Jakki Love

Jakki Love is a darling queen who is only 22. She hasn’t been in the game for a long time but has already made waves in local bars and Chicago’s drag scene. Claiming the titles of Ms. Gay Bloomingtin 2020 and Ms.Gay US of A Illinois first alternative, While still managing a college career and working full time.

Mico-podcast: Featured excerpts from interview.
Full Interview

Transcript of Full Interview

To cite this particular interview, please use the following:
Dornbach, Baylee. 2021. Interview with Jakki Love. The Art of Drag, SIUE. April 10th. 

Baylee: Should be recording now. 

Jakki: Yes. I see that in the upper left corner. 

Baylee: I’ve never had to do that. I’ve been in the zooms where other people recorded, but I’ve never had to record. So that was, yeah. Um, what’s your major? 

Jakki: Yeah so, I am a mass communications major with a focus in media management, promotions and sales. And then I did my time at theater. So I do have a theater minor. 

Baylee: I love that. Is theater like– did you do theater in high school? Like you were in drama and now you’re in college, is it like a big difference? 

Jakki: Yes. Which, I will continue my answer. I actually have to switch over to this router. I have two routers in my apartment it’s– I just want to make sure we won’t have a loss of connection. So give me one second. 

Baylee: No problem. 

Jakki: Alright. I should be back now. 

Baylee: Yep, I can see you. 

Jakki: Cool. But yeah, so um, what was your question? I’m sorry. 

Baylee: Um, Is theater –

Jakki: Theater. Oh, yes. 

Baylee: -from high school different than college? 

Jakki: Oh definitely. I think that, like theater as a career, was definitely not for me. And I mean, probably as your interview questions go on I’ll probably answer that anyways. Um, I just thought that I needed a performance outlet and a creative outlet through theater. Like I was like, Oh my god, I love doing this, and this is going to be my career forever. And then I said, no, I hate this. And then I left. Um yeah, and then I ended up leaving, so now I love it so much better. 

Baylee: Mass comm is just like, it’s always an amazing degree to have, because there’s so many, like so many things you can do. And I think that’s the best kind of degree is one that you are not limited. 

Jakki: Yeah. So what’s your major in? 

Baylee: Um, mine’s Psychology. And then I have a minor in Sociology, which is why we are here today because I’m in The Art of Drag, which is a Sociology course at SIUE. This is like the second year he’s taught it. Um, but it’s—it’s really good. We watch Drag Race on Fridays and we’re watching season nine. 

Jakki: That’s so interesting. Like what other stuff do you watch other than just like Drag Race? 

Baylee: We watched Paris is Burning. He shows us different music videos from different drag queens. Like queens that were on Drag Race and like different – like different videos and –

Jakki: Have you seen Party Monster yet? 

Baylee: Yes, I think so. 

Jakki: That is Michael Alig and St. James- James St. James, talking about the club kid scene back when RuPaul- before RuPaul was famous. 

Baylee: It sounds familiar. We did, like, that was like in the beginning of the semester. We did a lot of like, Paris is Burning, and like looking at RuPaul before and after. And like, it’s funny because he referred to him as Charles for the first few classes. And at first I was like, who are we talking about? Cause like no one ever calls him Charles. 

Jakki: Right. RuPaul/Charles. Yeah I know. It’s so interesting because I feel like Ru is definitely, um one of the queens that kind of use their own name for their drag name, which is like who you refer to them as in and out of character. Is it a character? Is there an extension of them? All the fun questions to try and ask. 

Baylee: Don’t you do the same? Like isn’t your-

Jakki: No.

Baylee: So what is your real name? 

Jakki: So my government name is Jeremy. 

Baylee: Jeremy. Okay. So then your drag name is Jakki Love right? Is that how you pronounce it? 

Jakki: Mmhmm 

Baylee: Okay. I just love the spelling. I thought it was so cute. 

Jakki: Yeah, so um. I don’t know. Do you–Is there a certain way you want to start? Sorry. I was like- I feel like the answer, or some of the answers that I’ll have right now- I want to make sure that you are able to – if you have like a formula. I don’t want to mess that up. 

Baylee: For sure. Okay. So we can start with the first question. When did you first hear about drag and what was your initial reaction to it? Do you remember the first time? 

Jakki: Yeah. So I’m a younger person. I’m 22, even though I’d say I’m old. I am younger. I should- I have to tell myself I’m a younger person. So I learned about drag actually in, okay- side note. How explicit can I talk? Cause I want to make sure that I’m like – that I also want to be- 

Baylee: Honestly, I think you can be as real as you want to be because the bottom line is that’s what life is you know? Like, I don’t think that there’s – I don’t think my professor would be happy if I told you to sugar coat things if that makes sense. 

Jakki: Cool.

Baylee: So if you want to do you, that’s okay. When I make the transcript, I can always like – not spell out the whole word or something. 

Jakki: So I learned what drag was, as probably not the right age to be looking at this. But I was on YouTube and I was probably around- I’m so bad with times- probably like ten. Maybe a little bit younger, maybe a little bit older. I was around that pre-tween/tween age. And Willam Detox and Vicky Vox had a song on YouTube called This Boys a Bottom. And it’s essentially a parody on – oh what song- Alicia Keys. It’s a parody of Alica Keys, This Girl on Fire. I just like talking about like- so if you’re not familiar, a bottom is a sex postion for the most part. And it’s just like someone who is submissive and it’s usually someone who is not – I’m sorry. That is not correct. That is not correct. A bottom is just a sex positon with you – primarily, being on the bottom, usually receiving anal. And in the gay world, bottoms are used as – and this is why I correct myself – bottoms are used, the word– If you’re like coded as a bottom, I feel like it’s more of a like a derogatory term, but like a derogatory term in gay terms. So it’s like, oh you’re submissive. Like you’re the girl, you’re the femme, you’re the weak one in the relationship, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that’s just like a gay stigma that you need to get over. Anyways, not that point of the question, but I was watching This Boy is a Bottom, and so it was just like – I was like, I saw these people and I was like, what is this like? Are these women? Like I didn’t understand it. And then I saw another clip, I believe it was on Tumblr at the time. 

Baylee: Good ol’ Tumblr. 

Jakki: I know. Um it was on Tumblr and it was the clip from Drag-U, and it was Raven and JuJubee, and it was the whole clip of, ‘Is that my ring?’. So it was like a little clip of like, uh, JuJubee and Raven going back and forth about how JuJubee stole Raven’s -or Raven stole JuJubee’s ring, but it wasn’t actually Juju’s ring. It was Raven’s ring, but JuJubee wanted the ring, so she pretended that Raven stole it. Funny video. Um, but that is from Drag-U. So that is how I discovered it as the first part. And I was like- Oh, okay. I’ve seen, I, okay. Like, this is new, I’m seeing this for the first time. And then when I was older, about my sophomore year -I think it was about my sophomore year of high school, season seven of drag race was happening, and it was the final three between Violet -spoiler, I guess, uh, – Violet, Ginger and Pearl. 

Baylee:  I’ve seen that one 

Jakki: Yeah.

Baylee: You’re fine, you’re fine. 

Jakki:  Um, my friend Abby. Was watching it. And she was like, Oh, be team Pearl, be team Pearl. And I was like, okay, I don’t know what this means, but sure. We’re going to be team Pearl. And so I kind of watched the, I don’t think I’ve watched the finale, but I saw the outcome of who won. And then what ended up happening is I went back and started watching new seasons. And then I watched season eight live as it was happening. Um, so that was kind of my start with drag as I guess like a younger white gay of just like, Hey, Drag Race this is fun. Um, so that was kind of my introduction to drag

Baylee: That music video that you’re talking about, we actually watched in class, and we’ve watched Drag-U too. Because I remember that music video, and as soon as you said that, I was like, I’ve seen that. I have. It’s a great one. 

Jakki: It is. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, as like- yeah. Yes, it’s good, it’s a good one. Let’s just keep it at that. 

Baylee: Also, you don’t have to worry ‘cause my professor’s talked about tops and bottoms in class too. Plus like, I mean like, I know anyways ‘cause I’m a lesbian, so shocker. Um, I was just like, no, I wanted to hear your—your description no matter what. Like I wanted to know, because I think it’s always interesting to know what other gays think. Like, I think it’s because everybody knows the same terminology, but everyone has a slight variation. 

Jakki: Right. And I also say this, like I guess I also am thinking of my editorial side, that I’m like- I like to explain the terms as I’m speaking. Cause I know if this is getting published to something like, obviously this is code language that we all know, but if someone is reading your work, or reading or listening to your work as you’re interviewing me. I just want us to like- I’m involved in so many damn student organizations that I’m always like, I have to be this, and show this representation and blah, blah, blah. So if I am doing too much, please let me know because- 

Baylee: No, I love it. I love that you are doing too much. I don’t even think you are. You’re doing fine. Okay.

Jakki: Yeah. I can also be more personable. Thank you for giving me that pass. 

Baylee: The next question is when did you start performing as a drag artist and why did you start performing? 

Jakki: Yeah, so I started in March of – wow, I guess it would be three years now. So three, about three years ago, my gay little ass was performing at a show called Gender Galleries. And what Gender Galleries primarily is, at the time, now it’s a little bit different this semester because we’re online, but it showcases under 21 performers. Because as you know, the art of drag is a very fun art, but it is limited on who can be a part of it for the most part, I feel like. So obviously online, and out of the bar, anyone has accessibility to do drag, but if you want to start getting – I feel like if you want to be famous, and if you want to start getting your name out there you need to perform in a bar. Well, the time of the internet is really tricky. Um, but before TikTok, it was definitely more– it was harder to get recognition and do drag and to understand what drag is unless you went inside a bar, and drag does not allow for under 21 for whatever reason, for the most part, because drag is a bar scene and you’re not 21 you can’t go into a bar. So the Gender Galleries gave the opportunity to give under 21, all performers, there’s a priority towards 21 under but it wasn’t just for them. And it was just like a space where people could do drag. So I had my first opportunity at Gender Galleries and I – what—you’re second question was why do you continue? 

