US Congressman George Santos was a drag queen in Brazil 15 years ago: what was he called and what was his dream
The Republican participated in the first gay pride parade in 2005 in Niteroi, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Three years later, she competed in a beauty pageant
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U.S. Representative George Santos walks toward a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, United States, January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File
U.S. Congressman George Santos competed as a drag queen in Brazilian beauty pageants 15 years ago, two acquaintances told the news agency Reuters on Wednesday, adding to the contrasts that have drawn criticism of the stavely conservative views of the openly gay Republican congressman.
The embattled new congressman has also faced calls from his fellow New York Republicans to resign over falsehoods about his career and history.
< p class="paragraph">A 58-year-old Brazilian artist, who calls herself Eula Rochard, said she befriended the now congressman in 2005 at the first gay pride parade in Niteroi , a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Three years later, Santos competed in a drag beauty pageant in Rio, Rochard said. At the time, the now-congressman called himself “Kitara.”
Another person from Niteroi who knew the deputy but asked that his name not be disclosed said who participated in drag queen beauty pageants and aspired to be Miss Gay Rio de Janeiro.
George Santos as a drag queen in Brazil
Emails sent Wednesday night to the congressman's press office and a newly hired communications director were not answered.
Santos is the first openly gay Republican to win a seat in Congress without running, but has positioned himself as a staunch conservative on many social issues.
He has supported the bill “don't say gay” of Florida, which bans discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in class.
Republicans increasingly denounce entertainment and drag performers, claiming they are harmful to children.
George Santos leaves his office to attend a House vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
Santos, responding to criticism received in October for his support of the “don't say gay” law, he told USA Today: “I'm openly gay, I've never had a problem with my sexual identity in the last decade, and I can tell you and reassure them that I will always be an advocate for LGBTQ people”.
Rochard called the deputy a poor” drag queen in 2005, in a simple black dress, but in 2008 “she returned to Niteroi with a lot of money” and an extravagant pink dress to prove it. Santos competed in a drag beauty pageant that year, but lost, Rochard said.
“He has changed a lot, but he was always a liar. He was always a dreamer,” Rochard said.
Santos's lies to get to Congress
Congressman admitted to inventing details about his upbringing and previous work while campaigning for the mid-term legislative elections on November 8.
This was admitted during an interview with  ;The New York Post after the newspaper The New York Times revealed that the congressman had lie on his resume and that he had not obtained the university degrees that he claimed to have.
George Santos sits alone inside the packed House of Representatives during votes for the new Speaker of the House on the first day of the 118th Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 3, 2023 REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File
Santos had stated that he worked at the consultancies Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and that he had graduated from University of New York, something that was not true.
The congressman assured in the interview with the Post that he “never worked directly” with either firm and said he will be “more clear about it” in the future. He also confessed that he did not graduate from New York University, or any institution of higher learning, despite his previous claims, according to information from The Hill.
Santos also made claims about his family history that could not be proven, such as that his mother's parents were Jewish Ukrainians who fled Nazi holocaust to Brazil. However, records obtained by The New York Times showed that his mother's parents were born in Brazil and had no Ukrainian or Jewish ancestry.
“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I'm sorry,” the Republican lawmaker told the New York Post, insisting that the controversy will not prevent him from “a good legislative success“.
George Santos on the first day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File
From Democratic Party, however, they have already requested the resignation of Santos, alleging that he has defrauded voters.
“ Republican congressman-elect George Santos, who has now admitted his outrageous lies, should resign. If he doesn't, then the GOP should call for a vote to expel him,” Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu said on Twitter..
Another New York Democrat, Congressman Ritchie Torres, urged the Ethics of the House of Representatives to investigate the fundraising of the Republican during the election campaign.
“George Santos admits that his life story is a complete fabrication. His unfortunate confession should not distract us from concerns about possible criminality and corruption. The Ethics Committee should investigate how you made your money. Where there's smoke, there's fire,” Ritchie said.
Santos also admitted lying when he claimed to own 13 different properties, saying he now resides at home from her sister in Huntington, but is looking to buy her own home.
Rep.-elect George Santos at an event in Las Vegas on Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/John Locher/File)
In his first bid for the Chamber, Santos said in a 2020 financial disclosure that he had no assets or earned income, citing only a commission amounting to more than $5,000
< p class="paragraph">But when he filed his 2022 financial statement, he stated that he was worth millions of dollars, with most of the wealth coming from a Florida company of which he was sole owner: the Devolder Organization.
According to The Washington Post, various documents filed with the < b>Florida Secretary of State show that Santos organized the company in May 2021, a month before he declared his last candidacy. A little over a year later, on July 30, 2022, financial data company Dun & Bradstreet estimated that Devolder had an income of just $43,688.
(With information from Reuters, Europa Press and The Washington Post)