The Queer Joy Of American Non-Binary Burlesque Performer Jake DuPree
Jake DuPree is an American non-binary international burlesque performer, fitness host, and self-described “Lingerie Lover”. They are currently in Sydney for Blanc de Blanc Encore, playing at The Grand Electric in Surry Hills, till September 17.
DuPree’s career has seen them performing and headlining shows in Paris such as Théâtre des Variétés, Folies Bergére and Musée Des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre.
In a conversation with Star Observer, they spoke about growing up in conservative Arkansas, being Cosmopolitan magazine’s first-ever unicorn correspondent, and what Queer joy means to them.
‘Arkansas Was Definitely Difficult’
DuPree grew up in the conservative US state of Arkansas.
“Growing up queer in Arkansas was definitely difficult…to say the least,” they said.
“In school, I was bullied so much. I had so many people telling me who I was and identifying things about my sexuality that I was not even ready to come to terms with myself.
The Birth Of Their Queer Joy
After graduating from high school, DuPree went to a university in Georgia, where they started to live their Queer Joy.
“I came out while I was there, and that changed my life forever! I felt so safe and seen there because I could just be myself.”
For DuPree, the term Queer joy means “allowing myself to be fully free and present in my life.
They continued, “I love getting dressed up and performing the way I do. That is truly my bliss and joy place! Seeing myself transform into the image of androgynous beauty I have in my head is really powerful and liberating for me.”
DuPree: Practice Kindness And Empathy Toward Yourself
According to DuPree, it took time for them to be “comfortable enough with myself to say I am non-binary.”
Speaking about their non-binary identity, they stressed, “I don’t take that identifier lightly, and I wanted to make sure before I announced it to others that I had come to terms with that myself.”
For those who are struggling with their gender identity, DuPree said that the first step is to be kind to yourself.
“I encourage people who are struggling with their gender identity to practice kindness and empathy toward themselves. It can be really hard to do that, and it’s an active choice to want to practice that,” they said.
Your Unicorn Glitter Fantasy
In 2017, DuPree became the first unicorn correspondent for Cosmopolitan magazine.
Explaining what that actually means, they said, going by the name Glitter Fantasy, “I would go to different musical festivals, do street interviews with random people, interview the Cosmo cover girls, make restaurants more fabulous.
“It was just Queer-ass joy and ridiculousness to the max!”
According to Dupree, that opportunity changed their life and gave them a way to explore their feminine side and “express this drag artist sensibility and also the comedian side of myself.
“It allowed me the freedom to express myself the way I wanted! That opportunity opened the door for everything I get to do now!”