JazzMint in Full Bloom

Story posted October 17, 2016 in Best of CommMedia by Shuyao Chen.

Jazzmint, whose real name is Michael Grasso, started doing drag shows about eight months ago when he met his current boyfriend Michael Duschl, who is also a local drag queen.

Music has been a vital part of Jazzmint’s life. He took private voice lessons when he was young and learned to sing Italian operas. He participated in choir during high school and joined an a cappella group the first year and a half of his time at Penn State. But his interest in singing waned and he quit a capella because he didn't find it enjoyable anymore.

The he began participating in State College drag shows - saying it brings out his “true self.”

Jazzmint was the name of a Barbie doll he got when he was a kid.

“It was so hyper sexualized in some ways, and yet so sexually devoid,” he said.

As he explores his drag identity, he said he realizes that he wants to rebel against what this Barbie doll represented.

“To me, doing drag is not about female illusion or pretending to be a women for a night, but putting on another identity when I look into the mirror regardless society norms and my insecurity and being able to love myself,” he said.

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drag queen , music