Front Range fierce

Meet the queens opening for Chappell Roan at Boulder Theater

Courtesy: Dr. Zackarina Jenny-Hoe

As part of Chappell Roan’s mission to spread queer joy, the rising pop star invites local drag artists from each city to open her shows. It’s part of her intention to give back to the most vocal and vulnerable slice of her rapidly growing fanbase. 

“Local queer communities need the spotlight on them,” Roan says. “I think that’s important for everyone to see.”

In that spirit, Boulder Weekly spoke with the three Denver queens opening up for Roan’s April 9 Boulder Theater show to talk about their art, identities and love for the LGBTQ community.

Gucci Blaze: ‘Denver’s Disney Princess’ 

In a way, Gucci Blaze’s journey to drag performance mirrors Roan’s — a yearning for a queer community and a life-altering move to find it.

“I was originally from Colorado Springs, which is not necessarily the most queer-friendly space,” Blaze says. 

When she started wanting to take drag seriously, she began commuting to Denver, where she met her mentor and drag mother, Brittany Blaze-Shearz. Brittany took Blaze under her wing and introduced her to the robust drag community in the Queen City of the West.

“Having that chosen family and seeing it play out in that way was very influential to me,” Blaze says. 

A top 5 finisher in last year’s Tracks Denver Drag-O-Lympics, Blaze refers to herself as “Denver’s Disney Princess.”

“I always try to really embody confidence, femininity and elegance, but in a sexy way,” Blaze says. “There’s a lot of pussy in there, a lot of cunt, cunt, cunt.”

Blaze loves drag for its inclusivity. She says there’s opportunity for everyone to get involved, celebrate and come together for a common goal.

“I love how it utilizes so many different talents. People with design backgrounds have their place in drag; people with hair backgrounds have their place in drag; people with dance backgrounds have their place in drag,” Blaze says. “At the end of the day, we all understand that it is a community, and we all fight the battles that need to be fought together.”

Dr. Zackarina Jenny-Hoe: ‘Bring stupid drag back

Some may not see the utility in using drag as an avenue for social change, but Dr. Zackarina Jenny-Hoe recognizes the power of performance. She uses her platform to advocate for public health education, because “everyone is gonna listen to the seven-foot person in a wig,” she says. 

“For me, drag is a really effective way to get that message across, because you incentivize learning and advocacy in these campaigns for activism in this really glamorous, fun way,” Jenny-Hoe says. 

In her day-to-day life, Jenny-Hoe works in harm reduction, so drag operates as a way for her to do everything she loves — authentically advocate for safer drug use and safer sex while expressing herself to the fullest, most extravagant extent. 

“Paired together, you get a really great vehicle for change that mobilizes the queer community through queer culture, rather than it being some external organization or politician or whoever coming into the periphery,” Jenny-Hoe says. “That feels a lot more real and genuine, right?”

Though her mission is sincere, Jenny-Hoe’s style is comedic through-and-through, engaging her audience with glamorous looks and a thorough knowledge of meme culture. 

“I think drag is supposed to be fun,” Jenny-Hoe says. “It’s supposed to be lively, and I just want to bring stupid drag back into the world.” 

Altogether, Jenny-Hoe’s performance is a testament to the power and possibility of drag.

“There’s so much strength when the queer community comes together,” Jenny-Hoe says. “Drag is really an exemplification of that pride and unity within the queer community.”

JUICCY Misdemeanor: ‘Oh, this is real life

When Colorado queen JUICCY Misdemeanor got a message on social media about opening for Chappell Roan, the longtime professional dancer from St. Louis wasn’t sure what to think. 

“I didn’t know if it was a scam or something — it’s Instagram, so you never know,” the local stage performer recalls. “But then I got an email right away, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is real life.’” 

Misdemeanor has been owning Front Range spotlights for nearly a decade, with a drive for drag that began after being called onstage during a fateful Lip Sync Thursday at X Bar Denver on East Colfax. A local queen invited the newcomer to perform at an upcoming show, and the rest is history. 

“It was very cathartic for me,” Misdemeanor says. “After that moment, it was like, ‘OK, maybe I want to be a drag queen.’”

The years since have found the self-described “dancing diva” — known for sparkle-studded renditions of hits by Diana Ross, Donna Summer and Beyoncé — carving her own path through the local circuit. Soon that path will come to the Boulder Theater, where the artist is grateful for the chance to shine in a world that can often feel dim.  

“Drag is being targeted from all different angles right now. So to have a space and platform where drag artists like myself can come be brave and be in our power is beautiful,” Misdemeanor says. “And as for my sisters, Dr. Zackarina Jenny-Hoe and Gucci Blaze, I am so excited to tear the stage up with them.”

ON THE BILL: Chappell Roan. 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. Sold out. Resale: $400+

Editor’s note: This article features additional reporting by Jezy J. Gray


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