Baylee: No. The second question was, why did you start?

Jakki: Why did I start? Yeah. So I started at Gender Galleries and I- the reason I started is because I have like a fascination with drag, like throughout high school. I was talking about before, and I was actually a part of Instagram Lip-Sync Races, which was really cringy. Um, it was essentially like drag without the theatrics. Like I don’t know it was, it was fun to do. But looking back at it it’s like I don’t think I’d ever do that. I do that, I would do that at the age I was at. So like 16 and older, but I would not do that as a 21 like 19 plus, no. But, so I was doing Instagram Lip-Sync Races. So it was essentially someone gave you a song and you record yourself lip-syncing to it. So I was like performing that way. And then I ended up like, just watching Drag Race, being like a Drag Race super fan. And I was like, oh I don’t know if I ever want to do it. But it’s like fun. Like I – I kind of want to try it. And when I was at my home at the time, I didn’t necessarily have the space to like explore drag. ‘Cause my family- I wasn’t like fully out, nor like- I was like- no, yeah, I wasn’t out when I was living at home and you know, I can’t do drag. It’s not even like, they don’t even know that I’m getting it. How are they gonna know that I like, want to dress up as another gender, or all that fun stuff. So I ended up just going to ISU, continuing with Drag Race. My drag mother, uh, Holy Marina, I ended up following her on Instagram and saw that she went to ISU as well. And I said, oh my goodness, I’m going there in the fall, I hope to meet you sometime. So I’d be- I actually became a fan of someone and then became their friend, and they kind of got me into drag and got me booked at Gender Galleries. And ever since then, I just continued going strong. 

Baylee: Well that’s nice. 

Jakki: Yeah. 

Baylee: I think that –

Jakki: Reminiscing.

Baylee: – the family are a big part, a big part of everything. Um, okay. So the next question is how did your family, friends and other loved ones receive you becoming a drag artist? 

Jakki: Yeah, so as I said before, so I actually came out as gay. No. I came out as bisexual because at the time I,- 

Baylee: Don’t we all.

Jakki: I was going to say at the time I was genuinely attracted to women and it wasn’t like a thing of like, I know, you know, kind of like the gay scare where it’s just like, I’m Bi now gay later. Like I know that is like a big stigma that a lot of people have, but I believe that at the time, like in high school, I wasn’t lying to myself. That I did find women like attractive, now I just don’t. And I think aside from the question that you didn’t even ask me, but sexuality in general, I think it’s just like a whole spectrum that needs re-evaluation. That like, you don’t have to just stick to like being gay. Like I think a lot of people are like being pansexual for the most part, but it’s a societal thing to like put labels on to each other and like enforce stereotype, blah blah blah.

Baylee: I totally know. I totally agree with you. Like I personally don’t really like to put labels on myself or my own sexual identity because I feel like it makes people look at you differently based on it. And that’s not- who I’m with is not who I am. 

Jakki: Right. Well it’s also just like it’s conforming to a- I don’t know, low key, I think it’s conforming to a patriarchal ideal that like you are certain types and you act a certain way, so therefore your sexuality needs to be this. And it’s like, no, it doesn’t like- I believe that when people are married to someone for so long and they end up being – end up being gay, it’s like, were they lying to themselves for so many years? Sure. Maybe. Were they not? I don’t know. Sexuality– It can develop like it’s a trait that people develop over time. Like why does that – why is it only certain things that are like black and white, but everything else can be fair game, like. Whatever. Anyways, um, so when I came out as gay, like I came out to my dad on the phone on national coming out day and I was like, “I need to tell you something.” I wasn’t crying- but I was like, “I need to tell you something, I’m gay. No, I’m Bi.” He was like, “Oh okay, I kind of knew that.” And then I said, “Okay, cool.” I was like as long as you know that, I was like, then it’s fair. I’d rather him say, I- which personally, I’m kind of like, I don’t really care people assume. I know it is dangerous to assume, like to say like, “Oh we already knew.” ‘Cause it’s like, okay, that’s kind of a slap in the face. But like, I was really happy when my dad said that because I was like, I’d rather him respond than that – then be like don’t ever come home. Um, when I came out, so I actually came out to my Aunt Leslie first and she was– she like changed the subject, but it wasn’t like in a demanding spiteful way. It was like, a, okay, it doesn’t change the way I’m going to treat you. Like let’s just continue talking. It’s not a big deal to me. Um, so like part of me was like really happy to get that. But then part of me was like, no. I want to talk about this. Like no, I want to- let’s talk. Like, not just change the subject. I mean she didn’t fully change the subject, but that’s how that happened. That was in high school. And then I just kinda came out to like my family here and there. And then other than that, like I think my friends kinda knew at a point. I never received any backlash from anyone that was like, “Oh you’re gay, you’re um, this, that and the other.” But I will say when I did come out, come out as a drag queen, when I started doing drag and being more open about it, I did receive a lot of backlash. Um, not in a, “you’re getting separated from the family, we’re not talking to you” type of way, but definitely as in like a “oh you want to do that? You sure you want to do that? Okay…”

Baylee: Like a side eye?

Jakki: Yeah. So, um, is it one of your questions, how I got my drag name? 

Baylee: That’s the next question. Where does your drag name come from? 

Jakki: So these two will tie into each other. So I got my drag name, Jakki Love– I got my drag name from my mother. My mom passed away when I was seven-years-old and it was two days right before my birthday. So I was seven about to turn eight. And her name was Jack- I can’t even say her name, Jacqueline Kim Wilson. Hello, full government. Let me just give her social security moment too. Um, but yeah, so her name was Jacqueline and she always had different spellings of the name Jackie. And when- before she passed, she spelled her name J A K K I. And so, for me, I’ve always kind of had like my mother’s spirit around. ‘Cause she was someone who I idolize and still to this day idolize on what she was given to the world and what she gave and who she was. So for me, I was thinking like, because drag is like the female impersonation of it, I wanted to incorporate her as in like another thing to have her next to me. Now, I’m not like a cis male. Like I identify as a man, but I’m also non-binary. So I do identify as they/them. My preferred pronouns are he/they. But I really—I think I’m more on the they side. And so for me, that’s why I was like embracing the femininity because I wasn’t able to fully do that when I was younger. And so when my dad and my two brothers heard that, they got really mad at me that I decided to choose the name Jakki, cause they thought that I was like, tarnishing her name, or turning it into something else and kind of having that selfish viewpoint. And I was like, you know, I hear what you’re saying, but I’m going to have to be the one to say, it’s not about you in this moment. Like it’s about me, and how I choose to live my life and how I choose to embrace a memory of my past—of my past mother. So although you all are very sensitive about the subject, this is how I reclaim the death. This is how I push strong to keep her by my side. Like, I’m sorry that you have your own idea and your own viewpoint of our mom, but this is mine and this is what I want to continue, you know? So on that side it was like really negative. Um, they- my brother Nick actually ended up coming to my first drag show.

Jakki: So it’s definitely not a thing of, they don’t want to see it. It’s a thing that- well my dad is also very like …. About it. Like he’s been like, he really would be like, ‘ooh’. But I’ve never had like the experience of like being beaten or like told I’m fucking disgusting and this stuff like that. Like something I do appreciate and love about my dad is like, although he doesn’t get it at first, and he’s very vocal about not getting it at first, he does always come around to understand it. So I think it’s still like a thing to see me in drag. He doesn’t necessarily want to see me dressed up as like a quote-unquote woman, but I– I know that over time, he’s going to become more comfortable with it because he’s already been very comfortable with it. So at the start, like, it was very like, why are you doing this? This is gross, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then I ended up winning a pageant, um, last year. And I was going to co-compete in Texas. And it was really big of him to like, make a Facebook post saying how proud he is of me, like as like a drag artist. And I was like, what, that is so like full circle. 

Baylee: That’s so sweet

Jakki: And something that is also really crazy is like, I’m – you know how we’re graduating soon. So my–we’re having a walking ceremony and I was– I had the opportunity and the privilege to be fully vaccinated. So I was like, I’m vaccinated and keeping safe. I might as well go and walk cause they’re having a walking ceremony. So I’m actually gonna walk in full drag. And that is also like a big step because I was like, I know I’m doing it for myself in like a selfish way, but like I had to let my dad know that is going to happen and I want him to be there, but like, you know, I’m going to be in drag so be prepared for that. And he was like, “I mean, I’m not going to stop you. Like this is your thing. Like okay.” So, I think coming full circle from that is definitely really special, and I hold it to my heart. 

Jakki: Um, as far as like my Aunt Leslie, like she was really supportive and loving. So, my mom has 11 siblings, and I was like pretty close to– so my Aunt Leslie is my–technically my godmother, and I’m not religious, but I always treated her as like a second mother. And so she lives over in Champaign right now. And um, so I’ve always come to her close, and she’s always been supportive of me and loved me and blah, blah, blah. So like when I started doing it, like she was of course, like uh, one of the number one fans. And um, she’s just older. So she– she would like come out to the bars, but it wasn’t like her favorite thing. ‘Cause it’s very loud to her and like, she’s very like sound sensitive and very, uh, she’s just older. So like she’ll come out and, you know, hang out, come show her face for like an hour, half hour and then head out. And I think that’s more than enough for me honestly cause it’s like, I mean. As long as you’re there and showing up and– She would also rather like, take me out to dinner after, or like take me out to dinner before, or like take care of me before, just because the events like they just get overstimulating. 

