June 20th, 2019

From Jason to Jezebel

Toronto drag queen Jezebel Bardot explains what masculinity means to her
Real Stories
“Often times masculinity to me is synonymous with my dad. When I was around seven or eight years old, my dad, brother and I spent a lot of time together. I remember seeing a cross-dresser walk by and my brother saying a really backhanded and mean comment like, ‘holy crap what that hell is that?’ My dad is a really calm person and I never really saw him get mad but he pretty much just grabbed my brother by the shoulder and put his finger right in his face and said, ‘you watch your mouth. That could be your brother, that could be your uncle, that could be anybody. You take that back right now or I’m going to make you go up and apologize to this person.’ My dad’s always been like that. He’s always been the most chill, cool guy that just defends what is right. To me that’s what masculinity is - it’s respect for human life and individuality and who you are.”
This Pride month, Jezebel Bardot (aka. Jason Pelletier) is calling upon the LGBTQ community to have more conversation around mental health, challenging men nationwide to become “men of more words.”
Having forged an impressive career in education first as a P.E. teacher then as a Vice Principle, off-stage Jason acts as an advisor for the French Catholic School Board in Toronto, working on policies focused around safe and inclusive schools. His career has provided him with a unique insight into the inner workings of masculinity as it is portrayed through the school system and allows him to help to empower young men, encouraging them to embrace their masculinity and mental health, however that may translate for them.
“Adults our age aren’t used to responding and dealing with kids who are trans or non-binary,” says Jason. “it’s not part of our generation, but that’s not an excuse to be ignorant.” Part of Jason’s job is to ensure there are tools and resources available for teachers and principals, enabling them to foster positive and respectful interactions with students who identify as LGBTQ therefore making sure these students don’t “lose their dignity in the process of opening up.”
Regardless of their sexual identify, Jezebel wants men to try to surround themselves with friends and loved ones and to just talk more. Happy Pride 2019!