Wendell French has always been fearless, and so has his drag queen alias, Felicia Foxx but it wasn't until the 18-year-old decided he wanted to transition and began hormone therapy.
“I was getting depressed and I was scared of most things and I was never ever scared of anything and I’ve always been the confident person,” Wendell said. “When I started that transition, that’s when I lost some confidence within myself, my body and everything.”
Wendell’s journey was difficult, but he said he’s glad the experience gave him the clarity he needed to be who he is now.
“I was on the hormones, taking them for three months and just the toll that it had on my body and my mindset and everything, it was just like, ‘no this isn’t who I wanted to be full time,” he said. “I’m not a woman, I’m a drag queen.”
The experience solidified Wendell’s passion for drag and he is excited that Felicia Foxx will once again lead the First Nations Float at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this weekend. Especially with year’s theme - Fearless - being so close to his heart.
“'Fearless' really resonates with me so much being this little 18-year-old from Campbelltown who was always told I’d never amount to nothing, was expelled from school and was always told I was never gonna make it anywhere,” Wendell said.
“So it’s just being fearless with myself and not listening to anybody and not letting my setbacks stop me from what I wanted to achieve in my own dreams and goals.
“I’ve achieved so much in this short little amount of time that I’ve been doing drag.”
Wendell said it’s also important to remember to pay respect to all the fearless queens who paved the way for him.
“Hearing the stories from older drag queens as well, who have set the way for us and who have made it possible to have this platform still to this day,” he said.
“Hearing the stories from them about how they used to get floggings for walking down the street in drag, when they’d get abused.
“For them to be bashed, brutally flogged and to still not let that stop them, that’s the interpretation for me of fearless this year.”
Felicia Foxx made her big debut on the drag scene when she was just 16-years-old.
“After getting up on stage that crowd reaction, that feeling I had when I got up and performed, I wanted to have that feeling inside me forever,” Wendell said. “It was like this fire inside my tummy that I just knew would live on forever."
When he’s not on stage as Felicia Foxx, Wendell can be found broadcasting five days a week at Koori Radio.
“I just wake up every morning just to drive to get to work just to be able to come into an Aboriginal community and to be able to have this platform every day,” he said.
“To be able to broaden the queer community in the Aboriginal community, just to let them know what’s happening and that we are here and there are black queens that aren’t gonna stop, and to make it more accepting in our own culture as well.”
Wendell’s hopes for the future are that one day Felicia Foxx will be a permanent face on Sydney’s Oxford Street.
“It is a struggle being a coloured queen, not only and Indigenous queen, but any queen of colour trying to make it here in Sydney on Oxford Street,” he said.
“It’s hard to get a gig in Oxford Street, there’s only all white queens down there and never, never once has any black queen had permanent residency on Oxford Street.
“It’s only ever been white queens so trying to open the way for more coloured queens to be more visible in the drag scene as well.”
Find out more about Felicia Foxx on The Point tonight, 8.30pm on NITV (Ch. 34)