Jakki: And I, you know, I respect that, but she’s always been there for me and been a supporter. And like whenever my, uh cousin Ray, is giving away stuff, my Aunt Leslie’s just like, you want this? And we have some fun stuff you could probably use for your drag or, you know, she’s always like trying to re-gift things because she has her own like philosophy of just like reusing, reducing, uh if someone else can use it, give it up, you know. That kind of idea. So, I was always given stuff that they were getting rid of, but now it’s always just like, oh, I found this, this might be useful for your drag, blah, blah, blah. And she gave me a sewing machine, which I use now and, you know, sew a bunch of outfits and everything. And um, yeah, so overall, like, uh, other than like the little hesitation from my dad, like I haven’t had a problem. I think my grandparents who are really, really older, like I was really surprised that they’re not like up in arms about it. But they’re also actually like a little bit on the, um–keep it, not like keep it behind closed doors, but it’s like we’re not just going to address the problems in here, but we’re – we love you no matter what type of thing. So it’s like, even if they disagree with it, they might make some comments here and there, but I’ve never had a problem with like my grandparents saying anything. Like, what you do is disgusting, what you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Now, if they said something behind my back, that’s a different story. Do I think that they have? No. Well, maybe shady comments, but not like anything detrimental. But for the most part, all friends and family that I’ve had are very supportive. 

Jakki: I never had any friends that weren’t like, wait, why would you do this? This is weird. This is this, that and the other. Because if they did, I wouldn’t be their friend. Um, I’ve always had supportive friends and although I always do too much, um, I know like they do a lot for me as well. So, um, yeah, no. Nothing really bad has happened. 

Jakki: And then that was kind of the origin story of my drag name. Oh. So I got my drag name– so I can help if you’re– if you’re typing this up, it’s going to be it for the second question. So I got my drag name from my mom. I also didn’t want something stupid, like Wacky Jackie. Cause I like drag and needed something to roll off the tongue. And I was like, oh god, I don’t want to just be Jakki. I want to like incorporate something. And I ended up choosing Jakki Love because it not only represents my love towards her, it’s just like loving what she did. What I think love also is an extension of like what I want to give to the world and my love of drag, and my love of, entertainment, and my love of just what I do in my passion. So when you step out to the– when I step out to the stage and showcase Jakki Love, like I’m here to just show the love and enthusiasm that I have, but also literally sharing the love with the room. And that’s something that I love, you know? Yeah. I just didn’t want something stupid like Wacky Jakki. Here comes Wacky Jakki on the stage, like okay. 

Baylee: Your name is everything. And you could end up getting a name like Alaska and you don’t even say the other half of your name, because yeah. Like half the time Alaska doesn’t even say her full name. So, but I mean, you know she got that from actually a weed strain. 

Jakki: Yeah. 

Baylee: Yeah. When I heard that I was like, that’s so funny. Okay. The next question is very long, so if I need to repeat it just let me know.

Jakki: Sounds good. 

Baylee: There’s a lot of terms and types of styles for drags, from Drag Queens to Drag Kings, to Glamor Queens, and others or no- Male Impersonators, Comedy Queens, Bearded Queens, Queer Artists, Bio-Queens and Camp Queens among others. Are there particular labels you would like to use to characterize your drag? What kind of drag do you do? And what is your style of drag? 

Jakki: Yeah, so I always love to critique. So I’ll say for myself, and then I’ll say for those other labels as well. So for me, like I think drag is drag and anyone can have accessibility to it. I identify as a drag queen because I feel like I am more of like a female, um female impersonator, like quote-unquote female impersonator. Because you know what exactly is a female? Um, so for me, I definitely feel like a queen. Very feminine, very embracing that. So my style, I always call myself a drag queen. Now, if there is a space for other people who are not drag queens, so like male impersonators, and stuff like that, I would just call myself a drag artist. 

Jakki: Now overall, I believe that the labels are good, but also kind of bad at the same time. I think there’s some outdated ones. I know you said Bio-Queen, like, I don’t think that is a term that should be used as much because it’s saying that you’re biologically a female which leaves out like trans-people. And it’s like what exactly is like a Bio-Queen? And so, uh, newer terms that we started is AFAB or AMAB. So assigned male at birth, assigned female at birth. Just so it gives more of a, um opportunity just in that like you’re biologically a female, like what does that even mean? Like, because if it’s a standard of what science says, science says a lot of it is non-binary. Like there are non-binary people, there are intersex people like these types of labels exist, but a lot of the time we choose to ignore them. 

Jakki: And so a lot of the- I think overall, we’re all drag artists because the art of drag is just the exaggeration of gender expression. So I don’t believe you need to be a man, born a man, and you have to do a female impersonation in order to be a drag performer. And you also don’t need to be a man to be a Drag Queen. Like there are successful Drag Queens out there, Creme Fatale. Um, uh, two of the names that I come to mind. They’re just like AFAB performers or AFAB people who are Drag Queens. And then you have just Drag Kings, who are like completely underrepresented. Like I don’t hear about any of them. Like that’s– that’s a problem. Um, I mean thank goodness Tenderoni, who is a famous Drag King in Chicago, just won Drag Queen of the year at Alaska’s pageant and really helped with the representation of drag artists all over. And you have Landon Cider who just won Dragula season three. And I just think it’s like important to understand where these labels come from and understanding how they can develop. Because as time goes on, we realize that everything is evolving and gender doesn’t need to be just tied to – or drag performance and gender expression should not be tied to sex and your sex organs and stuff like that. 

Jakki: And I feel like that is a lot of the narrative still looks like -Drag Queens so how’s it feel to tuck? It’s like, what do you- you don’t need to tuck to be considered a drag queen. And even with like trans, uh, performers like Aurora Sexton, like she’s fully a drag queen. She happens to be trans, but she’s also a drag queen. Like she, they don’t need to be like labeled. And they don’t need to be excluded from this, that and the other. Like it is what it is. But that’s my own low philosophy talk about that. I’m a drag artist, drag queen. Very femme, hello, royalty, you know all that selfishness. 

Baylee: So you would say that your style is just drag?

Jakki: Style, sorry. I always get stuck in tangents. Okay so my style for me, that’s something I’m still discovering. I just know that when I’m in drag, I love to be very pretty and like my definition of pretty is not– definitely not what other people’s definition of pretty is. Um, but I think I was kind of stunted growing up, not being able to explore my queerness because I just don’t know fashion. So I just don’t know what looks right. Um, but I try to be very- I like the Campy Comedy side to things. Um, I consider my kind of comedy as like a dad pun. Like dad joke humor, and I kind of like to explore that in my drag. But if you go on my Instagram, it’s mostly just like, for the most part, cookie cutter drag of like, I am feeling pretty in this and I want to look glamorous. So I think my style in the future, and if I were to develop with like a skill and unlimited funds, I would love to be just the high glamorous person there is without like the standards of like, you need a pad, you need to have boobs, you need this, that or the other. And like, I just want to look pretty doing what I want to do. 

Baylee: Does the type of drag that you do affect your life as a drag artist? So that’s sort of piggybacking off the last question. 

Jakki: Yeah, um, 

Baylee: Do you think it limits you to any extent? 

Jakki: Yeah, I mean, I definitely don’t think so because I’m very open as well. Like if we’re talking about the styles of drag, like I don’t mind doing something that’s like quote, unquote alternative or spooky, or something that is like quote, unquote, which I hate this term, critical fish. Like I don’t like to limit myself in what I can do. Um, if I want to paint myself green or like paint myself a certain way, like I have no problem doing that. Um, it’s just not my specialty and it’s not something that I would just necessarily do all the time. I would say like personally, I don’t like sticky stuff on my face. So like doing like SFX, of like blood dripping mouth, like you know, pipe coming out. Like I could do that for a look. It’s probably not going to be my first choice, just because I hate texture. Um, but I like to keep very open. So if there is an opportunity for me to have like a certain category that they’re looking for, of like, we want you to look like a beast, we want you to look like this. Like I was like, okay, let’s see what references I have and let’s make a look out of that. Um yeah, I just try to be open. I don’t ever limit myself. 

Baylee: And I think that that’s the best way to sort of look at it, is to try new things. Because if you get really stuck in one sort of idea, then you’re not really- you’re going to be able to like, not be able to express yourself the way that you’re able to, just so many different ways. 

Baylee: So who or what has influenced your drag? I would assume your drag mother obviously influenced your drag a lot. 

Jakki: Yeah, so I have two drag mothers actually. Um, so Holy Marina definitely helped a lot with my makeup style and kind of understanding like that glamor side. Um, I would also say like my other drag mother Kitty Banks, has also helped influence a lot of like my dance performances, and stage presence and understanding like how you obtain stage presence. But aside from those two, um I really love Bob the Drag Queen, and Monét. Those two are really- I do keep close to my heart, because when I was still understanding performance styles and understanding my drag, those were the two that I would idolize. Now I was watching Monét before she was in Drag Race. And when I heard that she got on season ten, it was so iconic. But I definitely do look up to them a lot and have an understanding of how they perform and have that. 

Jakki: I am, as far as like look wise, my boyfriend is also a drag artist. Their name is Tori Chiffon, and I really do idolize what they do with their drag, because they always have a vision. And I feel like quite honestly, if it was not for my boyfriend, I would not be in the part of my drag career now. Um, they have styled wigs upon wigs for me. They have helped me understand how to sew. They have understood me- like they just helped teach me how to do drag as they are learning themselves. And I do pay a lot of homage to them because I can say strongly, like I would not- I would not be where I am at without them. And um, they always help keep me in line. Like, does this look? Does this help my style? No. Okay cool. Um so they are definitely kind of someone who helps push to the looks to keep it a little more elevated. But as far as like my own personal point of reference, like I love like- I don’t really show to my drag, but I love like the plants and like the bright colors. And you know I have watched different animated movies and different anime and just kind of having like obscure things about it. 

