Photo Credit: Zoe Renee Lapin
Originally hailing from the backwoods of rural Tennessee, Lady J (known outside of drag as Jeremiah Davenport) is (to our knowledge) the first doctor of drag, a working drag queen whose research and scholarly work focus on drag performance history. Lady J's dissertation "From the Love Ball to RuPaul: The Mainstreaming of Drag in the 1990s" is now available for free digital download. Lady J's performances have included everything from an enormous trash heap puppet, the severing ofheads, transformations resulting from radioactive injections, and historical queer monologues woven into tales of communal queer love and history.
Lady J's performances have led her to become the first drag queen to perform for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Pride 2017, a selected entertainer and panelist for the Austin International Drag Festival 2016 & 2017, the Drag Queen Coordinator and one of three selected drag performers for the Gay Games IX Opening Ceremonies, and a selected entertainer for the Ohio Burlesque Festival for 2015, 2016, and 2017, and before leaving the world of academia she even sat on the American Musicological Society National LGBTQ Study Group board for three years.
Lady J has also sought to bring the nightlife scene and academic worlds together through workshops on makeup and performance as well as lecturing on drag history at CWRU's Musicology Colloquium Series, Spectrum's In (Queer)ies Series, the Western Reserve Historical Society (where she also displayed one of her costumes) and her own Rock and Roll History courses (taught in varying degrees of costuming) where she uncovered hidden queer musical histories and how they intertwine with and influence more mainstream rock artists. She also spoke about her drag research and how "VH1 made her gay" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for PopCon in 2013.
Lady J's Dissertation can be found HERE. At the bottom of the page under the heading "Files" click Download.