Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

High school senior going to prom as drag alter ego
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2014-02-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Jacob Szymanski is already planning for his senior year at Carl Sandburg High School, which will be Friday, April 25, at the Field Museum in downtown Chicago.

His alter ego, drag diva Harlet Wench, will be in all her glory.

Szymanski, 17, who lives in suburban Orland Park and is openly gay, will be dressing in drag for the Eagles' extravaganza.

"I'm going to my senior prom in drag because I hope to help other kids in the future," he said. "I love doing drag and think this a perfect opportunity to gain some attention for the LGBT community and LGBT youth in specific. If I were to go as a boy, nobody would care, but if I put on the wig, the heels, the makeup, and the dress; suddenly people are interested.

"I want to use this attention in a positive way. People think just because it's 2014 that bullying and discrimination don't occur. Times are changing and it's a lot better, but homophobic behavior is still around in schools and it makes other kids afraid to come out of the closet, or just be who they are."

Szymanski said he does not want to talk about his relationships, but added, "I'm happy." He is an only child whose parents are divorced and he lives with his mother.

Szymanski said that a teacher of his asked school officials for him if it would be OK if he dressed in drag at prom. The Sandburg principal and school deans then, reportedly, had a meeting and agreed it was alright, as long as he met the school dress code.

"I'm not sure the staff is aware, besides the principal and deans, but I do know my fellow classmates have been showing a continually growing amount of support," he said. "It feels so good to know some of these people I grew up with have my back in what I'm going.

"Of course there always [are] a few who think it's 'strange' and think I'm a 'freak.' I honestly don't care because I know all the good I can do with this."

Szymanski said he wanted to end the year with a bang and accomplish something big before he left campus.

"I don't care what anybody thinks, [or] if somebody's parent is offended; that's just too bad because times are changing," he said.

Szymanski said Harlet Wench has attended past Chicago Pride Parades and the annual Halsted Halloween parade. In fact, Harlet Wench won a Best Drag contest in 2012, he said.

"I attend any shows that will allow me in," Szymanski said. "I've done little things here and there. It's hard to attend drag events because most places won't let me in until I'm 21."

Harlet Wench also has made appearances at Chicago Comic-con.

"I always show up in drag costumes channeling my favorite sci-fi characters," said Szymanski, who first went drag at age 12. "I always loved makeup and hair and one Halloween I thought it would be funny to dress up as a woman—and got quite the response. So, getting in drag became a normal thing for me."

Szymanski said his family "totally accepts" his drag persona, "and I'm very thankful for that." Plus, "all of my friends love it to; it just makes things so exciting," he added.

More about Jacob Szymanski, the real-life Harlet Wench:

—Favorite subjects in school: Fashion and art.

—Least favorite subject in school: Math

—College in the fall: Still undecided, but most likely Aveda Cosmetology School.

—Career goal: "I'd like to have a career in hair and makeup."

—The quote: "I'm just a teenage boy from the suburbs of Chicago. I love art and beauty, and I'm really just hoping this has a positive impact."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Unicorn Ball' Dec. 15 at The Shapiro 2018-11-13 - The 2018 Unicorn Ball—Brave Space Alliance's largest annual fundraiser—will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, at 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at The Shapiro Ballroom, 1612 ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Children's and YA books on LGBTQ history 2018-10-31 - LGBTQ History Month offers us a wonderful opportunity each October to look at the growing number of books for children and youth on ...


Gay News

Covenant House Illinois to host 2nd annual Sleep Out in support of homeless youth 2018-10-29 - Covenant House Illinois (CHIL) will host its 2nd Annual Sleep Out on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at St. James Commons, 65 ...


Gay News

Chicago Jewish groups kick off Keshet's LGBTQ inclusive Leadership Project 2018-10-29 - Keshet, a national organization working for LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life, announced today that 21 Chicago-area Jewish organizations will participate in ...


Gay News

Working for a world where all can live 2018-10-24 - The following was presented as the keynote for State Treasurer Frerichs LGBTQ History Month Program Thank you Treasurer Frerichs for inviting ...


Gay News

Carolyn Wahlskog on upcoming award, career, mobilization 2018-10-23 - Carolyn Wahlskog, the senior program manager of 360 Youth Services, will receive the Emerging Leader Award from the Illinois chapter of The National ...


Gay News

YEPP's 'Rise Up' taking place Nov. 14 2018-10-17 - In recognition of the Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience and Youth Homelessness Awareness Month, Youth Empowerment Performance Project ( YEPP ) will host "Rise ...


Gay News

Congress Passes Spending Bill Without Child Welfare Discrimination Amendment 2018-09-26 - WASHINGTON — The House today passed a government spending bill that includes funding for the Department of Health and Human Services without the ...


Gay News

Successful WERQ! job fair takes place at Center on Halsted 2018-09-26 - More than 80 major corporations, small businesses, government agencies and nonprofits took part in the 4th annual Windy City Times WERQ! LGBTQ job ...


Gay News

Report says only 1 in 4 young gay, bi men uses Truvada 2018-09-26 - The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has found that only 4 percent of sexually active gay and bisexual men in the ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.