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 Commings’ Drag 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

Raymond Helkio
Raymond is a filmmaker, director, and author of several publications and opinion columns. He lives in Toronto and New York but has plans to move beyond the edge of insanity.