Jakki: I’m a huge gamer. So it’s like understanding what types of video games. Okay, if this is a green look, this reminds me of computers and stuff, like binary code, green binary. Oh, let’s do a cool like computer look, having wires and stuff. So I try to just kind of make sure my own point of reference is a little more obscure, but that also goes back into the dad joke thing. Because if I can make a pun out of it and think of it differently–of a category differently than someone else, like, that’s something that I want to do. Like how Jan Sport came out in her tool look in tulle with power tools. Like that’s kind of the way that I think of just like, what is a different way that no one else is going to think of it. And then when they say that, they’re either going to go, that was smart. I love the reaction, or that’s so stupid you know. Like kind of just like son of a bitch, like okay, we’re doing this. 

Baylee: I think it’s, it’s always very beautiful when you can grow with somebody else and you grow together with your passion, and so, I’m really jealous for that. 

Jakki: Um, I know I definitely, uh– I love what I have and I– I try to not take advantage of it. Cause I know a lot of people don’t have it and it can, I mean not as quickly, but I mean, realistically, it probably can go at any time. 

Baylee: I think it’s always– you have to live in the moment and you have to make sure that you are thankful for everything you have with every day that comes because you don’t know what tomorrow brings. 

Jakki: Right. 

Baylee: And you don’t know how much time you have with somebody. And I think a lot of people look at like relationships negatively after they end. But the bottom line is you shared something very personal and very beautiful with that person for a while. And so it’s not- there’s no reason to look at it negatively. 

Baylee: So the next question is, do you consider your drag political? 

Jakki: Oh, of course. I feel like no matter what people say, drag is political. And although I wish it wasn’t, it is. And I think every time you get into drag you have the power to say something and that’s speaking up for something that’s right. Which people should. Um, you have the power, the privilege. I would—Not everyone. But I would say you have the power from the privilege when you’re in drag to say something and speak up because realistically you’re in drag. Like eyes are set on you, whether you want them to be or not. And it’s just sad that we have to live in a world that just because I want to put on some makeup and some hair, like I automatically become a political statement. But I believe that’s what it is. So for me, that’s like, why in this interview, I become so like teachy to you. And like I apologize if I’m trying to- 

Baylee: No, no, no. 

Jakki: [inaudible] or anything, but this is realistically, like why I talk the way I do is because drag has so much power and potential to make something of it. And I feel like some people aren’t utilizing it as much as they should be. Like, I don’t know, like a lot of gay people don’t like Drag Queens, but a lot of people idolize them. So like we have the power to help make change. Like, I don’t know. I really do believe that drag is political and I do try my best. So every time someone is going to listen to me, I’m going to talk about issues that need to be addressed. I also am like going to have a good time. So not every time I’m going to be speaking, I’m going to say like, you know we need another stimulus bill. But like, also if I have the opportunity and the space to do it, like I’m going to speak up. 

Baylee: I think a lot of it has to go back to what you were saying earlier with gender. Because gender is just so political. So anything destroying the norms surrounded by gender is going to inevitably turn more political in nature. 

Jakki: And I think also like, because gender–because drag is the freedom of expression–of gender expression, like, okay then what is gender expression and how do we evolve that? And I think that’s what comes with the political side of it. It’s–it’s– you’re giving you the opportunity in the space to speak up about stuff that needs to be talked about.  

Baylee: Um, the next question is sort of a big one. There’s three parts to it. So, I’ll read it a few times. The initial question is sort of like, can you talk about your life as a drag artist? But then there are subsections. Like are you part of a drag family? Which you’ve told me about. How often do you perform? Where do you perform? What goes into getting ready to perform? What are the biggest challenges in doing drag and being a drag artist? And is there any way or anything unique to the drag scene where you live compared to other places in the country or world? Um, also this one’s a new one. What has the Covid-19 pandemic mean for your life as a drag artist? Which you’ve sort of talked a little bit about. 

Jakki: Can you ask the first question of that? 

Baylee: Yes, so the first question is, are you a part of a drag family, house, or collective? 

Jakki: Yeah, so I’m a part of what we call the Halfway House, and it consists of myself, Kenny Banks, Holy Marina and then Jesse Jones. And then, um some people who are not in drag or drag artists– my friend, Erin, and my friend Guido. Now they do have drag personas. Arena Lee Underwood, Teener Tina Slut. Um and then my friend Guido had one. They had to–they couldn’t do drag for family reasons, it’s a, uh, situation. Anyways. Um, but yeah, so they- that’s kind of our family, that would be what, six of us. 

Jakki: And I know that they’re, I don’t know- I mean, there’s not like a reason that we don’t expand, but I would love to expand the family. And that’s kind of just like our kind of start. As we started here in Bloomington-Normal and the idea behind like the Halfway House was it wasn’t like a, we’re a household that all look alike. We have like our own different styles and different things that we do with our drag. So it’s not like you come to a show, it’s going to be, oh we’re like all high performance, high kick flips and stuff like that. Like, it’s like you’re going to get a variety of different genres and whatever. And what was the second question?

Baylee: How often do you perform and where do you perform? 

Jakki: Yeah. So, pre-pandemic, I was performing probably, like once or twice a month, depending on it. ‘Cause I was a full-time student. So it wasn’t like just drop whatever. It was like a weekend thing. And I also worked too, so it wasn’t like super easy. Um, but I performed a couple of times here at the bistro as well as Chicago. I love Chicago a lot more to perform than down here. Um, just because like the drag is more diverse. The drag is also a lot more competitive in Chicago, so you have to work harder in order to get a booking. Um, but I think overall, once or twice a month, Chicago or somewhere down here in Bloomington. 

Baylee: Okay. The next part is what goes into getting ready for your performances? 

Jakki: Yeah. So is that like how it takes to get into drag or, I’m already in drag about to go on stage? 

Baylee: I think they mean like getting into drag, like makeup, and um, costumes and things like that. And then also, I mean, like getting ready to get on stage. Like what do you have to tell yourself? Like do you- is there like something you go through, like a ritual maybe? 

Jakki: So I can answer– I can answer that. Cool. So yeah. Getting in drag, just showered, just shaved my face. Putting on my moisturizer and getting ready to go to the mug. Mug can take an hour and a half to two hours. I have like started becoming a little more speedy in it. Um, I know some people like Trixie Mattel She can do her makeup in an hour, Kim Chi can do. 

Baylee: I love Trixie. That’s my idol right there. All the Trixie’s videos I watch. Okay. Keep going. Sorry. 

Jakki: You’re fine. Um, so like for me, I would say like an hour or two hours doing my makeup. Um I have done my makeup in like an hour and 15 minutes. So like, it really just depends on, like how much time I want to give, and how quickly- so if I have to get ready quick, like we gotta do– we gotta do things a little quicker. Um, but yeah. So that’s when I just do my makeup and then getting into costumes and stuff takes about 45 minutes to an hour, probably less. I think it takes more time just to make sure my glue is secure or like what is secured. My wig is secured, um because I kind of have like my own process of just like spring gods to be putting something on there, letting it sit, letting it soak into the skin, making sure it’s not coming off. Bobby pinning it. Um, I actually have, um my pads in like spanx shorts. So I literally just put those on like a pair of shorts and then you just put on your tights. So like, that can take like 10 minutes. It really doesn’t take too long. If my tights are all laid out, I can just put them on and get going. 

Jakki: Um, so I’ll put on my padding, tights, and then depending on the piece, uh, actually I’ll say it doesn’t take me an hour. It probably takes me around 30 to 45 minutes to get into costume. And it also just depends on what I’m wearing. If it’s something like a dress, you just zip it in- slip it in, zip it on, then we’re fine. I don’t have a problem putting on heels. And then I would say the wig can always take a little bit longer. I would say the wig does take about 20 to 30 minutes because you have to let that glue sit and make sure it’s not going anywhere. Um, so if I, I have been in shows that you need to perform and then immediately go change your outfit. 

Jakki: So like, I have had like times where I’ve had to change my outfit in under 20 minutes from head to toe, not makeup, but full head to toe everything and less than like 10/20 minutes. Like it happens and you just gotta do it. Um, so I do have like that experience, but I’d say overall in drag, I like to give myself about three hours. Or if I have, you know- it depends on how, how quick I need to get ready. Um, if I know I have a drag show. I like to give myself honestly like five hours and it’s just like, if I’m done then I just get to chill out and just drink water. Go to eat, get to do that. If it’s something that I have to get ready quick, um that’s what I gotta do.

Baylee: Okay, so the next question is what are the biggest challenges when doing drag and being a drag artist? 

Jakki: I’m sorry. I forgot to ask your second question. So, before stage, I just kind of hype myself up. I’m like, I’m going to have fun. This is going to be fun. Like everybody’s going to laugh. Everyone is going to love you. Like you got this. I also miss in-person drag so much because I’m – I love my friends and I love watching it. Like I have such a love for drag and watching it and watching performances and doing that. So like, for me, I’m just like, I love to be a hype man—like a hype person, if you will. And just like, you got this, you’re gonna do amazing. Stop fucking doubting yourself. You’re that bitch. Like, get the fuck up there and you’re gonna fucking kill it. And then they go and kill it. And then I tell them, see, told you bitch.  Um, so I just like, I think more importantly for me, although drag has a very selfish and vain self, um, I think it’s also more importantly about supporting your queer friends and you know, if you’re not queer, maybe there’s straight people out there doing it. 

Jakki: Like, just support those who are doing it. Um, if they deserve the support- I mean if they’re nasty, rotted, like don’t give them the time of day. But I genuinely am like give the support to those who need it. You know. There’s a lot of doubt on like what, it’s a very selfish game out there. Like people are going to have doubts of they’re not going to be good enough and they’re not going to be this, that and the other. And it’s like, build up your friends, make friends, make this like a fun space. Don’t make this a negative competition. Like I’m better than you, look at this, that and the other. Like, what are we? We’re drag performers. We’re literally putting on costumes to get dollars from people. Like it’s not that serious. 

