Drag queen to break new ground at fashion festival
A SUNSHINE Coast drag queen will break new ground when takes to the catwalk during this month's Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival.
Monty Thomas, who goes by the stage name Jess Whoo, will feature in this year's festival as the state's first androgynous drag queen to walk the runway.
The 26-year-old, who was the recipient of a Sunshine Coast Style Award in 2012, was approached by fashion festiival organisers to showcase his creativity and gender-bending aesthetic.
As an advocate for breaking gender stereotypes, Monty's drag persona is the result of childhood bullying for his "soft" appearance and "feminine behavior".
"I've had to go through a massive personal journey to embrace my feminine and masculine traits. I have found peace through my creativity and androgyny," he said.
"I can't wait to break some stereotypes and shake up the Sunshine Coast a little. Not in the sense of creating shock value, but rather show progression and celebrate being different.
"Beauty and femininity doesn't belong to females, and masculinity and handsomeness doesn't belong to males.
"I want to inspire people to celebrate their true selves by showcasing that we have progressed from the typical gender roles."
Originally based in Brisbane, Monty has worked at some of Australia's most recognized LGBT nightclubs, has worked with home-grown celebrities and international drag acts and recently modelled for a national campaign by the End HIV Foundation.
"Although I've only just started out in my modeling career, I wish to pursue it further so that I can show everyone my view of gender norms and artistic expression," he said.
The Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival will commence at The Events Centre, Caloundra on October 22.
Visit the website for tickets and more information.