photo:Facebook

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.

Just Posted

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The COVID-19 cases reported over the week of May 30 to June 5. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees second straight week of 17 new COVID-19 cases

Summerland, Keremeos and Princeton all recorded no new cases

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has hired a new FireSmart coordinator. (Black Press file photo)
FireSmart coordinator named for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Kerry Riess will provide assistance to mitigate potential wildfire hazards

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness shared images of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read