Baylee: Yeah. Like we’re all here to have fun, good time and express ourselves. Like not to topple over each other for no real benefit, I guess, besides, like, yeah. 

Jakki: Yeah. I just say for the most part, we’re queer people. Like we’ve already dealt with so much shit in our life. Let’s not add to it. 

Baylee: Honestly. Like there’s so much hate from the outside, why create hate on the inside? 

Jakki: Exactly. And I think also like, cause you were saying that um, which I guess is my question is, what is your preferred pronouns? 

Baylee: Um, she. She/her. 

Jakki: Uh, so my understanding is you identify as a woman and you’re a lesbian. I can sort- 

Baylee: I, so- I guess my preferred- 

Jakki: I would say queer. 

Baylee: Yeah. I mean, I go by like fluid. Just, I don’t really like to – cause I mean, I don’t really like to label it because I feel like if you say you’re bisexual, then there’s like the stigma. And if you say you’re – 

Jakki: That’s where I was about to go with that. 

Baylee: Yeah. And that’s like, where I’m sort of at, because like I’ve, I’ve sort of experienced what you’ve experienced. Let’s just, let’s just get into this. Um, I’ve experienced what you’ve experienced, where my sexuality has changed. You know, like there was a time in my life where I specifically only liked women. Like, I couldn’t feel anything for guys. It wasn’t something like I did. And then as I’ve gotten older, it’s sort of evolved more and like I’ve been back and forth, but not necessarily in a negative way. And I feel like there’s a lot of negativity with that. And even like, not from the hetero side – 

Jakki: – but from the queer side. 

Baylee: Yeah, from like all of the lesbians I was with who were like, Oh, you’re not a gold star. And I’m like, thanks. That makes me feel great. Like, so that’s why I sort of just say fluid. 

Jakki: I honestly identify as queer. And I mean, as, I guess I can say it like as a gay man, it’s I don’t really find attraction to women, but like -I just, I think like, I just always say queer, cause it’s like, I mean, I know some people think of it as like a negative. I kind of think we’re in the process of reclaiming it, but I just say credence, it just, like overall encapsulating, but yeah. What I was about to say, is this about like, this is how misogynistic the drag world is and how like transphobic the drag world is and how like exclusive it can be and how, you know, it’s just like, we’re, we’re all like creating a space that we can all feel safe and express who we are.

Jakki: Like, don’t make it into a space no one wants to be a part of. Or a very exclusive space. What’s the point like we made, I mean, like, as like a, as drag, um, artists, like–sorry, I was about to sneeze. I feel like, like as drag artists, like we already are making a space for us to feel safe and like, separated from like a straight world or stuff like that. Like why, why create a space and then make another separate space for like whatever the white passing white dominant cis gay men. It’s stupid. It’s just, that’s something that I’m like, create the space for everyone.

Baylee: And I think that there needs to be more people like that. For real, that makes me–it’s like you -we’ve, we’ve all experienced being left out of a group and then to be left out of a group that you know, that you’re supposed to be a part of. Like, it just, it, it hurts in an all different, all different way. Um, so the next one is what is the biggest challenges in doing drag and being a drag artist for you?

Jakki: Money. Oh, I would say two things, either getting booked, because sometimes it is just about connection, and it’s just really about like who you know and who wants to book you at the time. But I think more importantly, it is money. People underestimate how expensive drag is. Now, there was, they say it on Drag Race, you don’t need money to do drag. I call bullshit on that because you will not be respected unless you look a certain way. Like sure, you can make stuff out of materials, but that also takes skills. How do you develop those skills? With money. Like you have to like purchase supplies, you have to purchase this. You have to like- it’s not cheap. And I think that that frustrates me so much. It’s like how, how ignored and how classist drag is and how we don’t acknowledge that. And it’s like, I don’t know. I’m part of the problem. Like I can’t -I’m not going to say that I’m going to sit here and say that I’m like giving up my drag and lending it to everyone. Like, no, like I am selfish and stuff like that, but also at the same time, like be mindful of like, how expensive living is and then how expensive drag is. I think you could do it at any, you know, any money bracket, but the more money you have, the easier it’s going to be.

Baylee: Yeah. And I mean, even like, so within our course, there’s been- he gave a lecture about like showing how much drag artists actually make. And then like how much money they have to spend for their look alone. It’s like over $300 sometimes. And then like, even with Trixie, there’s been videos that I’ve seen where she’s like, I have to step up my own game within drag now that I am more famous. And like there’s even more pressure on me because they know I have more money. And I think that that’s like, that’s very, you know, okay. What were you going to say?

Jakki: No, finish your statement. I keep cutting you off. I apologize. 

Baylee: No, you’re fine. I feel like I do that a lot and I always get yelled at by people for it. But like, I feel like there’s a lot of things that you can do to sort of like- like Trixie has videos where she does like a whole look and like, um, dollar store makeup and stuff like that. And it’s, there’s a lot of different ways, but it is, it’s very hard. And even if you do know how to make things, what about your sewing machine? What about your materials? What about how you learned how to make those things? It’s not just money it’s time and commitment that you also need.

Jakki: Well, that’s the thing. Adding on to that, like I think something that I always forget about that my boyfriend has to always remind me. Your time is money. 

Baylee: Yes. 

Jakki: Whether you like to admit that or not, like I can spend 30 hours on a piece. I can also spend 30 hours behind the register at–I also work at Target. I can also spend 30 hours at Target. Like where am I spending my time and money? And that is something that is like, time is money. And it’s just utilizing yourself the best way possible. But more importantly, something that people often forget about is drag is never ending. So a streamer let’s say, because this is something that I’ve wanted to get involved in. Really, I–it’s like a one-time payment. Like of course, like I can always get the new aesthetically pleasing, but it’s like, I need a computer. I need a controller. I need a monitor. I need this. That’s it. If I want a newer monitor, I can buy it. I don’t need it. But I feel like, for drag, because of the social demand of like, oh you already worn that before. You sure you want to wear it again? 

Jakki: Like you have to continuously invest in, and it’s not something that it’s like– but even for yourself, like you want your wardrobe to expand. You are constantly buying stuff. Makeup expires, you have to purchase makeup. Um, uh, my boyfriend makes a good point. Every time you do your makeup, it is probably worth a hundred dollars of makeup. So say I want to just practice my makeup. That’s probably like a hundred dollars I’m putting on my face right there. Because I have to put on a little bit of the eyebrow primer and you know, I have, I have decently priced products. I like the higher quality stuff. So when I’m swiping on a Stila eyeshadow, guess what? That costs me $38 to purchase alone. And that’s just a little bit of glitter on my eyelid.

Baylee: I love those eye shadows.  So pretty I’ve been wearing them since high school. My teacher in high school showed me them. 

Jakki: Lips and glitters in this little box- 

Baylee: Oh yes. 

Jakki: It’s tiny though. Like this is just lipstick and liquid eyeshadow. This is nothing. This is like just added makeup. 

Baylee: That’s more makeup than I have in general. Like, I don’t wear makeup. Like I wear mascara and that’s- that’s, I mean, maybe I’ll wear like a Kylie lip maybe once if I’m feeling classy. That’s -but that, I think that’s more just me and like, you know how, like you were talking about, didn’t like sticky things on your face. Like, I can’t, I don’t like makeup on my face. It’s just like–

Jakki: Girl tell me about it,  I’m a drag queen. 

Baylee: How do you do it? Like, I don’t, I really don’t -because like I watch videos and like, I’m like, I don’t know how people–like I watch even like Bailey Sarian. I don’t know if you know who that is, but like her videos. She’s true crime. Um, and she does makeup while she does true crime videos and she like tells the thing.

Jakki: Yeah she does- 

Baylee: But even her makeup is like. I just think, I just feel itchy thinking about having all of that makeup on.

Jakki: I will tell you sometimes I don’t want to do it. Like, I just don’t want to put on makeup. Like I wish I could just go out there and just naturally look like that. Um, cause it’s like, I mean, think of it like this, James Charles made a good point. Although I don’t want to support that groomer. Um, he made a good point of like, I wish that I can just do a YouTube video. I don’t wish that I can– I have to get ready to do a YouTube video. Like other people can just go out and blog and talk about their life. But I have to take two hours to get pretty in order for me to start something. And so I think also like, as a creative, like that takes money. Like if you’re not earning money from a video or something that took you two hours, it’s like, you wasted that two hours of time. I wouldn’t say wasted, but like, you know that that’s your time that you spent on getting ready and then if something isn’t success– you know, it’s like all that stuff. So I think overall kind of that idea of just like drag is a never-ending cost. And I don’t think it’s something that people realize that it costs money and it’s a continuous money thing.

Baylee: Very much continuous. And I think that that’s a good point that you’re bringing up because a lot of people don’t think about that. Like even on Drag Race, like they, they talk about sharing different dresses and you know, like this dress has been passed around to every queen in New York. And like they say things like that. But even then it’s like, okay, but where did that dress start at? How much was that original dress? And what do you have to do? Cause I know people aren’t just handing things out. Like you have to do favors for them too like you, you gave them something in return because no one’s ever, you know, nothing’s for free. At least that’s what I was always raised. 

Jakki: Right. And, uh, yeah, it’s, it always stems from somewhere and it’s all about like, I don’t know, sharing the wealth. And I think that also has to do with like booking people and being more diverse in your, in your bookings. Cause it’s like, don’t give the same opportunity, the same person all the time. Like there are other people who want to like eat their bread and just need like that one booking to help them do it, you know? And I think that’s another thing it’s just like, how do you even earn your money? Like, luckily for me I have a day job so I can support myself, but some, a lot of people are out there, especially during the pandemic right now. Like, and this is something I can talk to that. Is that the next question?

Baylee: Um, no, that’s the question after that.

