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

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Penticton RCMP arrest man found ‘unlawfully in home’

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them

‘It’s about equality’ says Penticton man rallying for Black Lives Matter

“Canada is not exempt from racism and oppression,” said Geoff Stathers, standing with his #BLM sign

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Police seek help identifying person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

A fire in a garage was extinguished but it is being treated as an arson.

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Filming to resume safely later in June: Okanagan Film Commission

Film commissioner Jon Summerland said they want to start filming again later in June

Kelowna RCMP investigate woman’s sudden death

Criminality is not suspected at this time, according to RCMP

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

WATCH: Burned out car be gone thanks to Vernon dealership, ski resort

Bannister GM Vernon and SilverStar Mountain Resort team up in road cleanup

‘We either make a difference or we don’t’: Revelstoke teen leads protest in support of BLM

Revelstoke joined cities across the world protesting against racism and police brutality

Most Read