“I think I respect myself more as a drag artist than I ever did as anything else I’ve ever done, because I’ve got my fingers in all the pies and I’m utilising everything,” says Glitzy Von Jagger, a London-based drag performer on the cusp of international stardom. Since paying for dance lessons with money made from her paper round, Glitzy has gone on to work as an actress, DJ, singer and dancer – with a main stage performance at Manchester Pride among her recent successes. It was during the UK’s COVID-19 lockdowns that Glitzy’s journey with drag started to gain real momentum. Working mostly as a DJ before the pandemic began, the time off gave her the opportunity to think about what she really wanted from life. “And then when lockdown happened, I realised I wasn’t fully happy and I was like, well, I need to do something about it,” she explains to GAY TIMES. “What is the big dream? Because I’m not getting any younger, so I even go for it now or sack it off and I was like, well, fuck it, I’m going to go for it.”
At the time, Glitzy admits to being “scared of the reaction of having to come out again” because of how people perceive the expression of femininity. “My femininity had been suppressed at drama school, actually, of all things,” she continues, adding: “Moving to East London and everything becoming queerer and being able to, like, explore that side of myself – it all happened quite naturally. So I was a lockdown queen, basically. And I did all my makeup online, that was the thing that I had to learn.” When lockdown finally came to an end, Glitzy “came out lashes swinging” and now even runs her own night, Disco Blouse London, at SUSHISAMBA. Just a few months ago, she also won a Virgin Atlantic and San Francisco Travel Association competition which saw her declared ‘the UK’s next iconic drag star’. As part of her prize, Glitzy went on a trip of a lifetime to the city – something she was “absolutely ecstatic” about. “I mean, it’s the proudest queer place I think I’ve ever been to,” she says of San Francisco. “We got to really, like, delve into the queerness of it and I really appreciated that.”
During her time there, she performed alongside Vanity Milan and Kitty Scott-Claus at the popular LGBTQ+ venue Oasis – her first time doing so as Glitzy in the United States. Discussing the night and her performance style more generally, she states: “Well, I do like to do things that I’ve not seen. It probably has been done even if I haven’t seen it, but I do try to take a different approach. The reason I do drag is because I want to utilise all of my skills and then add a cerebral conceptual arc to it all. So, you know, I want to be acting, dancing, singing, comedy. I want to be writing my own material and having fun with it, just being stupid with it and not taking myself too seriously because ultimately it’s just about the joy.”
Glitzy says San Francisco gave her the opportunity to do just that: “That was something I very much felt Oasis, that love back and forth. The energy in there was just electric and it felt so good, so amazing for something I’ve created to go down so well. It was raining dollars left, right, center, diagonally. I was stuffing them down my knickers. I was thrilled. I had a whole bucket full of bucks. It was just wonderful.” Virgin Atlantic and San Francisco Travel Association even filmed the entire experience, which Glitzy had no issue with. “If there’s a camera on me, I am happy,” she says.
Glitzy’s performances include live singing, lip-syncing, dancing and acting, among many other things. Part of the sets she delivered at both Oasis and Manchester Pride involved her giving birth on stage – a bit which has its origins in gigs she used to get booked for very regularly. She explains: “And that’s been something that’s been very organic because I got asked to do a pregnancy baby shower, so I bought a bump. So I was like, well, how do I make a baby shower more drag? I was like, I’ll turn up pregnant. And then I saw the reaction and I realised how much people were enjoying the whole thing.” Glitzy shares that she “enjoyed the camp of it” so much that she ended up doing “drag pregnancies for two months” non-stop. “So anytime Glitzy was out anywhere she was pregnant and it became a performance art sort of thing and it culminated in a baby shower, which we filmed with some creative people that I work with and gave birth to my puppet and she’s now in my show,” she adds.
Being able to “fully embrace” Glitzy over the last few years has been a “full circle moment” for the queen. “I’ll tell you what the biggest dream has always been,” she says. “When I would listen to music, I would always imagine myself performing it in my head, but I never imagined myself as a boy doing it. I would always be the girl and I would like, imagine what all the dancers were wearing, what I’m wearing, what the production was, all of that.” She hopes to one day get to showcase her talents on RuPaul’s Drag Race: “I know loads of queens are like, ‘Oh, no, no, I’m too cool for that’ – however, I’m like, no! I’m obsessed with the show. I’ve watched it since day one. I watch all the iterations, I watch all the international ones, I watch the YouTube things, I listen to the podcasts, I fully stan the drag and I stan it in all of its forms.” In the meantime, however, Glitzy is content. “I don’t want to do anything else at this point, I’ve found my calling,” she states. “This is my purpose.”
You can book your trip to San Francisco via Virgin Atlantic Holidays by clicking here.