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Jean Decay, Drag Performer

The youngest of 5 children, Gabriel Zapata’s childhood in San Bernardino was heavily influenced by television, cult films, the arts, and pop-culture. These served as an escape for Gabriel and his siblings from the dangers of their community at the time.

While he deeply valued his education and excelled in school, by the time Gabriel began attending college in Los Angeles, he found that there was something troubling about the experience and decided it wasn’t for him. He eventually quit college and began performing drag as Jean Decay. With her drag performances, Jean Decay addresses important topics like race, sexuality, and other sociopolitical issues, but she is also a celebration and tribute to the women that have protected and influenced Gabriel throughout his life.

In this episode, Gabriel shares how he aims to honor his family, especially his sisters, with his drag performances and art. He shares the frantic story about his first time performing as Jean Decay, and shares how he hopes to use his art to bring important issues to the forefront of social consciousness.

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