Jakki: Okay. Then I can wait on that. Um, but it’s just like, a thing of like, there are literally starving artists out there and use your privilege for the best. Don’t use it against like, I think it’s just sharing it, sharing the space, sharing the piece of the pie, you know. And I, I genuinely try to live my best to that because I’ve been given so many opportunities as a white person. Like I have this privilege that I was given in my life just because I’m white. Like I should use the opportunity to give those who, you know, don’t have that same equal opportunity or that often get looked over for the way they looked or often are ignored for the way they look like you see me. So, okay. Then I’m going to make some noise.

Baylee: No, I think that’s beautiful. It really is. Is there anything unique about the drag scene where you, um– I’m not talking to you computer. Gosh. Is there anything unique about the drag scene where you live compared to others? Places in the country or world? Sorry, my computer thought I was talking to her.

Jakki: Chicago drag scene is on like a whole different level that I don’t think is comparable to anywhere in the United States.

Baylee: Okay. So this is the question that you had some, some things to say about, uh, what has COVID–What has the COVID-19 pandemic meant for your life as a drag artist?

Jakki: Yeah, so it sucks. Like I was before the pandemic, like I just turned 21 and I was waiting. Like I was itching. All my friends turned 21 before me. It was like finally becoming my moment. I was going to, like– I felt like I was going to shine and then it all crumbled. So, uh, before the pandemic started, I won a pageant. Or I won two pageants. And then I got second place for a pageant for a state level, and I was supposed to go to Texas and Maine, um, that did not happen. And I’m here now. Just- 

Baylee: One side note. Um, before I forget, cause you’ve mentioned this before, is there any way you can email me all of the titles you have won so I can put it in your bio?

Jakki: Honestly, I can just tell it to you. It’s only two titles. 

Baylee: Okay let me write them down. Okay. 

Jakki: Yeah, I was like, I only, I only did two pageants. Um, so I’m Ms. Gay-loomington 2020.

Baylee: Okay. Beautiful title. 

Jakki: Ms. Gay. What is this title? I’m going to butcher it. It’s like Ms. Gay U-S-of-A Illinois First Alternative. I don’t care- about like, I have titles, but like I use it in such a joking way. Cause I did the pageant and the only reason why I say it like in a joking way, um, is because like, and this is like an extension of like, why I didn’t really want to talk about that.

Baylee: Um, so the next question is number nine, which we sort of talked a little bit about. It goes into sex, gender identity and gender expression. So how do you identify in terms of your sex, gender identity and gender expression out of drag? Now there’s four sub parts. Um, we already talked about your pronouns, which is he/they, and drag influence, uh, has drag influenced your sex and gender identities?

Jakki:  So I don’t -I think yes, cause it has like a liberation side to me, but it’s not like a thing of like, oh, I did this because of drag. I think that drag gave me the opportunity to grow and it’s an extension of myself. So I don’t ever, like, I don’t put it into myself that like I’m a different character in and out of drag. Cause like, yeah, technically yes, but. For the most part, like I like to be who I am in and out of drag. And I feel like drag is just an extension of me to feel glamorous or next level or pretty. And that’s like, why I like told my dad, I was like, I want to graduate in drag. Cause it’s like, I don’t want to graduate looking like this, like suit and tie. Like, no, I don’t like that. Like I’d rather look pretty and how my idea of like show stopping is going to be, cause it’s my moment. Um, so I think that’s an extension of who I am, but it’s yeah. Drag is an extension of who I am, not a separation of who I am.

Baylee: That’s a great way to put it. Um, has drag influenced how you think about gender? Whereas I feel like you had very distinct views on gender before drag and drag is just very, um, sort of like elaborated more on your gender.

Jakki: Yeah. I mean, I think for myself, like, I’ll be blunt. I was transphobic before. Like I didn’t understand it and I didn’t understand that like gender identity in general. So drag has given me the opportunity to understand that like you don’t like, not–just because you’re a drag queen doesn’t mean you’re trans and that trans–like a trans identity and being a drag queen are two completely different things that people often overlook. And I think just, even on like a non-binary side of stuff like that, like.

Jakki: Drag is an art form and is an express- It is an art form. So it’s like what it, what people make it out to be. But aside from that, it’s also understanding and detaching people who utilize the art, but also who are just this identity, their whole lives. Like this is not like a performance to them. This is not this, that, and the other is like, for me, like, okay, I’m gonna put on a wig. Cause I want people to look at me and I want to lip sync a song, but like other people want to put on a wig because that is just like how, what embraces them. That is how they want to present themselves. This is what they believe is them. So like, yeah, I definitely think it has helped me make an understanding of like, detaching from the toxicity that a patriarchal society has on us. 

Baylee: I mean, even in my short time in the art of drag course, like I feel like my ideas of gender have very much changed. and I’ve taken a lot of gender studies. And I think that that’s one thing that college really provides you with is more outlets to explore yourself in other ways that people can’t like, for example, you talked about intersex, you know how many people don’t know what that is?

Jakki: Do you know how many people I have to like argue with them to let them know that stupid argument “Well it’s science.” Well, science says, this is literally non binary. 

Baylee: Yeah there’s an in between So, like- 

Jakki: I’m going to get heated. I fucking hate when people are like, yeah, like I can see like a fish change sex throughout their lives, but people can’t do that. Like what, what in nature do you think cuts off people between like, if it’s expressed in the world, what do you, what makes you think that people can’t have that? Like fully cats and dogs and have human mental illness? Do you think that like, and human diseases, you don’t think that humans can’t? It blows my mind.

Baylee: It goes back to what you said earlier about categorization, putting people in boxes. And that’s what it is because in our brains, we need to have it cut and dry. And if it’s not cut and dry, then we make it out to be what it’s not.

Jakki: Right. 

Baylee: And that’s, that’s all it is. Is people want it to be straightforward and being and, to the, to an extent that is detrimental to our society in general.

Jakki: I also love the more that we’re talking, my hair is drying. I just took a shower. As you can see my hair, as-

Baylee: I love it, it’s gotten bigger and bigger. No, my hair is exactly like that. Like, my hair is very curly. If my hair was short, it would look spitting image like that. But my hair is –

Jakki: –when I dance thickness. 

Baylee: That honestly- like your hair looks exactly like my dad’s hair. It’s like super curly, super thick. And if he gets it like, cut really short, he has like, a full on fro. Like his is a little bit more curlier than yours, but mine is like all the way down my back. So my curls are more. Like not as tight as they used to be, but like if I cut it short, they’re ringlets. 

Jakki: So, my mom had really tight curls, but my dad, um, my dad just kind of had like the, you know, kind of like Grease, I mean, not like slick back, but like the big poofy hair and like Grease, like musical, like, you know, like that type of like era kind of, he kind of has like that kind of hair. Um, so.

Baylee: Okay. So the next one is have your sex and gender identities influenced your drag. And then that would be the end of the gender identity. Part of the questions- 

Jakki: How many do we have?  Sorry, I just realized we’re actually, yeah–

Baylee: we are only halfway through.

Jakki: Yeah. So let’s, let’s bullet through these ones. So, um, it says that, uh, I think so, like, I– I feel like in drag, like I’m able to be more comfortable with myself. So I’m able to express myself and like more of a free way. So like, I can be like, more sexual if I wanted to, like, I want to perform Red Light Special by TLC so bad. And it’s a very intimate song. Like I feel like because I idolize like these female, um,- I shouldn’t say female because I idolize these women in my life and I’m like, Oh, I want to do that for myself too. Like, love Doja Cat at the moment, even though she’s an anti-masker and she’s problematic, but like, um, still want to do like choreography. And I don’t want to like be in the club doing her Grammy performances cause that’s just what I love. And I think that being queer and being more open with myself allows me to implement that into my art.

Baylee: Have you ever seen anybody do Rico Nasty in drag? Like a Rico Nasty song, like Smack a Bitch?

Jakki: So my, my drag mother, Kitty Banks, you can see on their Instagram, they actually performed AF uh, FMU. It’s that? I mean, it’s a Brooke Candy song featuring Rico Nasty, but, um, it’s a really good song and she fucking chose it. Um, no, I haven’t really seen anyone to Rico Nasty.

Baylee: I feel like that would just be such a powerful song to like, do on stage.

Jakki: I just like, I would want to, but I’m white, so I don’t want to like-

Baylee: Yes. And I feel like that’s also a big, yeah, I get that as well.

Jakki: Plus also, I don’t know where you live, but central Illinois, it’s nothing but white people. So that’s also like, I’m like, okay.

Baylee: I live. Okay. So I live in St. Louis like the city. So I live- like I grew up going to school with people of all different kinds. Like my school was, I guess most of the time it’s primarily white, no matter what, but like I went to school with like Black kids and a lot of Bosnian. Do you know any Bosnians? Yeah. I have a lot of friends at a Bosnian because-

Jakki: I was gonna say I grew up- where I grew up was 75% Hispanic. So, I actually grew up where I was in the minority.

Baylee: I think that I don’t think I’m in a minority, I would say like, maybe where I live, I’m in a minority, but in St. Louis as a whole, I don’t think so. Which honestly, I sort of wish I was because I, I don’t know how to explain. I’m very–I don’t like my race, if that makes sense. 

Jakki: I know exactly what you mean.

Baylee:  I, it’s very hard to be. No, no. One’s talking to you computer. It’s very hard to sort of be comfortable within your own race when you know what people have done in the past. And you’re sort of representing that just by being here.

Jakki: Yeah. I definitely understand that. I think that’s like, also why I’m so- I advocate a lot for using my privilege and being very open in speech because being white has such a power and you need to utilize it in the best way possible.

