pair of mum’s shoes, but no, he did the full hog," Katrina laughs.

"He brought the house down, and that’s how it started, he loved it."

In Bowled over, audiences are introduced to a whole slate of multifaceted characters behind the Taboo production, including Martini Fernando Ice, who quickly becomes a hero to young Logan. 

“From the first time he met Martini something clicked. He just seems to gravitate [to her]. [He] absolutely loves her,” Katrina says.

Reflecting on Logan's admiration in the documentary, Martini says, “To know that someone so young admires me for doing, lets face it, not much. It really does warm my heart."

She adds: "That’s why I do this, I do it to brighten peoples’ day, to make people happy.”

This, Katrina explains, has become a mission her multi-talented son, who dreams of attending Mardi Gras in Sydney and Drag Con in Los Angeles, now shares.

"As he’s gotten to know more people, he knows more about their stories. He has just become so passionate about it, he wants to make the world accepting of everybody. He just believes everyone should be allowed to be who they want to be," she says.

"That’s his mission in life." 

One particularly emotional moment in Bowled Over comes as Martini departs Taboo's regular roster to move down to the Gold Coast - leaving Logan in tears. However, the youngster's heartache soon turns to joy when Martini surprises him with a home visit to say goodbye. Out of drag, it's the first time Logan had seen his idol out of makeup.

"He went into it (the local drag show scene) totally naive," Katrina explains.

The mum doesn't lack conviction in her boundless support of Logan's many interests, including drag performance.

"I know there will be some people who criticise my husband and myself as parents for letting Logan get up and do drag, but at the end of the day if we’ve raised an adjusted child."

"Look, I just think in this day and age, our generation of kids are a lot luckier than say my generation, even if there's still some ignorance, there’s so much more acceptance these days," she tells SBS Pride.

"So if you’ve got a child who wants to be a drag queen, no matter what they want to do, if they're not harming anyone and it makes them happy, allow them to become the person they're meant to be - who they want to be - and don’t worry about what people think.

"I know there will be some people who criticise my husband and myself as parents for letting Logan get up and do drag, but at the end of the day we’ve raised an adjusted child. They can say what they want about me, I don’t care, I know who I am, I’m proud of who I am."

Untold Australia: Bowled Over airs 8.30pm on Tuesday, 19 January, on SBS.

This Summer, SBS takes you on a journey into some of Australia’s many unique communities through three incredibly powerful and uplifting documentaries in the brand-new season of Untold Australia.

Untold Australia S5 will also be available on SBS On Demand, with subtitles in Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean and Hindi.

RECOMMENDED
Brazilian drag queens Pabllo Vittar and Gloria Groove make history with 'Vogue' covers
"I always knew I was going to get where I am. It is not wrong for you to love yourself, to take care of yourself. People will have to learn to respect you for who you are.”
'Absolutely ripped apart': Drag queens hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions
"All of us queens who do work full time have already left our day jobs, we can't go back."
'It's all make believe': Drag queen Courtney Act
“I think what’s radical is the idea that men should wear pants and women should wear dresses.”
When the Gold Coast lost its only gay bar, this drag queen got to work
Out of drag, Natasha St James is Gold Coast local Nelson Baker, a "6-foot-three Aussie bloke with a mullet."