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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Meet Jessica L’Whor, Denver’s High Hashish Drag Queen

Denver’s drag scene is alive and thriving, significantly throughout Delight Month. Whereas some drag queens journey in from far and vast for performances, others grew up right here and proceed to contribute to the Colorado tradition all through maturity. 

One such queen is the long-lasting native drag performer Jessica L’Whor. After spending greater than a decade within the scene, she’s a staple of Denver’s tradition and might be discovered performing drag bingo, trivia, podcasts, exhibits, and extra on a nightly foundation. Her accolades embody wins as “Best New Queen on the Scene” and “Colorado’s Drag Entertainer of the Year,” and her model, which additionally consists of the PG model of her persona “Miss Jessica,” has grow to be a powerhouse of inclusivity, physique positivity, and LGBTQ+ illustration. 

Her attain doesn’t cease there, although – Jessica L’Whor can be a hashish fanatic who strives to advertise secure, accountable, and educated use in her drag, even incorporating weed-themed outfits and partnerships into her work often. 

To have fun Delight Month, we had been lucky to have the chance to take a seat down with Jessica and study her drag persona, hashish background, and way more. 

Emily Mullins (EM): Inform us a bit about your self and your background as a drag queen. How did you get into performing and the drag area? 

Jessica L’Whor (JL): I’ve been within the recreation for 11 years, so [let’s] return – I used to be a really closeted and confused queer baby. I didn’t actually know what I wished to be or how I wished to behave or how I wished to determine, however drag was actually attention-grabbing as a result of once I first noticed it on TV, I obtained disgusted by it. I known as it “gross” and requested my associates to show it off, and plenty of that was internalized [fear] of being totally different. I began moving into drag once I had a boyfriend carry me to a present, and I fell in love with this queen – she did a ballad, and I used to be thoughts blown. “I want to do that!” 

We went to Walmart afterward and I obtained a bra and a few make-up. [My boyfriend] had an additional wig, and I put it on my face, did my make-up to the very best of my means, and we each checked out one another. “You are an ugly woman,” he stated, “You should never do drag again.” And I used to be like, “Damn, I actually kind of liked this transformation!” 

As a result of I used to be closeted, I’d do drag in my dorm room, or I would depart my guardian’s home with my drag in my automotive, do my make-up in my automotive, go into the membership, after which take all of it off and return into the home. 

I went to Colorado State College, they usually have a college drag present. It’s one of the crucial accepting environments that any drag artist may very well be concerned in for the primary time. My first present was on that stage – due to that present, a neighborhood queen stated, “Hey, why don’t you come do a show in town? We’ll pay you to do it.” I went and was terrified, however that turned from one present to as soon as a month to as soon as every week to some occasions every week to now a full-time expertise. 

jessica l'whor

EM: I like that! Are you able to additionally give us a have a look at your historical past with hashish? Did you begin utilizing it earlier than you bought into drag, or is it intertwined? 

JL: It actually does intertwine within the sense that I checked out weed very negatively. Quite a lot of it was not understanding it and never understanding the optimistic results of it or why individuals would do it. I didn’t need something to do with it, however then I obtained to a spot of being okay if different individuals wished to do it, however I didn’t wish to partake. 

I keep in mind the primary time I smoked weed. They didn’t inform me I used to be smoking weed – they instructed me it was simply hookah. I didn’t know what that feeling was, and it was simply wild. 

Considerably later, I used to be round plenty of drag queens that smoke weed – hashish queens. I attempted some edibles and came upon I actually loved the consequences of it. I discovered motivated, artistic individuals who had been in a position to functionally stay their life and attain issues whereas additionally smoking, and my notion modified completely after I met extra individuals who had been pushed and in a position to operate. It helped with their nervousness or calmed them down. That’s what inspired me, and [weed] helped me in the identical methods. 

EM: At what level did you begin integrating weed extra into your drag persona? 

JL: That was most likely COVID. I used to smoke weed, however I wouldn’t inform individuals – there was nonetheless just a little little bit of residual disgrace. However in 2020, when everyone was coping with their very own issues, I used to be extra vocal on-line. I’d take movies on my story of me smoking weed, and I let everyone know. It’s my life and I can do what I would like. If I’m in a position to accomplish the whole lot that I’m, why do you care what I do with my physique? 

jessica l'whor glamour shot

EM: So that you say that you simply used to view weed and drag in the identical means – you checked out it with disgust. What would you say to somebody who nonetheless has these views right this moment? 

JL: You realize, I’m by no means going to stress anyone to do something they don’t wish to do. If it’s not for you, you’ll discover out it’s not for you in a short time. You’ll be able to disagree with one thing and that’s utterly fantastic, however going to the acute of calling one thing or somebody disgusting – I don’t suppose that’s acceptable. Depart your thoughts open to what is sensible for individuals, what works for individuals, what makes individuals comfortable, how individuals wish to operate. Allow them to stay their lives simply the identical means that you really want individuals to allow you to stay your personal life. 

But additionally, I believe opening your self as much as attempting it with some individuals you are feeling secure attempting it with – it would change your thoughts. 

