Views & News

FIT at Work: An Interview with the Drag Queen Jewels of Long Beach

FIT at work is at the core of our mission and what our job-seeking clients are working toward. When we can each bring our full selves to work, we can be happy, engaged, and productive.

In a survey released in June 2020 by Boston Consulting Group, 40% of LGBTQ employees said they are not open at work about their sexual orientation or gender identity. In states where discrimination against LGBTQ people remained legal until last week, 55% of Gen X and baby boomer LGBTQ people surveyed were closeted at work. This survey also showed that LGBTQ employees who are out at work feel psychologically safer, more empowered to speak up, and more able to take creative risks. While it makes me sad that so many are not out at work, I am encouraged that so many people are and hope that together we can create more inclusive organizations. 

 June is a month that recognizes the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals(LGBTQ) have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. In celebration of this impact, I decided to interview my middle brother, the drag queen Jewels of Long Beach about building a career where they fit at work. Jewels and I have a strong bond. I've watched and shared in their professional struggles and successes - as they have mine. 

Jewels is a multi-talented creative who has intentionally built an impressive career in performance and production. During our conversation, Jewels shares how they got started in performing by first creating a single show at a restaurant with no live entertainment. Over time, that one show became a full-slate of events. Later, Jewels started an event hosting and production company while also creating a role as the international entertainment director for Hamburger Marys – a franchise corporation with 19 locations that is known as a family-friendly full-service restaurant with excellent - often drag-theme - entertainment. Jewels also discusses how they find, audition, and hire employees and performers that fit the corporation or production company’s entertainment and business needs. 

I enjoyed talking with my brother about his professional journey; I hope you find our conversation interesting too!

If you're a leader, one way to encourage your teammates to bring their full selves to work is by sharing a fun video like this, or a survey like the one linked above, with a short note of hope that your team can be inclusive and supportive to all. If you're in career transition now, look for organizations that acknowledge and celebrate individuals. These organizations are ones where you can bring your authentic self - along with your skills, knowledge, and experience - to do great, fulfilling work. 

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Published on 6/30/2020