I never did get into any trouble, but when I got to college, I was looking for something—I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to be that shy kid anymore. I wanted to do something that no one would expect of me. I was taking a First Year Experience class and our very first assignment was to do something out of the box. I just happened to see a poster for a student drag show and thought, OK, that would be out of the box! So I signed up.
I had never done drag before. I didn’t even know drag was a “thing” before college. I remember watching the movie "To Wong Foo" and didn’t realize that the lead characters were men in drag. I just thought they were women. I remember telling my mother that Chi-Chi, played by John Leguizamo, was very pretty. (I had never even come “out” because I wasn’t someone who liked labels and certainly didn’t want one myself. I just wanted to be me.)
As I was figuring out my drag persona, I went to my first gay club at Muther’s in Rochester, NY. The drag show there was amazing and inspiring. I struck up a conversation with a queen, Samantha Vega, who would eventually become my drag mother. She helped me figure out my name—JizzaBella. I thought it was so cute. And only one word, like Cher, but a little cheaper!
The night of the student drag show, I had it all figured out—my name, my hair, my makeup, and I had worked out a routine to Crazy Possessive by Kaci Battaglia, which I had practiced in front of a mirror in my dorm room for weeks.