Drag queen scene becoming more popular in Windsor, London as shows sell out

Windsor and London are the sites of four sold-out shows by RuPaul's Drag Race fan favourite Kim Chi.

It's the kind of entertainment one might only expect to find in big cities like Detroit or Toronto, but times have changed and the southwest is embracing it.

Two other high profile drag queens, Naomi Smalls and Ginger Ming are also making their way to the area.

Jo Primeau, also known as Juiceboxx, grew up in Essex, but lives and has been working full time as a drag queen for the last year and a half in Toronto.

He said London and Windsor are getting a taste of what Toronto has had for quite some time. He's hearing that many of his friends back home are envious that he got to perform with big name acts.

"The shows in Windsor sell out so fast, because you guys crave it, because you get it so little," said Primeau.

@juiceboxxofficial/Instagram, left, and Garry Rodriguez

Growing up in the area was difficult for him.

He said he wasn't overly flamboyant but couldn't imagine seeing someone like himself growing up in Essex.

Primeau said leaving downtown, he often worried about getting beat up while wearing short shorts and a tank top. But since then, he said Windsor's changed. 

Still, when she gets to perform as Juiceboxx in Windsor, it's a big deal.

"For me to come down and if there is a little gay kid or somebody who doesn't have access to that, can come down to one of my shows and see something like that. It means a lot," she said.

Local drag scene

London and Windsor's drag scenes may not be quite as developed as Toronto, but drag queen Phoenix Black, also known as Johnny Un, said it's growing.


"Ever since I started, more young queens, like I am, actually started at the same times as me and the drag scene has gotten so much bigger this year than it was a few years ago," said Phoenix Black.

 As a big fan of RuPaul's Drag Race, she wanted to give drag a try.

Phoenix Black has been performing for less than a year. She's developed her drag into a showcase for her dancing talent and she performs to K-pop. For her, being able to open for Korean drag queen Kim Chi means a lot.

"It's really crazy that I'm going to be a part of it," she said.

It's a tight community, with a solid fan base. It's also one that gives her support and makes her feel like she's part of a family.

"For me I just want to feel accepted in the community, because my family, they don't know about my sexuality and what I do as a drag queen," she said.

"They know nothing. But when I dress up and put make up on, I want to be accepted for who I am."