Australian Story: Mar 16

Miss Everywhere, aka Courtney Act / Shane Jenek is profiled in Australian Story on Monday, discussing identity.

This episode is introduced by British comedian Matt Lucas.

Since appearing on Australian Idol in 2003, drag queen Courtney Act has gone on to become an international star, appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race in America, winning Celebrity Big Brother in the UK and coming second on Dancing with the Stars last year in Australia.

But for much of Courtney’s career there was a struggle going on between the glamorous drag queen and the man behind the make-up, Shane Jenek.

“Courtney was an extreme and Shane was an extreme and I had just never thought that there was a place in the middle,” Jenek tells Australian Story. “Having those two separate identities can be quite unhealthy. I think it was for me.”

The turning point came in 2014, when he was introduced to the concept of gender fluidity by Chaz Bono, who he met while filming RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“The idea that gender exists on a spectrum and you can just express yourself freely and outside the confines of what it means to be a man or a woman was absolutely transformative,” Jenek says.

Since then, Shane and Courtney have used reality TV, social media and performance to preach a message of acceptance and tolerance.

In an intimate portrait, Jenek talks candidly – as both Shane and Courtney – about his career and identity issues. He is joined by family and friends, including Matt Lucas, Ian “Dicko” Dickson and Ben Moir (aka drag queen Vanity Faire).

Producer: Greg Hassall

8pm Monday on ABC. (Update: Courtney will not appear on Q&A).

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