TAKING A TRIP DOWN SOUTH: Getting to know Southeast
I first encountered South a few years ago at a business opening event for a local nail salon, Classy Claws ( @classyclaws ). I was immediately drawn to her energy and vivacious personality. She is definitely one of those people who commands the attention of everyone in any room and leaves you wanting to know more about who this enigmatic woman is!
Shortly thereafter, I started attending South’s drag performances and shows across Vancouver and quickly discovered that she is a fierce performer with a huge, loyal fan base.
Not only is South a well-known local celebrity of Vancouver’s Davie Street community, but she has also built a large social media following as a digital creator and has quickly become a favourite influencer.
South’s rising star is only becoming brighter! In a landmark marketing campaign collaboration with JustxPeachy, she will be Vancouver’s first transgender female model to be displayed in not just one but THREE prominent billboards across the city.
In honour of this momentous occasion, I sat down with South in a candid conversation to learn more about her journey.
- What’s the inspiration behind your name Southeast?@takeatripdownsouth
Kendall Gender (@kendallgender), my drag mother, named me Southeast. Her own name was inspired by the Kardashians and that’s where she got her inspiration to name me.
- How and when did you first get into performing? Can you give us some of your highlight moments?
I first got into performing about 5 years ago. Drag is such an art form, and it was a way for me to truly express myself. It was the outlet I had before I decided to make the transition.
The first place I ever performed was this amazing little spot called XY, which is, unfortunately, no longer open anymore. I performed to Niki Minaj “Roman’s Revenge”.
I couldn’t help but be drawn to the energy, enthusiasm, creativity and how welcoming and accepting this community was!
My favourite performance highlight moment would be dancing and performing at the Bass Coast Festival. There were literally thousands of people and it was absolutely electric!
- Who are some of your mentors and sources of inspiration/guidance?
My main inspiration is, of course, my drag mother Kendall Gender (@kendallgender). She’s extremely motivating and such a go-getter. She’s an amazing influence who practices sobriety, which helps keep me stay grounded. Kendall’s energy is so contagious, and she lights up every room that she walks into! She’s always pushed me to be the best version of me.
- Your love of life and infectious energy is very inspirational. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to find yourself?
Drag was my original outlet for expressing myself. The more I got into drag, the more I realized that drag was just the small window into this huge new chapter of my life that I knew I needed to be on. It wasn’t just drag for me - it was my true form. I knew that, ultimately, I wanted to make the full transition.
- You are known as a local trailblazer and innovator. How do you feel about being the first Trans woman to be on THREE billboards in Vancouver?
WHAT!? I am!? I truly didn’t know I was the first trans woman to be on three billboards at once in the heart of Vancouver. Honestly, my main goal is to inspire people and continue to bring more awareness to this community and show people through my actions that you can do whatever it is your heart was intended to be. I want to teach people that they don’t need to conform to social constructs and archaic norms.
Live life for you! People will always have something negative to say behind your back; life is a show and LOVE YOURSELF!
- What do you think this means for the city and for other people that look up to you?
I want this community in Vancouver to be inspired to just DO THE DAMN THING! Live your truth, we’re all in this battle together. It’s okay to embrace who you truly are and who you are destined to be. ITS 2021 BABES!!
- This billboard will give you a massive level of exposure, in addition to your social media following and online presence. People already get very excited about you, and this will absolutely magnify that. You also are great with all of your fans and love them. How do you suggest people approach/engage you in a friendly and respectful manor whether it be in person or online?
If you see me in person, please say hi! I love being acknowledged. Treat me as if I’m a friendly neighbour. I am always open to support and love. My aim is to inspire others, and I love to hear that my transition inspires others to be their true self.
- To wrap up, if you could describe the essence of who South really is in 5 to 10 words, what would they be?
SPICY! contagious, crazy, vivacious, raw, unfiltered, iconic, trend-setter, inspiring,
THE CHERRY ON TOP
I am super excited and feel fortunate to have not just 1 but 3 billboards in this city. I love collaborating with local brands, and being a supportive face for my local community
The younger version of South would be freaking out right now, like Christmas morning excited. I am literally going to bed right after this interview so tomorrow comes faster!
In November 2020, I walked the streets and experienced life as a woman for the first time.
I love the new body I am in, and I am just so excited for this new version of me. This is my first summer & my first birthday as who I am meant to be.
I have lived the whole rainbow and walked many paths. Its never too late to live as your authentic self! For any person that wants to live their true form, do it for you.
I have always been happy but i have never been more true to my true form that i am now. Now I am finally on the path after twenty-eight years.
<3 YOU ARE ENOUGH <3
Ensure you keep up with this icon, by following South on her instagram:
- XO JXP
You are a shinning fricken star South & I adore you! will be here cheering you on through it all.