A Word In Edgewise: From Conflict to Celebration: Kinky Boots plays the Orpheum

By E.B. Boatner June 11, 2015

Categories: Arts & Culture, Our Scene

June 28, 1969: Drag queens fight back at Stonewall. July 28, 2015: Drag queens perform at the Orpheum. Pride is a time to celebrate the entire queer community; J. Harrison Ghee, member of the coming (July 28–August 2) Kinky Boots cast, speaks eloquently of the show’s message and drag’s growing, public acceptance.

“I was born and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the son of a Missionary Baptist pastor. My life is very close to [protagonist] Lola’s in her struggle for her father’s acceptance. My parents have always raised me to love everyone and accept people for who they are, so it was a journey for us as a family when they learned of my involvement in the drag community for the past five years outside of the show.”

Kinky Boots’ message is: “Changing your mind will change your world.”
J. Harrison Ghee:
 It definitely embodies that theme and has manifested it in my life in relation to my family and my part in this show. We traveled to Durham in March and my family was able to see me play Lola. My mother raved to my cast members that she couldn’t see me do anything else…. I explained to them that this was coming from the lady who told me when I was auditioning she hoped I didn’t get the job, and, if I did, she wasn’t coming to see it. Moreover, my Christian father texted me afterward to tell me he was proud of who and what I am. This show has opened so many minds in my world and continues to do the same for many across the country.

You’ve performed drag for some years.
JHG: 
Drag has evolved so much and has been a medium for so many messages; I am honored to be a part of every aspect of it. My drag career outside this show has afforded me many opportunities to make a difference in my community. Now, I have an even larger platform to be an example for change in the world. People find themselves drawn to the camp and the glamour of drag and don’t even realize they are being affected on a grander level by a man who is simply fighting for a cause.

Being a part of this show is nothing shy of an honor and a blessing. From the creative team that is so loving and supportive, to the cast members who are ridiculously talented and invested in this message that we spread, to the amazing audiences we get to experience in these awesome cities, Kinky Boots is something special to be a part of and I don’t take this opportunity for granted.

Lavender readers should be prepared for a big fab fun time when they come to the show and be ready to sing along, clap, dance in the aisles, and leave full of joy and love, as long as they come in with an open heart and mind.

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