Los Angeles was a top destination for drag even before RuPaul's Drag Race. With the show filmed here, and many staying here after their big break, the queen quotient is off the charts — and with the arrival of the 5th Annual RuPaul's DragCon at Los Angeles Convention Center this Memorial Day weekend, even more so. It's going to be a very queeny weekend in L.A. indeed. To celebrate, we're spotlighting a mix of “wo-men” who have been on the Emmy-Award winning show and some who haven't. Either way, they're all L.A. drag royalty. Here, a little appreciation for the gut-busting glamour gal that tops most drag fans' favorites list, in L.A. and beyond — the one and only Jackie Beat.
You can't really call yourself a fan of drag if you've never heard of Jackie Beat. Sure she's never been on Drag Race, but her charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent pre-dates the show. Jackie, aka Kent Fuher, was actually born in West Covina before moving to Arizona when she was two. She returned to L.A. in the '80s, where she's lived until present, minus a five-year stint living in New York City in the '90s.
“I started [doing drag] around 1989, long before makeup tutorials on YouTube and back when certain gay bars — especially leather bars — wouldn't even let drag queens in the door,” Jackie says. “Now they all have their weekly Drag Race viewing parties hosted by the local clown du jour. In one way, I am happy that drag is more mainstream and accepted, but I also miss the days when it was underground and cutting edge. It's all a little too family-friendly and all-ages for my taste. To quote my friend Bradley Picklesimer, 'Keep drag scary!' ”
L.A. fans can most often see Jackie at the theater in the basement of Casita Del Campo, which she calls her “home away from home.” There she performs her “Reruns In Pantyhose” shows, as she calls them, like The Golden Girlz Live or the upcoming Three'z Company. She also performs a lot at Hamburger Mary's (WeHo and Long Beach) and she hosts a drag brunch show presented by Drag Race judge Ross Mathews at Rockwell every Saturday. “I think I am best known for filthy song parodies and un-PC stand-up comedy. And I can get pretty political. Fuck Trump! Oh, and I can sing my ass off.”
Find out about Jackie's upcoming shows and appearances here.