Inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race, Chris Jones from Lampeter, Ceredigion, created his drag persona, Serenity, three years ago as a means of expressing a different facet of his personality. For Jones, Serenity represents a part of himself he couldn’t fully embrace as Chris.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jones, a farmer’s son hailing from the outskirts of Llanbedr Pont Steffan, decided to embark on a new journey. A 26-year-old dance teacher with a passion for performing, singing, and acting, Jones was captivated by Drag Race and thought, “I want to do that.” As lockdown restrictions eased, he began performing as Serenity.
Serenity, in Jones’ words, is “a little bit more fierce.” The reaction to Serenity in the serene countryside of Ceredigion has been overwhelmingly positive. Performing before audiences unacquainted with drag shows is an exhilarating experience for Jones. He finds joy in witnessing their reactions and receiving their heartfelt appreciation after the performances.
Serenity has found her stage at The Mind’s Eye, a club in Lampeter that provides a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community. Jones emphasizes the need for more such spaces across Wales, not just in Ceredigion, where individuals can express themselves and foster self-acceptance.
Jones aspires to spread Serenity’s message beyond Lampeter, having recently made his debut at Pride Cardiff and ventured into performances in Manchester. While he relishes performing in larger cities, he remains deeply committed to his local roots, cherishing the support he receives for Serenity in Lampeter.