Ladner is home to Vancouver’s newest drag king champion and LGBTQ+ community ambassador.
Late last month Jenn Curll was crowned Mr. Gay by the Rhinestone Phoenix Charity Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 1980 and are the keepers of the Mr., Ms. and Miss Gay Vancouver titles.
The competition, described by Curll as a sort of pageant, tested candidates’ public speaking skills, runway walks and performances all while in drag.
Although she refers to herself as she/her, Curll was awarded the title of Mr. Gay as she competed as a drag king, not a drag queen.
Curll said she decided to take part in the competition because she could use the title to serve and fundraise for the community. For Curll, her focus is the Delta Pride Society.
Although Curll came out in her mid-teens, she became more involved with the LGBTQ+ community in 2018.
She says she will use her title to be a positive force and example for Deltans within the community.
“Because I grew up with almost no queer influence or mentorship, I have an opportunity to support South Delta and represent for people in South Delta,” Curll said.
Working with the Delta Pride Society Curll hopes to bridge the gap between Vancouver and South Delta by trying to make LGBTQ+ related events more accessible and raise awareness.
With National Coming Out Day taking place over the Thanksgiving long weekend, Curll spoke directly to those who have not come out yet and people who may be struggling with the consequences of doing so.
“Coming out is for you and that no matter when you do, first of all make sure it’s safe, second of all know that you're loved and accepted. Whether it’s by the people that already know you or the people you haven't met yet,” Curll said.