Baylee: Yeah. I mean like, and there’s like, there’s so many things that happen that just further solidify that ideal and within like, within our lives as we go about like just different experiences. Okay. So the question 10. So, I guess we have eight questions left. So, 10 and 11 are just about your personal story. And then when we get to 12, it’s going to be your ideas about drag. So more of like, what do you think drag is and things like that. Um, so 10 is how has drag impacted or changed you. Sub-parts are, has drag impacted your confidence as a person when you are out of drag? If so, how? And another sub part is, if you could go back to the time, as in blank before, like before you were Jakki Love, what advice would you give yourself?

Jakki: So I think the first question is, I mean, it kind of goes into the sub category. Like it gave me a sense of competence. It gave me a sense of self and it gave me a sense to belong on this earth because I finally felt comfortable in my own skin. And like I said, I was an actor. So I failed at that and I don’t, I wanted to continue to entertain people, but I realized that I can do it in a non-classist, patriarchal, homophobic. You know what I’m saying? Like, although the acting world likes to pretend to be very open. It’s not, and I’m very happy that I’m able to share that continually with my drag. If I can go back and tell myself something, I would definitely say, fix your mug, but more importantly, um, just learn to love yourself right away and build your confidence as soon as you can, because you are beautiful and you are going to do amazing things and you’re going to have fun along the way and don’t take it so seriously. Don’t get so mad at people. Like just have fun. I think that’s what I should say. Worry about yourself. Not others.

Baylee: That’s what I always say. Um, one other comment that I have to say is just because you realize that acting isn’t for you does not mean you failed.

Jakki: Oh, I mean, I, the only reason why I say that I fail is because I got kicked out of the acting program.

Baylee: I got kicked out of the speech pathology program at SIUE. And I say that I left on my own volition. It’s what you say. 

Jakki: It was drama filled. I know how to sell it, but I just say like, I’ve failed, like as an acting major, like I think I failed as an actor. I know I can go out and act. That’s the thing is, cause I know I don’t need a degree to go out in the theater. So I said, fuck you, if I want to pick up a script again, I know I can.

Baylee: And I think that that’s, that’s what it is. It’s the beauty of acting is being able to it’s just so versatile and your position and parts and there’s just so many options.

Jakki: Half the time in drag, like this literally what I’m doing.

Baylee: I mean, yeah. Honestly.

Jakki: Girl, is this really Doja Cat singing to you right now? No, it’s Jackie Love doing Say So.

Baylee: Okay. So the last one is, um, I think it’s funny that you wrote, because he wrote it, like I’m saying this, but I’m not. Okay it says so I’m curious if and how your social identities have impacted your experience in drag or vice versa how drag has impacted your identities. Can you share about how one or more of your social identities, such as gender, race, class, age, geography, religion, size, what’s size mean? Like body size? Sexuality, disability, et cetera, and or the interaction of these social identities have impacted your experience within drag and how your drag impacted your experience in these social identities. I specifically want you to talk about your school identity and like your educational identity and how that has impacted your drag. Because I feel like that’s a very, um, beneficial sort of way to look at it, especially since, you know, we’re both 22 and in college.

Jakki: Yeah. I think something that’s really annoying with drag is it’s high intensity. So I feel like it’s really, really difficult to be a student and a drag performer because you’re either spending your time and money on school, your time and money on drag. And I really think that you kind of have to choose one or the other. If you want to be a successful drag queen, you have to choose drag over school, which sucks. Or you take a break and you go to school and then you come back to drag. Is it doable to do both? Sure. Is it hard? Immensely. Um, that’s why I’m so happy to graduate. Cause I’m just like, all of these responsibilities are going to be condensed into a job. And now I can just do my job in school or sorry, my job in drag. So like as a student, it is, it fucking sucks. Like it fucking sucks. Like I want it to do much more, but I can’t just like I have class or I have to like be up the next day or I have to do this, that and the other. So I think just to identify as a student. Like you have to know the balance and you have to know when too much is too much. And just because you need to focus in on your school does not mean that you’re not taking your drag seriously. 

Jakki: I will also say I feel like my weight and my– I would say my weight and race have definitely helped me be looked at a lot more because like being like a skinnier person, like it’s just like the realistically of like skinny privilege is people are gonna think that I look prettier in an outfit than someone else is going to wear rather than– the outfit’s ugly. Let’s be honest. Like is it, is it– Do I look good because I’m skinny and white or do I look good because it’s a really great garment with beautiful hair, beautiful makeup? Like that is what the reality is. And I think that that is why, like, I just try to be so open with like my boys and including people and including problems that are going on. It’s like, stop thinking that I can just get a free pass because I’m white. Like I should not have that. And do I exploit that at times? Honestly? Yes. Like sometimes I don’t use my privilege to the best ability, but I think overall it’s just like acknowledging it and then using it to your best power because I have power. Like that’s not, that’s not like an unknown, that’s not like a secretive thing. Like I have power and I need to utilize it in the best ways possible.

Baylee: So now we’re going to move on to like the drag artists ideas about drag. So how do you define drag yourself?

Jakki: I define drag as the art form of gender expression. Now my standards of drag is definitely not what other standards of drag are. Um, I sometimes feel like, like, yeah, you could put on a wig and a little bit of eyeliner, call yourself a drag queen and go out and perform like, will I get upset that you’re getting a lot of attention or you’re getting more attention than me? Probably yes, because I put in more work than you. But also in the other sense, it’s like some people take drag as like a full-time career and some people take drag as a hobby. And that’s something that I think is often lost that some people don’t take drag as seriously as other people do, and they just want to do it for fun. And that is fine. And I think that drag is just, should be accessible to everyone, every shape size, every color, every race, every, every identity, like it should be accessible except to Republicans. Like, I don’t need you in my space.

Baylee: Thank you, yes. Amen.

Jakki: You know, just nasty people. But for the most part, like, I just believe that drag is gender–expression of gender and tan extension of gender expression and a love for performance. I mean, how fun was like lip-sync battles, like to see Tom Holland doing Umbrella. Like we all live for that. Was that drag? I would say. So like, girl, that was camp. That was camp that was high performing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like, I, I think that people think that drag, you need to have like your eyebrow swoop down, a wig down to here and with that, you know, and that’s just like, what limits the drag expression then it’s not just that. And I think that we need to change that. So my idea of it is go out and perform, have fun. Like drag can be whatever you want it to be. My drag standards are going to be separate from yours. But if you believe that as drag, I mean, go ahead.

Baylee: The next question is what do you think is the purpose of drag? 

Jakki: I believe that—I just think there’s so many different things. So like obviously freedom, it’s freedom. Like it’s freedom of understanding who you are. Freedom of space, freedom of just having fun. More importantly, I think it’s political. And I think it’s a way to use your voice to create change. People will listen to you. If you look different, people will treat you differently. If you look different, whether or not it’s positive or negative, like that’s what’s going to happen. So I just believe that they’re just different ideas of it. And yeah, I–I don’t know. There’s not like one, one way for me to put it.

Baylee: Do you think drag is sexual? Why or why not? If so, how? And in what way?

Jakki: I feel like it can be just like any performance. Like, I, I believe that drag is like, it’s an extension of like what it is. I believe what Doja Cat is doing is low key drag. Like she is out there performing, wearing different hair, costumes, makeup. Like, that’s not much different than me. No one calls her. Uh, I believe her real name is Amala.

Baylee: I have no idea.

Jakki: Yeah I think her real name is Amala. She had an album about it. It’s like the No Car, No Police, the album the uh-. Yeah. Amala. Um, she ‘s- that’s the album that has Go To Town. Cookie Jar, it has Candy. Has Body Language it’s her old, before –

Baylee: Before she was mainstream. 

Jakki: Right? Like no one calls her Amala. No one’s out there saying, Oh my God, that’s Onika like, no, that’s Nicki Minaj. Like that is like, that is an extension of what I’m doing. I’m just not in the Grammys. I’m not performing multi-million, you know what I’m saying? Like, it’s an exaggeration of what I’m doing. And so, um, yeah. What was the question? I’m so sorry.

Baylee: Um, do you think drag is sexual? Why or why not?

Jakki: So because of that, because of the exaggeration, I believe that it can become sexual. So like, as I was saying before, I can go out into a club and perform TLC and like do like a burlesque number. Like it– drag is whatever you want it to be. And, um, if you want to make it sexual, that’s your drag, you can do that. Do I think drag is inherently sexual? No. Um, I think that bodies come in all shapes and sizes. So like to accentuate like hips and have big boobs and blah, blah, like the fact that we think of that as sexual right away tells you about what we think about the woman body. If you want to think of Drag Queens, like it’s not inherently sexual people just kind of look like that. Some people don’t look like that.

Jakki: Like it’s just is an exaggeration of what we believe bodies look like. Um, like if I was to– if I wanted to go have a drag queen story hour and I want to read to the kids, am I going to be like skinless and blah, blah, blah. I mean, I could, but I don’t think that– It doesn’t need to be like, sexualized and I don’t need to be like jokes that–I don’t make these jokes, but like other jokes that people make in the bar of like, squeeze my tit. Wow. Like that to me, like the sexual side. But no, I don’t think inherently drag is sexual, but I believe that it has a stigma that it is. Because it is an exaggeration on gender expression. And what is gender expression? Like? My boobs look like this. What does a female look like? How do I–excuse me. How does a woman look like? How do I make that extra? How do I–you know what I’m saying? Like that just has to do- you know girl, fuck the patriarchy. That’s what that is an extension of.

Baylee: And yeah, I think it’s a lot to do with just gender in general. Like people assume like gender and then they just link sexuality and all of it together so much so that they just they’re like, yeah, it is all sexual, everything’s sexual. And I think also like saying it’s sexual is an easier way for people to be more dismissive of the culture.

