When fellow drag queens called her performances weird, Yvie Oddly leaned in. Like, really leaned in.
Oddly, a self-described "commodity of drag oddity," is a 24-year-old Denverite competing on this season of VH1's "RuPaul's Drag Race."
Appearing on the show's 11th season makes Oddly, who's name out of drag is Jovan Bridges (but only to those who "birthed me," she said with a signature laugh), just the second Denver queen to do so.
Oddly, as a drag persona, is less of an alter ego and more of a transformation and "a concept," she said.
"She’s a platform on which I can express whatever I need to feel for the day, where I can explore all these different identities and characters. She’s how I relate to the human experience and take a step back and make a statement about it," Oddly said.
How does that translate to her appearance? Well, "out-there for starters," Oddly said. And while other queens may be focused on impersonating femininity, Oddly is more interested in pushing boundaries.
"I’m going to look more like a crazy cartoon character, an alien or a giant blue person, honestly whatever I can do to shake people up,” she said.
That has meant crafting a gown made of fast food wrappers or becoming a giant pink jellyfish, as she did on the "Drag Race" catwalk last week.
The tentacles were made from trash bags and the bobbing jellyfish head from an umbrella. Oddly painted her entire body pink to take the look to the next level. She was rewarded when she spotted RuPaul's jaw drop during her walk.
“Nothing could ever make me happier,” she said.
Oddly's ingenuity grew out of necessity.
"Growing up, we were never particularly stable financially. I’ve always been near the poverty line," Oddly said. "Getting into drag, for me, has never been about looking the most glamorous or the most expensive, because that’s never something that was necessarily attainable for me. I’ve just always liked to work with the materials that I have around me."
Before embracing drag, Oddly studied fine art. She embraced combining the high with the low even then, painting on cardboard. She turned to drag when making a living through her traditional artwork proved impossible. Drag, on the other hand, grabbed a lot more eyeballs while pushing her creatively.
“I feel like drag is a whole lot more engaging," Oddly said. "When I discovered it myself I knew that I could combine the art I’ve always loved and really pushed for, with a platform and an interactive manner that people really seem to respond to."
"RuPaul's Drag Race" airs on VH1 on Thursdays at 10 p.m. MST.