Coco Montrese

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Coco Montrese
Coco Montrese.jpg
Coco Montrese in 2014
Martin Cooper

(1974-07-02) July 2, 1974 (age 45)
Miami, Florida
Alma materAlabama State
OccupationDrag queen
Known forRuPaul's Drag Race season 5
TitleMiss Gay America 2010
Spouse(s)Alfonzo Hestle

Coco Montrese (born July 2, 1974) is the stage name of Martin Cooper,[1] an American drag queen, entertainer, and reality television personality. Montrese came into the spotlight after being crowned Miss Gay America 2010 when Alyssa Edwards' title was revoked. She subsequently appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race season 5 as well as RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars Season 2.

Early life[edit]

Montrese was born on July 2, 1974 in Miami, Florida.[2] She grew up in a "very religious home" as the son of a Pentecostal pastor.[3] Montrese studied theater and education at Alabama State.[4]


Montrese became interested in drag around age 19 or 20 and was named by her drag mother Mokha Montrese.[3] She entered pageantry, eventually becoming runner up in the 2010 Miss Gay America pageant. The titleholder, Alyssa Edwards, was stripped of her crown for conflicting business dealings. On February 27, 2010, Montrese was then crowned as Miss Gay America 2010.[4]

Before appearing on RuPaul's Drag Race, Montrese worked at Walt Disney World for 11 years as an entertainer for the Fantasmic show. Working there allowed her to be able to work during the day and do drag during the evenings.[5] She then moved to Las Vegas, where she appeared in a number of shows as a Janet Jackson impersonator.

Montrese applied just once for RuPaul's Drag Race and was accepted for their fifth season as one of fourteen contestants.[3] The show aired January 28, 2013 and completed May 6, 2013. During the show, Montrese was criticized for her orange makeup, which inspired many internet memes.[6] She fell into the bottom four times, eventually sending her "arch rival" Alyssa Edwards home during their lipsync.[7] Montrese ended up being sent home by Detox Icunt the next week, garnering a fifth place finish.[8] Jinkx Monsoon ended up winning the competition.

Montrese was chosen to appear on RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars season 2, which premiered August 25, 2016. It was rumored that she was a replacement for Laganja Estranja, but when asked Montrese stated, "I don't know anything about that."[9] Montrese was the first contestant cut from the show, being eliminated by Roxxxy Andrews.[10] When asked who should have appeared on the season who was not cast, Montrese stated "Trixie Mattel ― I think she’s the life of the party. I love Trixie Mattel, she was so funny on her season and I would love to see her there."[11] Alaska Thunderfuck ended up taking the crown.

At the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, Montrese dressed up as a 1999 Lil' Kim with a purple mermaid-inspired jumpsuit.[12]

Montrese's drag daughter is Las Vegas queen Kahanna Montrese, a contestant on season 11 of Drag Race.[13]

Pageant titles[edit]

  • Miss Gay America - first alternate, then winner (2010)[4]
  • Miss Gay Heart of America (2009)[14]
  • Miss Gay Heart of America - first alternate (2008)[15]
  • Miss Gay Orlando (2008)[16]
  • Miss Gay Days (2008)[17]
  • Miss Gay Florida America (2007)[18]
  • Miss Gay Florida USofA (2005)[18]
  • Miss Lakeland (2003)[5]
  • Miss Hernando County[5]

Personal life[edit]

As of September 2016, Cooper is married to Alfonzo Hestle.[1]

When asked if queer people should support the Black Lives Matter movement, Montrese responded, "I think it’s important the LGBTQ community support all movements that support all people and equality for all. If we don’t start shedding light on these things, younger generations won’t even recognize it. If you don’t bring up the past, you are doomed to repeat it. We’re all fighting for the same thing — they want to be seen as the same as everyone else — so yes, they should support that."[19]



Year Title Notes
2013 Toddlers and Tiaras Episode: "Las Vegas: LalapaZOOza"
2013 RuPaul's Drag Race season 5 12 episodes
2013 2013 New Now Next Awards
2013 RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked! 10 episodes
2016 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars season 2 Four episodes

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Ring My Bell Herself Guest
Bestie$ For Ca$h Special Guest
2016 Queen to Queen Guest, with Ginger Minj

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
2016 "The T" Alaska Thunderfuck


  1. ^ a b "International Drag Artist, CoCo Montrese Says Marriage is No Drag" (Press release). September 13, 2016. Archived from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017 – via
  2. ^ Baines, Jenettha J. (2010). 100 of the Most Influential Gay Entertainers. a-argus books. p. 178. ISBN 9780984619559.
  3. ^ a b c Holland, Scott (10 Apr 2013). "RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5 – Coco Montrese". Hot Spots Magazine. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Coco Montrese is crowned Miss Gay America 2010". Watermark Online. 3 Mar 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Hartlage, Kirk (22 May 2014). "Homecoming Queen: Coco Montrese returns to her roots for Gay Days". Watermark Online. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  6. ^ Jones, Saeed (3 May 2013). "Coco Montrese, The Fiercest Orange In Drag Race History". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  7. ^ Coffey, Leland (13 Aug 2016). "One on One with RuPaul's Drag Race All Star Coco Montrese!". Manhattan Digest. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  8. ^ Fossum, Melissa (3 May 2013). "Our 10 Favorite Moments from RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 5". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  9. ^ Malice, Michael (26 Aug 2016). "'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Interview: Cuckoo for Coco Montrese". Observer. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  10. ^ Winfred, Tim (26 Aug 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Coco Montrese Had A Scandalous Night In Tampa, And There's A Video To Prove It". Queerty. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  11. ^ Nichols, James Michael (26 Aug 2016). "Last Words: CoCo Montrese Reflects On 'RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  12. ^ Quinn, Dave (28 Aug 2016). "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Cast Recreate Iconic Looks of VMAs Past". People. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  13. ^ "#TransformationTuesday: QWERRRKOUT feat. Kahanna Montrese (Coco Montrese's Daughter)". The WOW Report. 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  14. ^ "Miss Gay Heart of America History". Miss Gay Heart America. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Coco Montrese". Our Community Roots. 20 Jun 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  16. ^ Jung, E. Alex (28 Jun 2016). "Dancing on the RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race Float at NYC Pride". Vulture. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Coco Montrese". Our Community Roots. 2018-04-28. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  18. ^ a b "Miss Gay America Competition History". Miss Gay America. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  19. ^ Reynolds, Daniel (26 Aug 2016). "Last Words With Drag Race's Coco Montrese". Advocate. Retrieved 16 June 2017.

External links[edit]