Meet the dwarf drag queen who is redefining disability in the entertainment world
Drag queens are the absolute epitome of vibrancy, OTT personalities, and sheer entertainment. And while back in the day, they were a form of entertainment that catered primarily to those in the LGBTQ+ community, there's no denying the overall impact they have on popular culture.
Although we tend to associate drag queen culture with fun and positive vibes, the truth is, a lot of them didn't have the easiest start in life. It's not easy committing yourself to an unconventional lifestyle, even if it is your job and what brings in the money.
Those who don't conform to mainstream standards, for whatever reason, are often marginalized in society. Take those with dwarfism, for example. I mean, people with this growth disorder are given very little representation in the media and are often made to feel inadequate due to their height deficiency.
And at 4ft 8" tall, Jamie John may be of average height for dwarf, but aside from that, he's is in no way your average man.
Indeed, after seeing a female impersonator perform at the Eurovision Song Contest, he was instantly inspired to become a drag queen himself. And he's already amassed a huge following for his performances as his alter ego Miss DQ, who combines lip syncing with stand-up comedy.
Take a look at Jamie as his alter ego Miss DQ:
The 29-year-old of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk was intent on starting his cross-dressing act after first adopting the character while handing out leaflets for a charity event over a decade ago.
“People kept stopping me, saying I should go for it and start a drag act”, he said. “A little while later, I watched Eurovision at they had a drag queen as one of the acts. I absolutely loved it, and thought to myself that I could be up there doing that one day.”
Jamie has always wanted a career on the stage, recently completing a three-year gig performing on the Spanish Canary Island, Gran Canaria.
He continued: “It was an absolute blast. Now I perform full time, and change up the show depending on the audience.
Take a peek at one of Miss DQ's performances:
“I do a mix of lip syncing and stand-up comedy. I wanted to bring back that idea of a variety show. People are always so positive, they tell me I was born to be on stage.”
But despite having thousands of dedicated fans, Jamie has been mocked and taunted by cruel trolls.
He said: “I’m a dwarf, a drag queen and gay, so I almost tick all the boxes, so to speak.
“I’ll get sly remarks about my height, or have people not understand why I dress as a woman. There’s a common misconception that I do this because I want to be female, which isn’t the case. I just want to entertain.”
He added: “Wherever you go in life, there will always be some negativity, though, so I just try to brush it aside and be proud of who I am.”
Before his first gig in London around ten years ago, Jamie remembers being “incredibly nervous,” but his anxiety quickly turned to excitement when he saw how electrified the audience became.
His reputation has essentially spread like wildfire in the drag world and he plays in packed venues all over the world.
“It’s lovely to see how accepting and encouraging people are. These days, it’s becoming far easier to be who you are,” he said.
Jamie is a total profession and absolutely dedicated to his craft, spending up to two-and-a-half hours painstakingly transforming himself into Miss DQ.
He starts by shaving, then applies foundation before contouring to make his cheekbones look sharper. The drag performer then applies eyebrow pencil and eyeshadow, and finishes with lipstick and false lashes.
“I use all sorts of make-up brands,” he explained. “It can be expensive, though. Foundation alone can cost up to £40.
“But my family and friends are really supportive, and often help out by buying me makeup or other things for my act for Christmas and birthdays. I absolutely love MAC eyeshadows, they’re brilliant and really bright, so I might put some of them on my wishlist for this year.”
Take a peek at the real Jamie John out of drag:
Due to his achondroplasia dwarfism, which he was diagnosed with at birth, he has to have many of his costumes specially made, costing between $120 and $500.
“I don’t have a favorite, but I love anything to do with feathers,” he continued. “You can’t beat a good feather. I also have lots of wigs, between 20 and 30. Some are specially made, and some are just brought from wig shops. I’ve got some really great ones, like a lace one.”
He's so popular these days that fan pages have been set up in his honor on social media. And, of course, his friends and family also regularly attend his performances in order to show their support.
Jamie quite rightly hopes his success will help create more chances for representation of disability within the entertainment industry.
He said: “I hope what I’m doing can help inspire both little people and gay people to go into show business. There might be other little people out there wanting to come out, but too afraid or unsure about how to do so.
“I want to show them that being different is something to be proud of. I’m planning to keep going with this and keep building my fan base. One day, I’d love to be the next Lily Savage.”
Jamie John is an incredibly inspirational man and we hope his success in the entertain industry continues to keep soaring. He certainly deserves it!