Burlesque is changing lives and thriving in our community

The Queen of glitter, Jazida, has discovered the power of misbehaving and how burlesque is changing lives in our community.
Alexander Thatcher  |  Art & Culture

*Misbehaving is, of course, a highly personal concept, especially regarding Burlesque and the art of the tease, when being bad becomes not only empowering but also tantalisingly fun.

A lot of people think that burlesque is mainly the domain of rowdy heterosexual men, but this misconception was quickly set straight (ha!) by queer burlesque performer Jazida, who told me that, contrary to popular belief, the art of burlesque is actually extremely queer.

If you’ve not seen this issue’s cover girl, Jazida (aka Rachel Reid) perform yet, I suggest you jump onto YouTube immediately or get along to one of her fabulously tantalising shows. Jazida has been perfecting the art of misbehaving, performing burlesque, producing shows, hosting workshops and teaching classes for Canberra’s alternate performing arts community since 2016.

She is proudly queer and, after only a few short years, is one of Australia’s most acclaimed burlesque performers. Listed as 32 in the top 50 most influential burlesque performers across the globe, Jazida has performed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, the Perth International Burlesque Festival, the Australian Burlesque Festival and the Australian Burlesque Cruise, as well as headlining at many other alternative clubs  and festivals across the country.

I sat down with Jazida at her studio by the lake in Belconnen. We chatted about her journey of empowering herself and others, removing barriers and creating a safe space for non-binary and LGBTIQ+ people.

FUSE: Burlesque’s had a resurgence in recent years, have you seen the same enthusiasm from the queer community?

Jazida: Yeah, absolutely. Burlesque is thriving in our community, with both dancers and audiences. If you’ve ever been to a burlesque show — even someone iconic like Dita Von Teese — you’ll notice that most of the audience are usually women. It’s actually an art form that’s more targeted at the female than the male gaze, even though it is strip tease.

It was actually during the 80s that the neo-burlesque revival started in Australian queer spaces, with lesbian bars running underground burlesque nights that were extremely grungy and punk and very queer and very gay.

Burlesque has become a safe space for queer people, and where women can appreciate other women.

FUSE: Tell us a bit about Flazeda.

Jazida: Flazeda is a physical alternate performing arts hub, and it’s a social enterprise. A strong part of our ethos is elevating diverse and LGBTIQ+ artists, which has much to do with removing barriers. At the end of the day, I want to see all people, all bodies and all genders represented on stages everywhere. We also run dance classes and workshops, while producing vibrant burlesque shows that showcase and celebrate all kinds of people in a bawdy celebration of body positivity and diversity. 

FUSE: And you also offer a scholarship program.

Jazida: Called ‘Flaze-Daddy Little Zaddy Scholarships’, we ask philanthropists (“Flaze-Daddies”) to help mentees(we’re calling them “Zaddies”) by providing free performance opportunities and training to budding artists who may otherwise not be able to access it. Flaze-Daddies get the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a difference.

FUSE: Is there anything else you’d like people to know?

Jazida: Burlesque and the act of misbehaving can change lives for the better. I would like to let people know that if you’re interested in developing burlesque or alternate performance skills, please connect with us; and remember, if you are under financial stress, we can connect you with our ‘’Flaze-Daddy’ program — we give priority to members of the LGBTQI+ community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people of colour and those with disability. Flazeda is a safe, inclusive space.

Find out more information about shows, courses and other  mischeivous activities at:

More Coverage

The Simpsons boss open to queer Lisa

Lisa Simpson might be queer after all. Over the years, it’s been heavily hinted on The Simpsons that Lisa is bisexual.

I photograph beautiful men

How lucky I am to be living my passion and working with extraordinary men like Kyle.

© All rights reserved FUSE Magazine. Website designed by Lithium.

Back to Top