Superior man spent life developing drag character

Growing up, Ray Anthony Jock knew he didn't fit in. He was living in Quebec, Canada, on a reservation with his eight sisters and four brothers.

Jock knew he was gay at a very young age. He started dating other boys at the age of 15. Because of this, his childhood was nothing short of hurtful, as he was bullied, beat up and locked in lockers. Because of this, Jock decided not to finish school.

“I didn’t know who I was,” Jock said. “That is why I decided to leave.”

Moving around a lot, the feeling of belonging was foreign to Jock. He started to figure it out when he strapped on a pair of heels.

Jock's first drag show was a talent show. It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but when people came up to him telling him how great he did, he finally felt that sense of belonging. He then began the making of his character, Roxxanne Raye.

“I lived for drag because that is what I was good at,” Jock said. “People were cheering, and I was finally good at something.”

Jock has a large book of newspaper clippings and pictures chronicling his drag career. Nicole Volta Avery, a reporter for the Post Standard in Syracuse, New York, wrote about Roxxanne Raye in an issue published on Aug. 14, 2001.

“Roxxanne is a practiced woman,” Avery wrote. “Her femininity doesn’t come naturally, but it appears effortless – subtle intricacies buried in a delicate handshake or slight smile.”

Jock said he has been working on this character almost his whole life and loves everything about Roxxanne Raye.

“I am an MC and a comedian,” Jock said. “I am the creator of Roxxanne Raye. She is ballsy, motherly, slutty and elegant, and you will never know what she is going to do or say.”

Jock said he never wanted to be looked at as a woman. He was a man dressed in woman’s clothing, which is what he says drag is. Jock never changed his voice or had any surgeries to become more like a woman.

To Jock, drag is a lifestyle choice. He has traveled the nation doing shows in Florida and New York as well as in Las Vegas. Jock was trained by some of the most famous drag performers and said he is very thankful for that.

Has Jock's life become easier since he decided to strap on that first pair of heels? Probably not, but he said he feels more like himself and knows who he is.

Jock has lived in Superior, Wis., for about 10 years and said the people in the Twin Ports area have almost always been accepting of his lifestyle. Two years ago, Jock hung up his dress after performing for 35 years, but he is still the same sassy man outside of a drag show.

“You don’t need a stage to be a diva,” Jock said. “A diva is someone you can go out and have fun with.”

Jock may be retired, but still gets into character every year for the annual Duluth-Superior Pride event. Margie Nelson lives in Duluth and has seen Roxxanne Raye perform at the Main Club in Superior.

“Roxx brings a major energy to the stage,” Nelson said. “Seeing her at the Main Club was an awesome time. She was a crowd favorite and great fun to see perform.”

With 24 titles and 12 visible crowns, Jock says Roxxanne Raye is a hit because of her big heart. Jock has lived a hard life, but he said he didn’t want that to be the center of Roxxanne Raye's story. He wants people to see the greatness in life even if he has not always received the same appreciation from people.

“My heart is bigger than my head because I know what being hurt feels like,” Jock said.

Having lived all over the country, Jock shared some advice while going through his drag pictures, pointing out that they all looked the same.

“It doesn’t matter where you are,” Jock said. “You are who you are, and ultimately, your life will be the same wherever you go.”

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