In the heart of Naarm, Melbourne’s rich tapestry of cultures, a vivacious ballroom scene comes to life, and at its very core stands Angel Fabienne Estrada, a trailblazer and charismatic visionary.

Angel’s unwavering mission is to forge new horizons by crafting spaces that embrace and celebrate the diversity of the QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous People of Colour) community. Through their tireless efforts, they are authoring a narrative of resilience, inclusivity, and the art of community building.

Angel thrives as a pivotal figure in the Naarm ballroom scene, actively involved in Melbourne’s flourishing ballroom culture. Together with business partner Karina, they orchestrate events through their business, Corasazón Collective
(, pioneering cutting-edge safe havens specifically for the QTBIPOC community. Their mission extends beyond providing a platform; it’s about ensuring that every individual finds their rightful place of belonging.

Angel’s journey in the ballroom began when the community was still in its nascent stages. Fondly recalling a humble gathering near the iconic Art House, only a handful of performers, Angel among them, graced the dance floor. The community’s growth parallels the remarkable evolution of trans women and femme queens, highlighting the spirit of inclusivity and an unstoppable march of progress.

For Angel, ballroom culture carries profound significance. They emphasize that, “Ballroom isn’t for everyone,” describing it as a culture born from the struggles and experiences of marginalized individuals. It’s a space forged in the crucible of oppression, identity conflicts, and the relentless pursuit of authenticity. For queer people of colour, especially trans individuals, ballroom serves as a sanctuary where self-worth and empowerment are celebrated. Angel underscores the importance of understanding the culture’s origins and the pain that gave birth to this vibrant community.

Australians often find inspiration in international trends and events, from parties to cultural phenomena. However, as Angel aptly points out, there’s a unique Australian style and perspective waiting to be celebrated. They highlight the importance of cultivating an identity that is distinctly Australian, especially in the realm of ballroom. Angel’s words remind us that while other countries like New York or Paris may excel in their own right, Australia has the opportunity to craft its version of ballroom that reflects its rich diversity and unique character. It’s about fostering a homegrown ballroom culture that stands on its own merits, not just emulating others but embracing what makes Australia – and its QTBIPOC community – exceptional.

Angel’s commitment to community inclusivity is vividly expressed through their events. They proudly adhere to the principle of ‘perreo con ética,’ which translates to ‘partying with purpose.’

“For every event that isn’t a ballroom night, we put a portion of ticket sales into charity, helping give back to community.

That’s the main thing I want from each event that we run. We want to create a positive cycle. It makes it worth you buying a ticket. Sometimes the tickets are around 20 bucks, but then you know that $5 of that is going to this trans woman who needs her gender affirmation surgery. That’s a good feeling.”

Angel’s journey has been marked by challenges, their restrictive religious upbringing posed a significant inner conflict, pushing them to navigate a path to self-acceptance.

Angel candidly admits:

“I didn’t think I would live past 30,” acknowledging the depth of their confusion and the darkness that once enveloped their life. Yet, the transformative power of ballroom, self-love, and self-acceptance illuminated the path to a brighter future.

For those currently navigating similar experiences, Angel offers sage advice, emphasizing the importance of self-discovery and self-acceptance, portraying their journey as a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the possibility of breaking free from restrictive environments.

One of Angel’s most triumphant moments epitomizes their unwavering commitment to nurturing vibrant community spaces. They warmly reflect on their inaugural event, a tribute to the iconic Selena, a monumental milestone in their journey. The unanticipated turnout and the fervent embrace from attendees filled Angel with an overwhelming sense of pride. This event not only marked the inception of a triumphant series of gatherings but also illuminated the vast potential of their transformative events.

Interestingly, when Angel first began creating events, their primary focus wasn’t about selling out. Their aim was to craft memorable, wholesome, and entertaining spaces for the community. However, the remarkable success of these events has allowed them to reinvest in their mission and make a profoundly positive impact on the community.

Angel’s vision for the future is as ambitious as it is inspiring. They aspire to expand their events, envisioning larger festivals that celebrate trans and POC communities. Their ultimate goal is to showcase diverse perspectives of queer culture, emphasizing that there is no singular path to being queer.

Angel’s journey serves as a compelling testament to the power of resilience, self-discovery, and community building.

In a world where diversity and inclusivity are paramount, their story stands as a poignant reminder that self-acceptance and community empowerment are pivotal steps toward creating a better and more vibrant society. Angel’s work continues to make a positive impact on the world, proving that one person’s dedication can truly change lives and foster a more inclusive and supportive community for everyone.


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About Author

Walton Wong

Meet Walton Wong - a 28-year-old, Melbourne-based part-time writer and full-time hot mess.

He is a homebody at heart who enjoys binge eating, drinking cocktails, and memorising the words to real housewife fights, often simultaneously.

Walton is originally from Papua New Guinea, which means he brings a unique – and welcomed – perspective to the Gay’s Guide team.

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