Laganja Estranja was featured in LA Weekly for her decision to, “make a change,” in the cannabis industry. Naming Laganja as “The Face of Gay Weed,” Hayley Fox writes about how Estranja uses her strength overcoming adversity as an LGBTQ person to focus on other marginalized communities.
While Estranja, also known as Jay Jackson, has performed in Europe, Brazil and beyond, he says the drag world can be a “tumultuous and dramatic” place to be. As a result, Jackson is now turning his attention to the marijuana industry. While there are quite a few parallels between the LGBTQ and cannabis communities — they’re both marginalized groups — the gay contingent has been largely overlooked by weed businesses, Jackson says.
The piece highlights Estranja’s work both in drag as Laganja and out-of-drag as Jay Jackson including their presentations on cannabis policy across the world, group dance sessions and advocacy for safe drug policy in the U.S.
“Jackson has been working toward this end for years, becoming the ‘first openly LGBTQA individual’ to be featured on the cover of a cannabis magazine when he scored the front page of Dope Magazine in 2015. In 2016, he hosted a conversation on marijuana legalization at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Jackson [Laganja Estranja] can be found at the upcoming drag convention, RuPaul's DragCon, taking place at the L.A. Convention Center April 29 and 30. There he'll be hitting the catwalk, appearing on y a panel about dance and drag and manning a booth with cannabis cultivation and advocacy firm THC Design to promote safe and accessible marijuana policies.
As Laganja’s cannabis advocacy efforts continue to reach further bounds, it becomes increasingly important to recognize the impact she has — even outside of her drag career. The cannabis industry is notoriously exclusive, and Laganja continues to impress with her fights for representation.
Following the conversation about cannabis advocacy, Laganja goes on to discuss her dance work. The LA Weekly reporter asked Laganja about “Laganja’s Dance School.” Laganja’s Dance School is a dance masterclass founded by Laganja herself that is for fierce dancers of all ages.
“Jackson founded Laganja’s Dance School more than a year ago and been teaching weekly classes in the basement of the Penthouse of Noho, a dance studio in North Hollywood, ever since. The hourlong, evening session includes a warm-up, stretching and conditioning, and a sashay across the floor.
‘They have to sassy walk and booty pop and do whatever it is [that] makes them feel comfortable,’ Jackson says.
The rest of the evening consists of original choreography by Jackson, who’s often cloaked in colorful, patterned Jeremy Scott outfits and sky-high stiletto heels. Although many dancers begin the class shy and subdued, they typically end it smiling, feeling sexy and happy to be out of their element, Jackson says.”
Laganja even discussed her — at the time upcoming — medicated dance class series. In May of 2017, Laganja hosted a number of dance classes that offered a number of cannabis products before, during and after dancing.
“Although Jackson himself is often ‘getting medicated’ before classes, he’s hoping this new, weed-inspired format will help students relax, embrace the class choreography and pour forth some real creativity. It’s his dance classes that have given Jackson some real ‘meat’ to his life, he says, providing a deeper sense of fulfillment often missing from his drag performances.
To read the entire feature, check out the article on the LA Weekly site.