Phoenix, Arizona, USA
If you’re trying to snatch Joey Jay’s wig, literally or figuratively, chances are you’re going to have pull a lot harder to uproot the tuft of neon locks sitting atop her head: For starters, “this is my real hair,” says Jay, who’s known for straddling the line between masculine and feminine, often without a wig. You also won’t catch Jay letting her guard down long enough for foes to land a blow. “If you look at Pink, she’s [an inspiration]. She’s still hyper feminine, but she can whoop your ass,” Jay praises, describing her penchant for androgyny as rooted in overcoming bullying both as a feminine kid and a more masculine, (mostly) wig-less queen bucking glamour traditions. “I like having those options, I like pushing boundaries. When I started doing drag, there were a lot of drag rules. I was like, you know what, f— these rules. As long as you feel good and you’re living your life, you can do whatever you want.”
Such a mentality will help the Phoenix-based performer navigate the ruthless arena of Drag Race competition, as will her mastery of the dancefloor. Though she performs without a drag name, she once considered hitting the stage as “Adrena Lyn,” a fitting title given her reliance on high-energy choreography, big production values, and wild background visuals. “You’re not going to see me do one song beginning to end or in a gown,” Jay promises. “You’re going to see a show.”
Another dancer, Joey hails, 30, from Phoenix, Ariz., and boats “unmatched rhinestoning skills.”
Jay’s talents have even caught the eye of A-list stars, as she was invited to join Christina Aguilera onstage on the Arizona stop of her Liberation Tour in October 2019. Her equally impressive out-of-drag looks could soon earn her the distinction of being the trade of season 13, too. And they’re partially responsible for her drag career in the first place: After turning 18, Jay frequented a local bar home to a playfully raunchy older queen, Desiree Matthews, who’d hit on him (in Jay’s words, her go-to phrase was “hey daddy” in a raspy drawl), marking his first interaction with a drag performer. When he told his mother, she frankly explained that Miss Matthews was in fact his former childhood babysitter. “Desiree was like, ‘I’m so sorry for everything I’ve said to you. I love you,’” Jay remembers. “And then I had to stop picking up guys at that bar because a guy would offer to buy me a drink, and Desiree would be like, ‘You don’t touch him, I changed his diapers!’”
Now that Jay has a platform like Drag Race — without Matthews there to back her up — she’s fighting for more than just her own standing in the competition. “I want [my presence to say], ‘Hey sissies, it gets better. Slay in your Ariana Grande sweatshirts when you cross the street,’” Jay explains. “It’s 2020, you’re 12 years old, it’s going to be so good 10 years from now. Keep going!”
Source: EW Press write-up.
Known for being cast on "RuPaul's Drag Race" thirteenth season.
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NEW OR UPDATE REQUESTS | Revised: December 10, 2020 07:12AM