With the Mardi Gras parade hitting Sydney this weekend, it’s safe to say Sydneysiders are well and truly in the spirit. The rainbow pedestrian crossing mightn’t be there this year, but there’s so many other ways the city is showing their support for the LGBT community and the celebration of equality.
Take General Pants Co., for example, which has enlisted Shane Jenek and his drag alter-ego, Courtney Act, to appear in its MidCity and Oxford Street store windows for one week from today, March 6. This is the first time General Pants Co. has changed their displays to support the Mardi Gras, pushing the statement, “We’re proud of our genes too”.
General Pants Co.’s design director, Pip Edwards, said that the company leapt at the opportunity to work with Jenek and Act, who is the official ambassador of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. “Jenek and Act are perfect role models to have in our windows to showcase our support to such an important, exciting and colourful event in our community,” Edwards said in a news release. “Be loud, be proud.”
As for Jenek/Act, well, they were actually shopping in General Pants Co. the day before they were approached by the streetwear retailer. While we know you’re probably thinking Miss Act reserves her shopping for House of Priscilla, Jenek admits that the get-up for the window is right up his alley. “The boy look I am wearing in the General Pants image is totally my day wear,” he told Edwards in an interview for the reatiler.
Jenek first trialled Miss Act while bringing in 2001 on NYE, when his friends went out to a party and thought it was a good idea if he went it drag. “Courtney Act was born and you can’t keep a good bitch down,” he told Edwards. Now, over a decade later, Act is one of Australia’s most respected drag queens and is releasing her first ever album in a couple of months. “I have been working so hard on it for the last year and it is sounding really cool. It’s somewhere between Robyn and Kylie.”
As for the big, bright parade on Saturday night, Act will be performing with Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters and trying her luck with purity-ring-wearer baby Jonas. “I am also planning on pashing Nick Jonas backstage and causing an international scandal.” Hey, it worked for Delta.