Originally from Ohio, Shirley U. Jest left her job teaching to move to New York to pursue her true love, performing. I met Shirley at G Lounge where she was doing some numbers at Marti Gould CommingsDrag Suicide – which incidentally is rumoured to be a trial sport at the upcoming Gay Games.

Drag Suicide is when queens tag team against one another, sometimes to themed music, and the catch is they have no idea what song they will werk to next. It’s high-octane drag and when it goes right, it can be fiercely entertaining, but when it goes wrong, it can literally be suicide for a girls career.

She’s also competing for Chelsea Village’s Miss Barracuda Lounge title, and starring in the upcoming indie short Lost & Found On The Q Train, which Shirley and I are creating for RT Collective’s In Your Pocket at Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, which are a slate of films shot entirely on a smartphone.

Please join me this week for a peak inside Shirley’s closet and then after we’re heading downtown into streets of New York City to finish up the gayest movie ever. Please come out and see it when it’s done!

Toronto Inside-Out LGBT Film Festival: MAY 26 – JUNE 5, 2016

Stills from the indie film Lost & Found on the Q Train:

Lost And Found On The Q Train 234Lost And Found On The Q Train 2

Next week special episode: Harvey Milk High, Inside The Hetrick-Martin Institute.


About the Author

Raymond Helkio is an author, director filmmaker, and graduate of Ontario College of Art & Design. He currently lives in both Toronto and New York. His most recent play, LEDUC, is now available in paperback. www.raymondhelkio.com