Who are Zaldy Goco and Nico Santos? A Look At The Filipinos Who Made It To Variety’s Power of Pride List

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ICYMI, Variety.com has released their 2021 Power of Pride List to celebrate trailblazing LGBTQ+ members in the US entertainment industry. 

Alongside names like Eliot Page, Lil Nas X, Demi Lovato, and more, two outstanding queer Filipinos made it to the list: fashion designer Zaldy Goco and actor Nico Santos.

We break down these two names that you really ought to know by now.

Zaldy

If you’re a big RuPaul’s Drag Race fan, chances are you’ve heard of this impeccable Filipino-American designer of the show’s host and namesake.

Simply known as Zaldy in the industry, he’s won three consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Costumes for his work in the show. Before he entered the drag race scene though, the New York-based creative has also been a consistent concert designer. His impressive clientele ranges from Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, to Lady Gaga. 

He’s also worked on the zany costumes for hit singing reality show The Masked Singer.

Check out Zaldy’s works at @zaldynyc

Nico Santos

From being a Crazy Rich Asian to portraying a frustrated sales associate, Fil-Am actor Nico Santos has proven that he has the range to make it big in the industry.

Most people may know him best as Oliver T’sien, his role as the sassy but sophisticated sales associate Mateo Santos in Superstore, The NBC series touches on topics such as racism and working as an illegal immigrant in Trump’s America—topics close to Nico’s heart.

Santos was born in Manila and grew up in Parañaque City until their family moved to Oregon when he was 16. He is now happily living with his partner, writer Zeke Smith.

“As a Filipino and as a gay person, to be able to portray complex and real queer Asian characters is important to me,” Nico had shared on the importance of having Asian LGBTQ+ members on screen.  

“I have never seen myself on television or movies. I always thought when I got into this industry that I was going to have to hide all of that and play down my Asianness and queerness.”