Monday marked the premiere of the film adaptation of the musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Tom MacRae wrote the original musical alongside composer Dan Gillespie Sells.
The musical drama was inspired by the 2011 television documentary, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16. Directed by Jonathan Butterell, the musical is based on the true story of Jamie Campbell, a 16-year-old boy from the small British town of Sheffield who has dreams of becoming a drag queen.
Playing the role of Jamie New (based on Jamie Campbell) in the latest film is British actor Max Harwood. But, who is the person behind the inspiration of the musical and film? Let's get to know more about the real Jamie Campbell.
Who is Jamie Campbell?
Jamie Campbell, age 24, hails from Sheffield and prefers to use his/him/her pronouns. Jamie also has an alter ego by the name of Fifi la True, who prefers the pronouns she/her.
He talked about Fifi la True with Daily Mail, “As soon as she was born, the first five years, I just put everything on Fifi, my self-worth and stuff because you get a lot of attention when you’re out in drag, I got lost in that character.”
Jamie came out as gay at the age of 14, because he felt like “there was no point in pretending I was straight.” He opened up about being bullied for coming out to BBC.
“It was just so obvious. But, that meant I was constantly bullied. In primary school people had said things like 'You’re a girl, you’re a girl.' But when I got to secondary school it became rancid. I’d hear things like, 'You’re gay, bums against the walls lads.' I’ve tried to block all the horrible stuff out, but the main memory I have is walking back from school with fully grown adults shouting abuse at me.”
Jamie Campbell’s Mother is his No. 1 Supporter
Amidst every bully and verbal abuse he was going through for simply being himself, Jamie’s mother, Margaret, and his grandmother, always made sure that they were there with all the love and support.
“...I was fortunate that when I got home, my mum heaped love and support on me. “You’re different, so what? They’re the ones who are idiots, not you,” she’d say.” - Jamie Campbell to BBC
Jamie’s mum has always wanted him to be who he was. “She didn’t want me to change myself for other people and always told me to be my own person,” Jamie said. “She knew I was different from a very young age and has always been there with unconditional love.”
“She doesn’t think she’s done anything special by supporting me, though. She says that’s just what you do for your kids.”
Jamie’s mother was the one who suggested Jamie wear a dress to prom when he was 15 when he wanted to come out publicly in drag. He recalled being “jealous of the girls getting to wear their fabulous dress while I had to go in a boring suit.”
He was talking with his mum about the unfairness and she simply said, “Why don’t you go to prom in a dress?” Jamie was instantly tempted by the idea, “That just sparked everything off. I just thought, ‘Actually yeah, why not? I’m gonna do it.’”
Jamie’s mother and grandmother are often part of his little adventures and make appearances on his social media.
Jamie Campbell is currently working on several of his drag and fashion projects. He released his first range of collaboration with Snag Tights, in January 2021.