Drag Queen Uropa’s Yarn Wigs: Taking Over the Stage, One Skein at a Time.

13 July 2022
Image description: Zoë Desborough sits on a settee in a yarn store, working on a yarn project.
By Zoë Desborough
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We recently had the chance to meet Canadian drag queen extraordinaire—and unconventional crafter—Uropa.

Jeffrey, the originator of the Uropa persona, chatted with me about his journey to drag.

At age fourteen, Jeffrey watched the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Seeing a world where people looked like him and had the opportunity to be celebrated for their art enchanted him.

Growing up singing in church and with a passion for performing, the choice to study musical theatre was an easy one for Jeffrey. After finishing the theatre program at Sheridan ColIege in Toronto and unsure of his next move in theatre, Jeffrey moved into the drag scene in Toronto.

He found his way back on stage when he entered the drag world with a production of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert in Calgary. It felt like Jeffrey had found his niche as a drag queen who could act, sing, and dance. This year, he took on a role in a staging of Kinky Boots in Vancouver.

The journey to discovering Uropa has been an amalgamation of years of inspiration, from the shows he watched to the art he made. Jeffrey chose the name Uropa because Europa is one of the moons of Jupiter. The name was unique, celestial, and a bit absurd—which suited him perfectly.

So, why we are interviewing a drag queen for an article of Digits & Threads? In a very unconventional way, Uropa and Jeffrey are intertwined with the fibre world.

Image courtesy of Jeffrey Follis/Uropa Queen.

Image description: Zoë Desborough sits on a settee in a yarn store, working on a yarn project.

About Zoë Desborough

Quitting their PhD due to toxic work environment and relationships, Zoë decided to take on the challenge of becoming a first-time business owner: a yarn shop owner! Obsessed with crochet and fibres, and then knitting, the transition seemed perfectly logical, but somewhat risky. Flash forward to today, and their shop Crochet & Co. just celebrated its 2 year anniversary amid the global pandemic. Crochet & Co is not only a local yarn shop, but also a safe space for all; a place that promotes open-mindedness, support, and inclusion. Their academic background in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and their activism for the LGBTQIAAP community has allowed them to work with several organizations and businesses to better their D.E.I. practices and policies, as well as guest speak on different panels in the fibre community.

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