June 30, 2023
Hues of Heritage: A Celebration of Pride Month with Juiccy Misdemeanor
Throughout the month of June we celebrate! It is a time to honor, acknowledge, and celebrate the contributions and achievements made by individuals in the LGBTQI+ community, past and present. Juiccy Misdemeanor is no stranger to the Colorados drag scene, performing all over the city for the past three years, and was recently crowned 2023’s Miss Peach at March’s drag pageant at X bar. Juiccy’s performances are dynamic, colorful, glamorous, and representative of her southern background and soulful upbringing. It’s amazing to see her on stage and off stage in their work with Youth Seen and Black Pride Colorado, a non-profit organization that focuses on mental wellness and community connection for the LGBTQIA+ youth of Colorado.
We chatted with Juiccy, aka John Roberts, at their office at Youth Seen for our Hues of Heritage video series that spotlights folks in our community who create, educate, and encourage exploration.
What do you love about Denver?
Denver's very interesting, but what I love the most is that, um, it's been very inclusive thus far. It's a very progressive state, but Denver specifically. There's a lot of dogs. I love that. Cause I have two. So yeah, I just love how open and free it is.
What would you want to see more from Denver?
As open and inclusive as it is, I would like to see more diversity. I feel like you have to go to certain pockets of the state to get certain groups of people, which is hard because I wanna feel like I'm fully immersed in all cultures all the time, but sometimes I don't feel that way. So if Denver offered me a little more diversity, I’d appreciate it, but, you know, one step at a time!
How would you describe your artistic style?
It depends on what I'm doing! Dancing is my first love. I trained as a professional dancer for 15 years. Speaking in that sense, it's more of a concert dance/contemporary dance, like what you would see if you go to the ballet or to see Alvin Ailey. But if I'm speaking, drag, Juiccy is very southern belle, peachy, sparkly sweet, a dancing diva.
What is your role with Youth Seen organization?
I am a Program Coordinator and then if I break it down into Black Pride Colorado, which is under Youth Seen, I am the Ballroom Community liaison.
What are some of the programs that you do?
So we have four to five sectors underneath Youth Seen; Black Pride Colorado, TransSeen, CampSeen, and our clinical program. And all of these programs are geared towards specific targeted areas. CampSeen is for our youth and we have a camp in July, in addition to year-round programming to keep them engaged with other queer youth. TransSeen is for our trans and non-binary individuals to give them gender affirming care services and support groups. Black Pride Colorado simply raises awareness and creates safe spaces and communities for Black and Brown people in the LGBTQ family. Our clinical program is therapy and services of that nature to help with daily life.
What does Black Pride mean to you within the larger realm of Pride month?
I've been on this journey of discovering joy, and Black joy, but also Black queer joy. I think they all have three different segments and three different ways of living. Being a Black or Brown person is hard enough and being a Black and Brown queer person is even harder. Just in day-to-day living, especially in the world of politics and things that are going on right now. So, Black pride, for me, is literally creating space and holding space for who we are and what we can achieve. I think Black is beautiful, Black has so much excellence and greatness in it, and people don't understand that a lot of culture that they have comes from the Black experience. I feel like we are literally making room in Colorado for Black and Brown people to be celebrated, to show their excellence, and to show that there are so many people thriving in their own practice, and that we are here, we're not going anywhere. There are so many Black professionals in this city that are doing amazing things, and I commend them and I appreciate them and I support them and see them. Black pride is important. It's vital to society, and it's much needed. So, I pride myself in working hard to make sure we get that space, period.