A Female Drag Queen Challenges Expectations About Gender

Apr 8, 2017

Dancer Jody Kuehner didn't set out to become a female-bodied drag queen, sometimes called a "bio-queen." While collaborating with fellow dancer Ricki Mason in 2008, the two women created personas to push their work to new places and explore their own gender identities. In exploring her own femininity, Jody created her now beloved and award-winning drag persona, Cherdonna Shinatra.

Cherdonna's over-the-top aesthetic conceals the woman underneath well enough that some audience members incorrectly assume she is a man. In seeking to learn about and express herself, Jody's work challenges her audience's ideas about gender.

Jody spoke to Sound Effect host Jennifer Wing about the evolution of Cherdonna and how Cherdonna is, in many ways, an amplified version of herself.