When a drag queen enters the room, you always notice. After all, from the fabulous personalities through to the jaw-dropping outfits, how can you not?
When that drag queen is Freida Whales, you pay extra close attention. Who else introduces themselves as “Freida Whales - mother of manatees, breaker of nets, the unsoaked, Khaleesi of the actual sea, rightful heir to Poseidon's throne?”
Freida is so creative, witty, and talented as an orca, you’d be forgiven for wondering if this fishy Kelowna drag queen is actually a freshwater orca born in the deep, deep depths of our beautiful Okanagan Lake. However, we can confirm that she is 100% drag queen!
As you might have guessed, Freida, also known as Tyson when not in drag, is obsessed with sea creatures and animals of all types. She basically has a mini zoo in her house. When leaving for a show, she has to double check that none of the animals have nested in her outfit - she custom makes all of her fabulous clothing!
Born and raised in Kelowna, Frieda is a truly local drag queen, and that’s not as common as you might think. Traditionally, many members of our LGBT2Q+ community have left to move to a different city. However, that is starting to change.
As a Kelowna gurl, during the summer months, you’ll often find Frieda at the beach (where else would you find an Okanagan orca?), while she spends the winters at home creating her incredible outfits.
Like many before her, Freida started experimenting with drag due to her fascination with some of the talented queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Freida found herself inspired by Bianca and Trixie from the show, due, in part, to the way that they utilized clownfish in their acts. Naturally, as an animal and sea creature lover, this really spoke to Kelowna’s fishiest drag queen.
Freida likes to bring a sense of fun and comedy to all of her performances. This sometimes gets her into trouble. For example, Santa was so unimpressed with her fishy behaviour in 2018 that she ended up on the naughty list and even got a spanking from the big guy himself.
When she’s not beached, splashing around, and getting the crowd all wet at a drag show or crafting amazing outfits, you might find her hiking, baking (both cookies and a little seaweed, if you catch our drift…) or gardening. Freida is also a big fan of Mama Rosa’s Restaurant in Kelowna. Freida reveals: “It reminds me of going for dinner with my Nana. The mussels and pasta dishes are the best! The staff treat you like family and one time my nana and I got to go in the back to meet Rosa herself, and to learn how to make an onion sandwich.”
This fishy drag queen is fintastic, and if you get the chance to see her perform - take it! In the meantime, you can find her on the ‘gram at @friedawhales or on Facebook. Frieda also does commissions for outfits and shoes - learn more here.
Dustyn Baulkham is a mover and shaker in Kelowna’s LGBT2Q+ and arts community. He is a Bachelor of Management Graduate from UBC Okanagan and former banker turned community builder. Dustyn is the Executive Director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan as well as the founder & visionary at Rebellious Unicorns which produces FruitCake, MX, Peak Pride, Dirty Mutter & Cub Crawl. Over the years he has been involved in LGBT2Q+ community all over Canada including President at Kelowna Pride, Board Member at Vancouver Pride and Treasurer at Fierte Canada Pride.