Jacob Windham-Burke

More to the Story: Jacob Windham-Burke

  • Jacob Windham-Burke
  • Jacob Windham-Burke
  • Jacob Windham-Burke

More to the Story: Jacob Windham-Burke

By Taylor Harrington 2:00pm ET

I did it because it was just fun. It’s a very shallow reason, but it’s the most true. I find it kind of funny that everyone thinks I’m gay now. I’m not gay. Everyone thinks my dad and I are both gay but we’re both straight men, we are just very effeminate, you know? I think that there should be more representation of straight effeminate men. When I dress up, it’s a super strong character, and since I’m an actor, I love that.

We were first introduced to Jacob Windham-Burke on Bravo TV Network’s Real Housewives of Orange County. Being one of seven children, Jacob has truly paved the way and carved out his own identity. Appearing on the show for the first time with the support of his parents Sean Burke and Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Devine Devon, is Jacob transformed into his drag persona in a long blonde wig and gorgeous blue gown.

We sat down, via Zoom, with the teen as he called in from his bedroom in Orange County, California. His bedroom was dimly lit, as Jacob met us with the typical awkward chuckles of an everyday teen being thrown into conversation with an adult. When asked what it was like having all the cameras and camera crew around for the show, Jacob was unbothered.

“The thing is, there are already so many people in my house, that it doesn’t really change much. There are just a couple more people there so I don’t really notice it. I never really did.”

Wearing a hoodie and sweatpants, which Jacob says is what you can find him in most days, he had just finished virtual school, something he says has taken some getting used to, but that he is happy to do if it means it is keeping people safe.

When was the first time you realized you wanted to dress in drag?

Okay, so to be honest, it just seemed like fun. Ya know? There’s not really much to say about it other than that, because, I mean, I’ve been introduced to it before, but I didn’t know what it was. My sisters would dress me up all the time and that was a lot of fun. So then when I discovered drag, like the entire scene, I was like, Oh, that’s really cool. I want to do that. Then I ended up asking my mom for heels for Christmas. I think I still have them.

So I have to ask you if you are in a drag show, what song are you walking out to?

I don’t know. The songs that I like really just change like every day because I’m always listening to different types of music. So honestly, I don’t know. I do know, but this was a while ago now, but when I was first started doing this, I remember what song I wanted. I think it was “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Billie Eilish.

How have your classmates responded to your dressing in drag?

I’ve gone to school in heels and women’s clothing just for fun on random days. I’m really lucky. I go to a really progressive liberal arts school, so everyone there is just super, super accepting and very nice. It is just the absolute most artistic, chaotic energy. It’s beautiful.

That’s amazing. Do you do any extracurriculars?

Yeah, I’m in musical theater.

Nice. Do you sing then?

Well, I’m not a good singer, but I can try. I’m mostly there because I can act really well, and I can dance pretty well because I used to be a competitive dancer, but my singing is definitely not that good.

Does all the negative press and fighting between the other women and your mom on the show affect you?

No, not me. I’m young, you know? But I’ve grown up in the age of the internet, I’ve grown up online. So I’m used to that. I’m used to random and constant hate. So much so that it doesn’t bother me. I’m just kind of used to it. No matter what you do, you’re always going to get hate for it. Doesn’t matter if you’re doing something good or bad, you’re always going to get hate for it. You should just know that you’re going to get hate for it, and if you know that, then the hate won’t affect you.

Damn. Seriously, most adults need to hear that, and you’re a kid. If you know who you genuinely are, then other people’s words aren’t going to affect you on that level, and you’ll find a different kind of joy in life.

Yeah, I mean, random hate doesn’t matter. If it’s constructive criticism, you should take that, but if it’s just hate, that doesn’t matter at all. That’s the only reason why most people are doing it. They just want to get a reaction.

I did it because it was just fun. It’s a very shallow reason, but it’s the most true. I find it kind of funny that everyone thinks I’m gay now. I’m not gay. Everyone thinks my dad and I are both gay but we’re both straight men, we are just very effeminate, you know? I think that there should be more representation of straight effeminate men. When I dress up, it’s a super strong character, and since I’m an actor, I love that.

Who doesn’t love to like sit in hair and makeup, right?

Except for wigs. Wigs are very uncomfortable. Which is why I did end up taking my wig off on the show, that blonde one. I think you can see it in the background over there. But uh, I have a lot of hair. And it’s really hard to fit under the wigs.

Is there any advice that you would give to another young person that is wanting to enter the world of drag?

Being a straight man, I didn’t know anything. As long as you have a supportive community around you, you can just go in. If you don’t have that community, then you need to find it. That’s honestly really the only way. You just need a good support group and a good community around you.

We wish Jacob and his family all the best!

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