Who’s That Girl?!?

By Jaime Cannon

I knock three times. A half-dressed queen opens the door.  She scrambles over to the unmade bed, tossing pillows around.  “What time is it?” she says.  In the time it takes me to look at the watch on my wrist, she has located her phone, glanced at it and tossed it back on the bed.  “Shit! We gotta go!!”

And so begins an average night of work for one of Coachella Valley’s favorite drag queens, Jayla D. Foxx.  Or, for the really hardcore fans, Jayla D. Mo**er Fu**in Foxx!  She has performed all over Southern California, including Miss Gay California America, where she placed First Alternate.

We arrive at Retro Room for one of her many gigs, all done up and looking fabulous in a Marilyn Monroe wig, proverbial “little black dress” and sparkling heels.  As she enters what used to be known as Legends of Palms Springs, with 33 rpm album covers all over the walls, her energy virtually radiates.  “Jayla! Wooooo, Giiirllll…. You lookin’ fabulous!” yells the bartender, Neil. As they make eye-contact, Neil flashes an award-winning Colgate smile. You can tell they have a bond.

This queen is quite a different person than the man I had dinner with a few nights prior.  Jason Eberle (his birth name) grew up in small-town Fremont, Ohio back in the 70s.  No, I’m not going to reveal his age, as a true lady never does.  While a student at Bowling Green State University, Jason started experimenting with drag.

File Aug 14, 12 32 40 PM“In the closet, of course,” he tells me, laughing.  “You know, using cheap, dollar store gadgets and costumes, trying to make ponytails on my head in my dorm room,” he laughs.  He did his first real drag show in 1994; an amateur contest at Caesar’s.  No, not  Las Vegas.  Caesar’s Show Bar in Toledo, Ohio.   “It was kinda, sorta like an audition,” she tries to explain.  A complete novice, Jason’s college classmates curled his hair and dressed him in a black sweater and skirt.  “I didn’t even have any girl shoes….I performed in ugly boy shoes!”  Today, Jason is sitting in basketball shorts and a T-shirt, relaying this story from 23 years ago, and cracking up… the thought bringing back silly memories for this guy.

Fast forward to 2012.  Jason has found his way across the country to Palm Springs, via Seattle through West Hollywood.  Jayla D. Foxx brought Flamboyance Drag Show to Hunter’s on Arenas, where the show featured a rotating cast of queens from all over Southern California.  Last year, Jayla and Mike Thomas (Candace Camera) collaborated on the inaugural Heels for Healing show at Palm Canyon Theatre. Their efforts brought together more than 20 drag queens  in a show of solidarity to support the anti-bullying movement in local high schools.  During the summer of 2017, Flamboyance® Entertainment was born and Jayla D. Foxx is now popping up all over town: Chill Bar, The Retro Room, Trunks, Wang’s of the Desert, Toucans, Playoffs….and doing private gigs from Palm Springs to Los Angeles.  Flamboyance® Entertainment and outrageouscity.com recently produced T-Zone, the first ever Transgender Party in Palm Springs and are excited to team up for more collaborations. “What’s next for Jayla?” I ask.  Jayla responds, coyly, “Hash tag Foxxtales. That’s all I can say right now.”  She raises her nose in true queen fashion and looks away with a smile. And then breaks into laughter… “Oh, my God, you guys!” she squeals.  Just like a teenage girl.

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