General Pants Co loves a celebration, and Mardi Gras is no exception. Getting behind the infamous LGBT parade to celebrate equality, for the first time the windows in both GP’s Pitt Street Mall and Oxford street stores feature artwork dedicated to celebrating the festival…and they’ve enlisted help from a familiar face.
Australian Idol finalist and recent contestant on last season’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, Courtney Act (or Shane Jenek out of drag) stars in the campaign, posing as Courtney and himself under the tagline, “We’re proud of our genes too”.
Speaking to GP’s design director, Pip Edwards, Courtney shared her excitement about the campaign, revealing that she “LOVE [S] General Pants..I was actually shopping in the store the day before I got asked to do the campaign, and got a whole bunch of fun Ksubi and Zanerobe gear!”
Pip adds, “General Pants prides itself on being an equal opportunity employer who believes in great people and everyone is created equal. When the opportunity came up to work with Shane Jenek/ Courtney Act who is the official ambassador of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras we leapt at the opportunity. Jenek and Act are perfect role models to have in our windows to showcase our support to such an important, exciting and colourful event in our community. Be loud, be proud”.
The drag star pulled double duty for the shoot, posing as Courtney as well as Shane, which sounds exhausting, but according to Courtney, the alter ego and the real person underneath are “good friends”. “[We] battled it out for most of my 20’s…but these days we are pretty good friends. I used to think that doing drag was a weakness, but now I have realised that Courtney is one of my biggest strengths…[Courtney] get[s] to wear the wigs and costumes and makeup, so it’s much easier to be the loud one of the pair. Shane likes to be casual and relaxed and ‘normal'”.
It’s not just photoshoots and shopping, though – Courtney is very busy during the festival, in her words, “spreading a big glittery rainbow of fun across the country”.
“…I have just finished touring the country with [fellow Drag Race star] Bianca Del Rio as special guest in her comedy show. Saturday I am going to be on the Qantas Gay380 marching up Oxford St and Saturday night (well… Sunday morning) I am performing with Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters. I am also planning on pashing Nick Jonas backstage and causing an international scandal”.
Mardi Gras is all about being proud of who you are, and the tagline for the campaign reflects this. Speaking about being proud, Courtney (as Shane) says, “Everyday I find new ways to be proud. I am always having personal breakthroughs and becoming more loud and proud”.
After her duties during Mardi Gras, life isn’t slowing down for Courtney, announcing that her first album is coming out soon, “I am soooo excited because I am releasing my first ever Album in a couple of months. I have been working so hard on it for the last year and it is sounding really cool. It’s somewhere between Robyn and Kylie”.