Jamie’s presentation was all at once vibrant, honest, and humble. He told us the inspirational story of how he broke the mould and dared to be himself despite the social norms that prevented open discussions about drag.
His message was enlightening, suggesting education as opposed to seeking retribution against bullies, taking the stance of compassion. As he discussed his rise to fame, he was modest, admitting that he had struggled with being himself, and not the character on the stage. It was heart-warming to hear of his gratitude to his mother; he stressed that her support was how he got where he is today.
Jamie also discussed his fashion brand and was open about the difficulty of this venture. However, in the same breath he was also positive, encouraging those present to just start exploring design and see what works for them. I respected his approach to the topic, championing individuality rather than following trends.
Jamie’s response to fame was far more down to earth than I expected. He experiences anxieties of recognition on the street and still finds it hard to believe a giant like Disney has the rights to produce a film of his life.
Inspiringly though, Jamie’s primary point of pride is the brilliant discussions about gender that the documentary, musical and film about his life have sparked, and continue to spark. His message was abundantly clear in its positivity: do what you want, for yourself, without fear of others.