EM: I like that reply. You by no means know; you preferred it! However transferring on – how has weed influenced your creativity as a drag queen? 

JL: It’s been each adverse and optimistic, and I’ll be sincere about each. On the adverse aspect, I’m a workaholic – I needed to discover sure occasions all through the day that I couldn’t smoke weed if I wished to be productive and be on my A-game. On the opposite finish, it could assist me be impressed once I would watch TV exhibits or scroll on TikTok. I’d be like, “Wow, I want to make a number to this.” I obtained actually artistic. In 2023, I saved each joint tube that I had – and I used to be smoking like 15 every week – and I wish to make a fringe outfit out of the joint tubes. 

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EM: I have to see that joint outfit! That sounds superb. 

JL: Will probably be! I’ve all of the tubes. I would like extra although – surprisingly. 

EM: Have you ever ever participated in any cannabis-themed drag occasions or dressed up in a method to promote weed? 

JL: I’ve a few weed-inspired outfits. I’ve a replicated Miley Cyrus outfit. I do a 4/20 traditional “beach bum stoner” quantity the place I smoke out of a penis bong, get the munchies, and ask individuals for cash so I can go purchase weed. I’ve a nurse weed outfit. I’ve an enormous weed plant monster outfit, it’s sort of Bratz doll-y. Not each quantity requires it, but when it is sensible. 

EM: I do know you’ve been doing this for years now, however did you ever use weed to cope with pre-show nervousness? 

JL: Oh yeah. There’s a curler coaster weed would take me on – and I’m not the one performer who talks about this – the place you’d go get actually excessive, and also you’d virtually undergo a way of anxiousness. I’m about to carry out, they’re about to name my identify, I really feel sick within the abdomen – what do I do with this vitality? After which they name your identify, and also you exit and provides the very best efficiency of your life. You get offstage, and it’s like, “I SLAYED that!” Quite a lot of that’s that further vitality; it’s actually wild. 

EM: Have you ever ever used hashish for its medicinal advantages? 

JL: I’ve by no means been like, identified in a way that it could medically assist me – I’ve simply made observations about my very own state of affairs. I’ve fairly heavy nervousness and the lack to close my thoughts off. Even once I’m bodily and mentally and emotionally drained, I can’t get my thoughts to close off and relax. Weed would assist me simply calm down for just a little bit. 

That’s why it could actually be my finish of the weekend reward, as a result of I’m exuding a lot vitality for thus many different individuals all through the week. I’m giving a lot of myself to everyone else, and [weed] would permit me to simply sit and virtually be numb for just a little bit. Not in a nasty means, but it surely let me shut off for an hour or two. It helped me sleep higher and recharge quicker to go do the following present. It actually does change me particularly and assist me a lot. 

EM: Have you ever seen any modifications in how the queer group makes use of or perceives hashish over time? 

JL: I believe individuals are extra on board. Extra individuals are switching from feeling the necessity to drink or eat alcohol to smoking pot. I do know so many individuals who stated they’d by no means smoke who smoke on daily basis now. I want there have been extra weed-safe areas than alcohol areas. 

EM: That is sensible. Quite a lot of secure areas for queer individuals over the a long time have traditionally been bars, so it’s good that there’s now extra choices. 

What are a few of your favourite tales from performing as a drag queen? Bonus factors if any of them contain hashish. 

JL: Normally while you smoke weed at a present throughout a quantity, it must be a prop. However on the Marijuana Mansion, you’ll be able to smoke indoors. I obtained to do their first drag present ever, and I obtained to do my Miley Cyrus quantity and smoke your entire bowl, which was actually cool. 

I like joints, however I can not roll them to save lots of my life. And I went to a 4/20 occasion the place everybody obtained oregano and rolling papers, and we needed to roll a joint. Clearly, I’m horrible at this, so I pulled a joint out of my bag and simply stated I rolled it. All people praised me as a result of it was the very best joint ever, after which they realized that it was not oregano – it was simply weed. In order that they caught me. 

There was one time I used to be actually actually excessive at a present, and I used to be actually drained – it was the top of the weekend. And I went round feeding individuals – I like feeding individuals generally, however once I’m excessive, I wish to like, feed the world. Just like the physique of Christ. So I went round and stored body-of-Christing individuals with chips. 

jessica l'whor

EM: I like the joint story, that’s hilarious. So, [to finish], do you’ve gotten any recommendation for younger drag queens or queer hashish fanatics? 

JL: When it comes to drag, I’d say for those who’ve ever thought of doing drag, it’s best to simply do it. In case you’re like, “Well, I want to be perfect,” you’re losing time. Cease eager about doing it and simply do it – seize some make-up, seize a bra from Walmart, a wig, have somebody let you know you’re ugly, and preserve doing it. 

For younger hashish customers, I’d say that it’s a private journey. Simply as a lot as you shouldn’t disgrace any individual for having fun with weed on a regular basis, nobody must be shamed for not having fun with it in anyway. Whether it is meant to be a part of your life, be open-minded to it. If it’s not for you, it doesn’t need to be for you. Peer stress will not be enjoyable in any means, form, or type. 

However, it could change your life and your world for the higher. 

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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