Jakki: Well, it’s taboo. Like, I mean, we live in a society that like sex is can– anything is– everything is hyper-sexualized, but no one can talk about what sex is. Look at an Axe body spray. Like no one teaches you. Like, they’re going to tell you how to get women. And it’s how like, a six-year-old, “Oh he’s a, he’s a ladies’ man. He’s going to get all the women.” He doesn’t know what he’s doing. And on top of that, you can have like, talk about how you’re a womanizer, you’re gonna get men, and you’re attractive blah, blah. You can’t even like, they literally call a sex talk, “the birds and the bees.” What does that say about us? Like, come on now. We can’t even show a nipple. Women can’t even go like shirtless on a beach without like- 

Baylee: There needs to be more– less stigma about bodies and just bodies in general. Like, for example, like with women, you know how many women don’t know what goes into childbirth. They don’t know what’s going to happen until they get there and that baby is on the way out. Like there’s so many women that are like, I didn’t know that this was gonna happen and stuff because we don’t think it’s okay to talk about things like that in our society.

Jakki: It’s objectify, uh, objectifying a vagina, like a vagina is only supposed to be used for sex. You didn’t know that? And so if it’s not, what does a child, okay, cool. Bring my child anyways. Can I go and [inaudible] it again? You know, it’s like, it’s disgusting that people genuinely believe stuff like that. Or like how women can’t even breastfeed in public without being like, “Oh, put your tits away. I can’t look at that.” Like who are you?

Baylee: Like you were a baby, like you were a baby. It’s like, it’s like, you can’t look at it now, but you, you want to look at it later on Snapchat, you know what I mean? It’s like completely, like, we don’t want to look at you in this light, but we want– it’s sort of like the stigma of like guys want a girl who’s experienced, but don’t want to have a girl who has high body count. If that makes sense. It’s sort of like that stigma, which I’ve heard that like, literally all the time. I hate that so much. Um, how do you feel about RuPaul’s Drag Race? Which obviously I would assume that you like it, but I feel like you might have a little tea to spill.

Jakki: I love the show. I am a big fan of drag and anything showcased at the highest level I am going to watch and enjoy. Do I love the politics involved with the show? Absolutely not. The fans make it toxic. They make the show seem– I mean the show, I don’t know. Um, I think that a lot of the fans ruined the magic that goes into Drag Race because of how toxic it is. I mean, they are treating Kandy Muse right now like complete shit on Twitter for no reason. She didn’t do anything. Just loud, proud, black, doing her thing. Big, bigger body size. She’s getting all hate for what? For being herself?

Baylee: How dare her. How dare her be herself.

Jakki: But then another white queen can go around yelling and being I’m confident, blah, blah, blah. And just, she gets love and attention like that is disgusting. Like that. That’s the part that annoys me. And something about it is also like reality TV in general, and this show is just an extension of reality TV, but like reality TV in general just makes like, they just make things more toxic than it needs to. And they’re fabricating stuff and they like low key can ruin people’s lives without—I think it’s intentional at times, but they can just like, ruin people’s lives. And that’s what I find really disappointing and really sad. But it also can make or break your career because if you get on drag race, guess what? You have the potential to be in another tax bracket.

Baylee: And I think like when you were like talking about that drag artist and like how they’re getting so much hate because of their size and because of the thing, like, even if you look back, like currently I’m watching season nine with class, Eureka came onstage in season nine and she did like a white trash thing. And like, she didn’t get a whole bunch of backlash for that. You know what I mean? And like, things like that, are like more okay for, for people that are white to do, than people that are of a color.

Jakki: The whole thing, as you’ll see that– I don’t know what episode you’re on. You’ll see how much Eureka uses her whiteness to weaponize other people. Then there is Vixen– It annoys me, people hate Vixen for what? She’s a proud black person. And so she’s just trying to showcase and use her side of the space because she’s loud because she has to demand the space, but Eureka can just come in and go, wow, I’m big and I’m country and I can do this and you have to love me. Girl no, like you’re problematic and people let you get away with it because you have white tears and white fragility, like no.

Baylee: And I totally, I did not like at the beginning I liked Eureka. And then the more I started to like, understand who Eureka is and like how they weaponize their, their color. Obviously, like I could even pick up on that in the first few episodes. It’s, it’s amazing. But we’re at the very end, almost like there’s like five queens left, I think.

Jakki: Right. I mean, you can, even a great example is like when, uh–which was so funny, but, uh, when, uh, Kimora started crying in untucked and they called her out for her white tears and she said, well, right now you’re painting a narrative that I’m a mean black person who made a white girl cry, and now I’m going to get hate. And she did. And she called it out on, on, on camera and they– the fans and then treated her like shit. And it’s like, that’s, that’s what I mean, like, it is to the highest degree, like on drag race showing it. But the reality is that reflection happens in local scenes all the time. And sometimes even worse.

Baylee: Yeah, even more so, because it’s less checked. There’s less- there’s less flack for you to tear somebody and destroy them.

Jakki: You know, if you get punched, I mean, there’s a crew to stop you and save you. Like you can’t have that. Like, what happens if you get hate crimed in a club? Like when you go to the police, the police don’t care about you.

Baylee: Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s disgusting. It really is. Um, if you could change one thing about drag, the drag scene or drag community, what would it be and why.

Jakki: I think there needs to be more openness. There needs to be more time to understand of like sharing the pie, building people up, but more importantly, there needs to be a lot more room for critiqueness because the confidence that people have is annoying because-

Baylee: You need to be checked. 

Jakki: I am sorry, but like, you look like shit, stop pretending that you are like, just because you have money and you have power to book people does not give you the power. Like does not make you a good drag artist. And I think that’s something that’s really important because it’s like, I mean, you can like low key see it in drag or it’s like, just because you’re a bigger name in your scene doesn’t mean that you’re good at competitions or you’re good at this. And I think that is something that people need to have is like, I guess a reality check of just being like, because the scenes and everything is so vain that it’s not just about yourself. It’s about the people who make you and the people who build you up because drag should be more of a team effort, although you can do everything yourself. Um, it’s also depending on who you market towards, people have to like you, people have to do this, that and the other. And I think that more people need to have more patience and more love for each other rather than, uh, a hostile, competitive thing all the time.

Baylee:  Um, so this is the second to last question. Sorry that there’s so many, um, I didn’t think–it’s funny because in his interview, like in the interview instructions and everything, it’s like, yeah, your interview needs to be at least 20 minutes and I’m like, um, what do you think the are misconceptions about having, okay. Sorry. What do you think are misconceptions people have about drag? Where does it come from? What do you think would help change that?

Jakki: Yeah, so I think—through this whole interview thing. I think that patriarchy, as fun– as fun as people make jokes about it. Like it is a serious thing. Like it is no matter where we are, it’s going to always be a man-dominated space. And a lot of that just stems from like oversexualization, objectification, um, misogyny, this, that, and the other, like all of these problems stem from men and cis men. And when you have like gay– specifically gay white men in power in these spaces, then they have the influence to– uh, the influence to continue that narrative and just be like, you’re, you’re a woman? No, you can’t. You’re not a drag queen, honey. You’re a woman, stay in a woman’s place. Like what? This is a, supposed to be a queer space, a space to involve everyone. Like you have already been shunned. And so now what are you going to do? Shun another person because of us, you know what I’m saying? So I think that a lot of the misconceptions just stem from inherited societal things.

Jakki: And it’s just like a way to change that is to acknowledge it and change who’s in power realistically, it’s just share, share the, share the cake, you know, like I think that’s something that I loved that is going to happen in Chicago is just like a lot of the white people are not going to be in power. Like they have a Chicago Black, uh, council that is just like designed to support, uplift black people. But more importantly, just like create the space in a better way. And honestly, it just kind of starts from taking away the power from those who have it now and, um, distribute it in a, uh, more of an equal way. It doesn’t need to be a hierarchical thing, whatever, like a business thing. So it doesn’t need to be like a queen at the top. And then the, you control these bars and you get to book these people, you get to, you know, it’s just like, like I understand businesses need to thrive and make money, but also at the same time, like, it doesn’t need to be at our expense. Like. Just make the space good. Make the space happy, make it include people. People don’t want to see it. People don’t come to the show. Like I understand that hurts your business, but in an ideal world, oh wow. Like these people should still be showcased. We shouldn’t be just, um, we shouldn’t be showcasing or doing it for a straight world because that’s what makes the money like, no.

Baylee: Yeah. Because yeah, and I feel like our society in general has taken several steps back just in the past four years that we have to very much overcompensate for now. And we need to get back on track because of that. Um, okay. So the last one, if you choose one thing you want people to know or learn about drag, what would it be?

Jakki: The magic of it. It’s such a fun thing. And I really do wish that people would understand that drag comes from struggles of other people and to pay homage to the people who have struggled. So we have the freedom to do what we can do. Um, let me tell you, I know I keep saying it wasn’t a white man that created gay pride. Marsha P. Johnson. I know, like she- that’s the trans identity, but you know, like it was people like her that helped pave the way to help create change. Um, although I think RuPaul is a little whitewash and more of like a businessman, capitalism, but you know, like as much as I hate giving him credit, like he helped pave the way to give us the freedom to do it. And I think that I wish people could understand the magic that it’s not just like an over-sexualized thing. Oh, you want to be a woman like– you can’t do that. Like go, go on a pole. Like, no, that’s not what I want. I don’t want to be a pole dancer. Like I just want to lip sync and have fun. Like I’m, I have like- I just want to be famous and I want to entertain, like that’s where the magic comes from. It comes from a creative outlet and I wish people would understand that more.

Baylee: I think in life it’s all about doing what makes you happy as long as it’s not at the expense of others. And that’s really, that’s what drag is, is it’s being able to express yourself and making yourself happy within your expressions and trying to make other people happy. Like you said, like you want to spread love and that’s–that’s the whole point of your name is just to sort of venture out and express yourself. 

Jakki: Right.

Baylee: Well, um, those are all of the questions I have, but it’s been amazing talking to you.

Jakki: Yeah you as well. 

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