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

Canada West loses to U.S. in semifinal

West still has chance to win bronze

Warm weather ahead for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada says no snow at lower altitudes until Wednesday night

Controversial goal costs Vees in Trail

Vees coach ejected from game

Backyard fire brings emergency response

Penticton firefighters called to report of burning fence

SOWINS Share the Spirit of Giving campaign receives special help

Volunteer Eleanor is giving back to the society that helped her turn her life around

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

CSRD Wants help figuring out antique survey equipment

The piece of equipment was used by Peter Jennings to map out the North Fork Wild near Craigellachie

Kelowna Gospel Mission celebrates Grandpa Lloyd’s success

In a video it shares how an outreach worker helped get Lloyd off the streets

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read