photo:Facebook

Kelowna drag queen to step onto national stage

Jenna Telz will be featured on CBC’s Canada’s a Drag

By Sydney Morton

After losing everything, Grayson Nordgren found himself and his alter ego, Jenna Telz.

Three years ago, Nordgren was kicked out of the Jehovah’s Witness church for being gay, and lost his family and friends.

“When I first got kicked out, I lost everything, I lost my faith, friends, family, my goals, dreams, and where I was going in life. It’s hard to sit back and think about that all. Through drag I found my place again and I feel like this is what saved me from a really dark time in my life,” said Nordgren.

Growing up, Nordgren describes himself as sheltered. If anything that referenced the LGBTQ+ community came on the TV his parents would change the channel. It was his curiosity after being exiled that led him to drag.

“When I first saw a drag queen, who is now a good friend of mine, I remember just thinking, ‘wow,’” said Nordgren.

“I still remember that feeling, I was super curious about it and it’s not that I didn’t understand it. I was not exposed to it. The more I saw it, the more in love I fell with it.”

Nordgren said it’s empowering and cool to completely transform.

“(It’s) the closest thing I could get to magic,” he said.

Jenna Tellz, a tall gothic vision, drew attention through her renditions of rock’n’roll and grunge songs, such as Zombie by the Cranberries.

“Jenna is my superhero, I was kicked out of my family and it’s how I gained a self worth again. In my eyes, Jenna is my perfect superhero. She is goth and dark,” he said.

Now a thriving drag queen in Kelowna, Nordgren is about to gain national recognition in the next season of CBC’s hit web docu-series, Canada’s a Drag.

For the past 10 months, Nordgren has been able to sustain himself by performing as Jenna Tellz. Booking his own shows and venues.

“I basically started cutting out the middle men in between myself and performing. I put on my own shows because I not given opportunities wanted,” he said.

RELATED: Kelowna Drag King rocks out into the spotlight

Nordgren also travels to schools throughout the Okanagan sharing his story to help youth find their voice and give them advice.

” I want them to come to realize it’s OK to be themselves and that they don’t have to go through depression I was going through,” he said. “I made my ideal role model out of Jenna, she is who I want to be, with the exception that I don’t want to be a woman.”

Production is scheduled for Dec. 15 at Munnins Post during his Naughtymare Before Christmas double-feature performance.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Mystery solved on who put up Mount Kobau blockade

Land owner says trespassing with quads and motorcycles threatens wildlife and old growth trees

Okanagan woman shocked by return of letter in a bottle, after 31 years

‘I honestly didn’t think it would get past the beaver pond.’

COLUMN: Examining the federal speech from the throne

MP Dan Albas raises concerns about the latest throne speech from the House of Commons

Morning Start: Hawaiian Pizza is Canadian

Your morning start for Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Motorcycle rider identified following fatal crash in Peachland

Michael Odenbach died in a motorcycle collision on Sept. 27

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Shuswap BC SPCA launches spay/neuter program for low-income residents

Program available to low-income residents in the region

More victims possible in Okanagan assault case

Vernon police have a man in custody but feel there could be more victims in the case

Most Read