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Esteban Alberto Martinez-Evangelista, commonly known as Lil Papi, is a young man who, having lived long on the streets of New York City, is taken into the wings of Blanca Rodriguez and her new house. Against the rules for his keep, he regularly sold drugs in secret to stay afloat. When he caught and forced out of the house, Papi relocates to Pito, continuing to deal on the streets until his arrest prompted him to find a new home within the ballroom community, briefly in the House of Ferocity but being brought back to Evangelista.

Esteban managed to receive his GED through the years back in Evangelista and becomes romantically invested in Angel. He supported her career path into modeling, wishing to take on the role of manager.


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Early Life

Papi had previously lived between foster families before he eventually left to the streets; he also dropped out of high school. While in New York City, he befriends Pito, who took him in, giving him the opportunity to sell and distribute drugs; Papi had also engaged in one sexual encounter with a man.[2][3]

Joining Evangelista

Having witnessed newcomers House Evangelista challenge legendary House Abundance, Lil Papi approached Blanca Rodriguez and her children outside the Ballroom, requesting to join their house. Though he was informed that they had not won the walk, Papi wished to join now and work alongside them. Before he briefly left to retrieve his belongings, he was informed by Angel that the house had rules that included no use or distribution of drugs, no gentleman calls, and any collected resources are shared amongst the children.[4]


Papi encountered and walked with Damon, in which the two conversed about the trip to watch ballet on stage. When asked to see him someday performing, Papi joked about the price of attending. A whistle redirects his attention to a man with whom he offered drugs. Though Damon warned about selling drugs publicly, Papi informed Damon that Blanca could only know if he were to speak about it. The two eventually separate, Papi riding his skateboard away.[5]

Christmas & Snow Ball

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Late for the Ball, Papi answered a call from a woman at the door. After asking if she was an undercover police officer, he attempts to offer her marijuana; though she asked about Angel and offered to drive him to the Ballroom, Papi excitedly grabbed his jacket and hurried. He also persuaded her to join in entering the building before regrouping with House Evangelista.[7]


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Ballroom Victory

Readying to walk in the upcoming Ball category, Papi and others once more commented on Pray Tell playing Love Is The Message again, though Blanca informed them that Costas Perez had passed away recently and to be sympathetic of his grieving. Dressed in a green track clothing and chains, Papi walked on the floor and found himself astonished as the judges gave him a perfect ten score, winning Grand Prize.[8]

Souring Decisions


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Disowned from Blanca

Blanca discovers Lil Papi's pager. She questions Angel, Damon, and Ricky with Ricky eventually breaking and telling her that Lil Papi had been dealing drugs and kicks him out of the house forcing him to return to living on the streets.[2]

Arrest and Release

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Joining Ferocity

Lil Papi encountered Blanca outside the ballroom halls. He disclosed that he had been arrested a night prior and moved away from selling drugs; he also informed her that he joined a different house headed by Lulu and Candy Ferocity.[2]

Returning to Evangelista

Attending the balls for the night, Papi continued to serve his Mothers Lulu and Candy Ferocity; missing Lulu's drink order, he was ridiculed, though he blamed that the music left him unable to know what she wanted. Papi, then, watched as Elektra Evangelista approached to co-Mothers of Ferocity and began to read them both in the presence of ball attendees and the other children of their house, he standing in shock and awe. He was invited to leave the House of Ferocity, rejoining the House of Evangelista, which he agreed to do. He was followed by Cubby and Lemar.

Set to perform a house challenge against the House of Ferocity, he participated alongside Ricky in displaying butch queen realness.[9]

Papi, under Blanca Evangelista's guidance, finished his education, receiving a GED.[10]

Flourishing Romance

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Papi grows closer to Angel, slowly builds a relationship with her. In the season 2 finale, He decides to have his own modeling agency for young and aspiring transwomen and be Angel's manager, so she can continue her modeling career.[11]

Business Venture

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Wedding Preparations

Emotional Setbacks

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Lil Papi is street-wise and savvy. He has a playful and optimistic attitude and has a sibling relationship with the children of the House of Evangelista.



  • Marisol: While homeless in New York City, Papi was romantically involved with another young, homeless girl he met. Their relationship fluctated through the years due to Marisol's drug addiction; unable to commit to cure herself of the habit, he left the relationship, unaware of her pregnancy, birth of their child and eventual death through overdose.
  • Angel: Though they initially started out as a sibling bond between the two of them, Papi and Angel gradually developed their relationship after Papi's return to Evangelista. Maturing, he often created different modeling polaroids of Angel at home, some later used an attempt of Angel seeking a modeling career. Growing protective of Angel, he, alongside Blanca Evangelista, went after a perverted photographer that clocked, photographed, and threatened her when she was unable to pay for her photos, withholding explicit material of her. Dealing with Angel's upset from being rejected by the modeling agency, Papi and Angel began a romantic relationship, though it became strained due to mixed signals and missed dating opportunities. Despite this, he supports Angel's decision to pursue her career.


  • Pito: Papi was momentarily cared for under Pito after running away from a previous foster home in New York City. While under his roof, the two dealt heavily in drug distributing on the streets.
  • Blanca Rodriguez: Papi joins the House of Evangelista but after being caught selling drugs he is kicked out by house mother, Blanca. After a short period of time, Blanca offers for Papi to rejoin the house however he has already joined the House of Ferocity by this point. He, eventually, rejoins House Evangelista after being pushed around by Candy & Lulu.
  • Damon Richards: Damon frequents a sibling-like relationship between both Papi and Angel since living under the House of Evangelista.
  • Pray Tell: Pray Tell, like much of the ballroom community, acts as a paternal figure to Papi and Damon, providing advice and support for each of them.
  • Ricky:Both having lived in the streets prior to their joining to House Evangelista, the two have kept their distances but harbor some knowledge of the others' transactions before and after becoming house siblings. When pressured by Blanca to speak on Papi's behavior on suspicions of selling drugs behind her back, Ricky confessed to witnessing him deal under the fear of being removed from the house. The two boys also became antagonistic on a comment Papi made about his sexual demeanor that affected his relationship with Damon.
  • Miss Ford: In a passionate push to establish his business and aid in Angel's modeling career, Papi forged a partnership with Miss Ford's agency, setting himself in the position of a talent agent.


  • Lulu and Candy Ferocity: Papi sought the House of Ferocity post-release from jail for a possible drug connection. Escaping the life as a dealer but wanting to avoid Blanca Evangelista, he was taken in by the co-House Mothers Lulu and Candy. The interactions becomes volatile with time, as the mothers continously treat Papi as a servant rather than a child under their care, leading him to leave the house with Elektra Abundance back to the House of Evangelista.



  • Lil Papi expressed being an equal-opportunity lover.

Behind the Scenes