A Philosophy student at Madras Christian College, Jabez Kelly is busy with the preparation of Chennai’s first multi-cultural drag show. The city has witnessed some amazing movements in terms of activities to support the LGBTQI community.
The recent development is TN getting its first transgender lawyer Sathyasri Sharmila. Amid the celebrations within the community, Jabez and his friends are all set for Drag Night — Chennai’s first multi-cultural drag show.
“The upcoming show would be a marked departure from the traditional ones, which have got Western influences. We are bringing in people from all over Chennai, who are going to give a sense of their own cultural feelings and differences. We will be having a Telugu queen on board to perform a Telugu number, which has a little bit of her culture included in it — in terms of clothing, performance style and persona. Gay and gender non-conforming people will indulge in a healthy discourse at Drag Night, which will be held on July 14,” Jabez starts the conversation. He is also the director of Qvents, which sensitises the mainstream society about the queer community using arts and entrainment.
He explains further, “There will be a lot of roasting and offensive jokes. I am an insult comic (a rare breed in India!) and I don’t need to be politically correct always. And that’s the charm of a drag show — I get to explore myself by expressing my thoughts. There will be singing, queens, glitter, tears, blood and lots of rainbows. The idea is to blur the boundaries between the performers and the audience and break the rules that are imposed on us by the society. People are sensitive and they should realise this is just an art form and shouldn’t take it to heart. Well, the audience can expect the unexpected from the drag night.”
Jabez, who has a TV series lined up, is planning to feature the entirety of drag queens across India. “I am trying to develop a kingdom out of the performers that we have already,” the drag queen sums up.