Nightlife

Meet Miss Toto, the Built Bingo Queen Who Rules Miami's Gay Party Scene

Miss Toto: "It has just really taken off to where I didn't expect it to."
Miss Toto: "It has just really taken off to where I didn't expect it to." Photo by DJ Hottpants
click to enlarge Miss Toto: "It has just really taken off to where I didn't expect it to." - PHOTO BY DJ HOTTPANTS
Miss Toto: "It has just really taken off to where I didn't expect it to."
Photo by DJ Hottpants

At her bingo night at Gramps each week, Miss Toto has to yell across the room at a player who breaks one of her biggest rules: shouting "woo" when she calls O-69.

"Who the fuck woo's during an orgasm?!" she yells, before reminding the crowd that the mandate is to let out your loudest orgasmic moan when the number is called. It's an important rule, right up there with "always tell me that I'm gorgeous," which everyone dutifully follows.

New Times has called Miss Toto a "gender-bending, bodybuilding drag monster from Miami" — a title she embraces. "Gender-bending is true, because I do this kind of drag on Wednesdays, but I also do a lot of club-kid stuff as a boy at Score for the Lab Lounge in my underwear, painting shit on my face that's cool," Toto explains.

When not in drag, Toto goes by her given name, William Harrison Evans, and works as a personal trainer. She says her built physique is "a cool facet, because I'm very into fitness, but I'm giving you this feminine image with my big-ass body."

As for "drag monster": "It's very me, because I'm huge," she laughs. "I'm not as big as some other bitches, but I'm sometimes six-five in heels and a trunk. So I like being a very big person [with] big everything: big hair, big shoes, and when I'm wearing nails, they're fucking six-inch nails. I was explaining it to my mom this past weekend: Everything about my drag is the overfeminization of what I think a woman is. I want to be the overdramatized version of what I assume is a woman."

"I like being a very big person with big everything: big hair, big shoes, and... six-inch nails."

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That aesthetic is similar to but more polished than the one Toto had when she first did drag. She got into the scene, she admits, for the free drinks at Counter Corner. "They used to advertise the party as 'If you dress nonheteronormative, you get free drinks,' so I showed up at the bar in a shitty-ass wig and lipstick, and I was having the time of my life."

Counter Corner hosts Sleeper and Juleisy encouraged her to do drag. Juleisy helped her come up with Miss Toto as a name and even helped her book her first performance in 2015.

These days, Miss Toto performs regularly, at Counter Corner and at Gramps' new weekly Double Stubble on Thursday nights, plus her weekly bingo gig. But her style is always evolving. "Sometimes I'll just be sitting in the car listening to music, or I'll just get an idea of songs or mixes that may not go together but in my head they do," she explains. A recent example: performing the choreography from Kanye West's "Fade" to Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

"It makes no sense, but I did it," she laughs. "And I made it ratchet."

It's an unconventional recipe for drag-queen stardom, but it works. Gramps' bingo night used to bring in other drag queens, she recalls. "We had tons of bitches, which I thought was cute. But then I got really selfish because I'm also an only child and don't like to share anything."

She's joking, but the reality is that Toto had grown comfortable with everything. "I felt comfortable with the crowd, with my drag, and with who Miss Toto is. More people started coming, and everything just started to work. Gramps was letting me do my own thing for three hours, and it has just really taken off to where I didn't expect it to."

Bingo With Miss Toto
9 p.m. Wednesdays at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Admission is free.


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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.