Terran’s Take: Jinkx Monsoon

TERRAN WARDEN
A&E Columnist

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 Winner, Jinkx Monsoon, premiered her documentary on Wednesday at the Cinerama theater in Seattle.

Drag Becomes Him: The Jinkx Monsoon Story follows Seattle drag queen Jinkx Monsoon (Jerrick Hoffer) from a year and a half before auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 up to the crowning of Season 6.

Jinkx Monsoon is herself the perfected combination of a southern belle and a crass working girl. RuPaul described her best, saying she has  “a stage left, off center kind of quality.” Quite frankly, there’s no other performer you can compare her to!

But if you are a Drag Race viewer you already knew that – and I know you’re out there. I’ve found a few of you in my classes!

Jinkx Monsoon moved to Seattle from Portland at 18, graduating Cornish with a degree in theater. He formerly started performing in drag at the age of 15 but the drag club Bacon Strip (located in Bremerton) is where the art of Jinkx was perfected.

As early as 2006, Jinkx headlined the largest drag chorus line in the world (Guinness World Records), and by 2012 Jinkx starred in advanced roles around Seattle including Spring Awakening and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

My best friend Eamon and I were the first in line for the premiere of Drag Becomes Him! After a little over 90 minutes of waiting Jinkx arrived to walk her red carpet!

Attendance of the premiere included her mother, her two brothers, her boyfriend, her aunt, Robbie Turner – one of Jinkx’s best friends and huge Seattle drag star, Mama Tits – another one of Jinkx’s best Seattle drag friends, as well as BenDeLaCreme and her aunt Melissa in spirit.

Eamon and I weren’t old enough to purchase red carpet tickets, but we got to witness the grace, elegance, and witty charm of Jinkx with her family, friends, and fans.

We scored seats in the very front row – and center!! – giving us the best seats in the house for Jinkx’s pre-film performance. She performed three songs, two from her album and one from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

If you thought she was talented on Drag Race… that barely scratched the surface! Not only were her vocals outstanding, she was beyond funny. She was beautiful, she was relatable. And she was a fully realized character.

Jinkx’s documentary was a powerful and vulnerable look into the man behind the drag persona. With the inclusion of interviews from her family, Drag Becomes Him left us laughing, crying, and celebrating the unique acceptance the city of Seattle has for art and the queer community.

The film gives audiences a new look into Jerrick’s growing up as a child in Portland, as well as the beginnings of his drag life. The film also opens up about the family struggles of Jerrick with his father leaving the family and his mother’s alcoholism, and touched on the universal struggle of the gay community, with her father opening up about their sparse relationship.

Jinkx herself stated in the Q & A after the film that her father’s interview segments are the most important part of the film for her as he talks about his pride and acceptance of his son, which she’s never heard him say in person.

The cinematography of the film was beyond beautiful with Alex Barry, the director, using his unique artistic eye to document and focus on the smaller aspects of the scene and the inclusion of amazing local songs from upcoming artists.

When the film was over, Jinkx and the Drag Becomes Him team got a full standing ovation. Jinkx said it best “This is so f**king amazing” while holding back tears. I was left holding back tears myself, realizing that I live in a city where a drag queen can sell out an entire theater with the most acceptance and love in the world.

Whether you are a fan of drag or not, the documentary is one of the most intriguing and special documentaries of our time – tackling the themes of art, identity, trauma, family, acceptance, relationships, and instant celebrity. When it gets on Netflix, it is a must-see!

After following Jinkx on Drag Race, seeing her live performances, and watching the vulnerable inside look to the artist, it’s easy to see why Jinkx one of the brightest stars in all of drag and why she is the greatest performer in Seattle, EVER!

For more about Jinkx Monsoon: JinkxMonsoon.com

For more about Drag Becomes Him: DragBecomesHim.com

and for everything else pop culture, follow @TerransTake on Twitter!

 

Leave a Reply