Start your engines because Shane Jenek AKA Courtney Act joins me for the final episode of my mini-series, Reign with Pride!
Shane has had many iconic international and historic moments as his drag persona, Courtney Act after they appeared in the first series of Australian Idol in 2003, becoming the first LGBT contestant to openly appear on a reality TV talent show downunder.
International fame came knocking after Courtney Act became the runner up in the sixth season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and was later named as the third most powerful drag queen in America by New York Magazine. Courtney went on to win UK’s Celebrity Big Brother and in 2019 was the first same-sex pairiing in the Australian version of Dancing With The Stars.
Now Shane has launched his own podcast, Building Queertopia on BBC Sounds, which brings together members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community by asking them to envision a perfect ‘queer utopia’ where everyone is welcome.
But before you RACE off to listen to it, this episode is a corker as we talk about growing up fearing straight men, how drag affected his mental health and how his relationship with body image has changed. SO much of what Shane says in this episode speaks of my own experiences grappling with my identity so I hope you feel heard and seen by the episode!
If you have missed this series so far, this mini-series of four episodes features some of the most prominent role models in the LGBTQ+ community - from Cara Delevingne to Samira Wiley - to celebrate Pride Month. It’s something that means so much to me because when I was growing up I didn’t feel like I truly had any role models - like Shane- and I know that listening to these guests would have helped ‘younger me’ and also, ‘adult me’ during the multiple times in my life when I have struggled with taking pride in who I am.
If you are struggling with your identity at the moment or just need someone to talk to please reach out to the LGBT Foundation, who I mentioned in this episode. Their helplines are always open and confidential and you can find out more at lgbt.foundation.
I truly hope this series will help you take pride in your identity no matter how you identify. You can follow me at @joshsmithhosts across social media and please get in touch as I love to hear from you! Love Josh xxx
Thank you to our sponsors this week, Jean Paul Gaultier fragrances.
When it comes to embracing the LGBTQ+ community in its entirety, there is no one quite like Jean Paul Gaultier! The brand is a symbol of queer freedom and the gorgeous new RAINBOW limited edition Le Male Pride collector bottle symbolises just that. 100% of profits will go towards the national LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity, AKT who have provided over 250,000 nights off the street for LGBTQ+ young people at risk of, or experiencing homelessness. You can pick up your very own Le Male Pride bottle right now from Look Fantastic.
P.S You will also have heard an advert for my favourite skincare brand, Aurelia London who are, not only, THE experts in Probiotic Skincare but using their Probiotic Concentrate with my Aurelia London Day Moisturiser has bought back my glow, just in time for me to re-enter civilisation! Yay!
FYI - Aurelia London's probiotic skincare is effective for skin conditions from dullness to ageing to rosacea and pigmentation to acne.
And as a treat for you, you can get 20% off the entire range by heading to aurelialondon.com and using the code JOSH20 at the check out! Hope you love it as much as I do!