A Dundee drag artist is in the running to be Scotland’s representative at an international drag queen contest.
Jack Ross’s comedy act, Vanity No More, which he describes as a trashy 40-year-old woman, challenges tough topics, with a dark humour.
Vanity has been selected as one of 16 acts to compete for the title of Scotland’s best drag queen, with the winner going on to represent our nation in Linda Gold’s Drag Idol International Eurovision Drag Contest, in Sweden.
Four rounds and the Scottish final will all be held in Klozet on Seagate, and Vanity is the only act from Dundee to have made it to this stage.
“It would mean the world to me if I won,” Jack said. “It would recognise all the hard work I’ve put in and mean it was all worth it. I would end up crying.
“But I’m not getting my hopes up too much. The competition is very strong and everyone has the potential to wow the crowd.”
Vanity will compete against three other acts in the first Scottish heat on April 20. As part of his shows, Jack, from Strathmartine Road, opens up debate on current issues such as politics, Brexit and feminism.
“These things are happening,” said Jack. “We can’t afford to ignore them.
“Drag has always been controversial, so it’s a great way to challenge our society and get people thinking outside the norm.”
Jack has been performing in drag since 2015, and two years ago he spoke candidly to the Tele about how his alter ego helped him come to terms with his sexuality.
“People notice the 6ft man stumbling about the bar in heels and a cocktail dress,” said Jack, 22.
“I already have their attention. So when I’m up there with the mic in my hands, I make sure I use the opportunity to say something meaningful.
“I don’t do a pretty face and try to be beautiful, I am not a female impersonator – I’m a man in a wig fighting against gender roles and discrimination in all forms.
“I take on the ugly side of drag. I use it as a platform to get people talking about important and difficult issues, things which don’t usually get spoken about.”
Speaking about the first round, the competition’s creator and host, Linda Gold, said: “There will be four contestants, two judges and myself as host – so seven queens performing in total.
“We’ll also have a DJ and other things going on. It’s going to be a jolly good party.”
Linda said she chose to hold the Scottish part of the competition in Dundee, despite being offered several venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
She said: “We (the organisers) were in Dundee to do a few shows and fell in love with the place. We had such a great time we stayed all weekend. Everyone made us feel so at home.”
In total, 96 drag queen contestants will take to the stage as part of the competition, from six countries – Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Spain and Sweden.
The six winners will then be flown to Sweden to compete for the European title, a cash prize and a fully paid place on Linda Gold’s international