Faux Queen by Monique Jenkinson

Faux Queen follows the fierce and fabulous journey of Fauxnique, the first cis-woman to win a major drag queen pageant.


Coming January 2022 from Amble Press

Faux Queen: A Life in Drag is a memoir about how a little Ballet-obsessed girl moved to San Francisco from the suburbs and found her people at the drag club. It joyously chronicles Monique Jenkinson’s journey through one of the most experimental moments in queer cultural history and her rise through the nightlife underground to become the first cisgender woman crowned as a pageant-winning drag queen. Jenkinson finds authenticity through the glee of drag artifice and articulation through the immediacy of performing bodies. She pens a valentine to gay men and their culture while relaying the making of an open-minded feminist. Faux Queen finds deep healing in irreverence and posits that it might be possible for us to come together in glorious difference on the dancefloor.

“I’ve read many books about drag over the years and Monique Jenkinson’s Faux Queen is officially my new favorite—and I swear it’s not just because I’m in it! Her life story in drag is unique and inspiring. She beautifully and thoughtfully describes an outrageous, provocative, and magical time in San Francisco’s drag history that’s often misunderstood in hindsight. I’m so grateful to Monique for writing this incredible chronicle of our lives!” —Peaches Christ, filmmaker and cult leader

MONIQUE JENKINSON is an artist, performer, choreographer, and writer. Lauded for a “campy, intellectual juxtaposition of pop culture and high art,” her work considers the performance of femininity as a powerful, vulnerable, and subversive act. She made “herstory” as the first cis-woman to win a major drag queen pageant and subsequently her solo performance works have toured nationally and internationally in wide-ranging contexts from nightclubs to theaters to museums—from Joe’s Pub, New Museum, and the historic Stonewall in New York City, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC Theater, The Stud, CounterPulse and de Young Museum in San Francisco, and in Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Provincetown, London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Zürich, Paris, Reykjavik, Rome, Catania and Cork.

She has created space for kids to dress drag queens at a major museum and created college curricula. She played the DIRT (originated by Justin Vivian Bond) in Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge and Eurydike in Anne Carson’s ANTIGONICK. She engaged in a public conversation with Gender Studies luminary Judith Butler and RuPaul bestie Michelle Visage within days of each other. Her memoir will be published by Amble Press in 2022.

Honors include residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, Tanzhaus Zürich and Atlantic Center for the Arts, an Irvine Fellowship and residency at the de Young Museum, San Francisco Bay Guardian GOLDIE and Bay Area Reporter BESTIE awards, and 7X7 Magazine’s “Hot 20.” She has been nominated for the Theater Bay Area, Isadora Duncan Dance (IZZIE), and Herb Alpert Foundation awards and has received support from San Francisco Arts Commission, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, CHIME, Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Kenneth Rainin and Zellerbach Family foundations.

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