73 year-old, white, gay man John Swallow at home in Dade City, Florida. John is a drag queen. His stage name is Miss Jo Ann. He lives with his husband Russ. Behind the scenes photography and video and assistant: Juan Pablo Ampudia, juanpablo@cuartocreativo.com. Phone +52 1 55 8676 5741. Photography by Robin Hammond, pitures@robinhammond.co.uk. Editor: Mallory Benedict, Mallory.Benedict@natgeo.com, +1 202.791.1282. 23 March 2019

John Swallow /

“I was asked to write a short bio for this project, How do I write 73 years of experiences In a few paragraphs? Well, here it goes. I’ve guess I’ve always been gay, but it took me years to admit it to myself and others. In the late 60’s I was raped while in the navy, I’ve been chased down street and mocked and beaten for who I am. It only made me stronger and made me fight for my rights and those of others to exist and live free.

Drag in the beginning was underground for most of us. I’ve used my talent for the past 50 years to raise money and awareness for our cause.

The one thing I miss about the OLD DAYS is the fact that all phones and the interaction between 2 people. No more do we actually meet and get to know someone before jumping into bed. Now it’s a quick text –  a meet and everyone is on the next trick. It’s a shame we never really get to know one another.”

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